Toronto-based Crescendo forms anti-racism coalition of North American tech companies

WoC in Tech

Crescendo, a Toronto-based startup that offers curated diversity and inclusion education, is calling on North American tech companies to ensure they deliver on their anti-racism commitments year-round.

Crescendo has also introduced specific anti-racist learning tracks, co-created with Black D&I professionals and creators.

Crescendo has created a coalition of several North American tech companies that are looking to directly address and tackle issues surrounding racism. The coalition includes Indeed, Clover Health, and Remitly, among others. The businesses in the coalition are working to implement new strategies that involve challenging conversations about different cultures and integrate this work into the culture of their companies.

“Indeed is proud to partner with Crescendo to leverage their phenomenal content and expertise globally, and ease the burden often felt by marginalized employees to educate their peers,” said LaFawn Davis, vice president of diversity, inclusion, and belonging at Indeed.​

“Their commitment to using data and authentic narratives to measure success and drive cultural change aligns with Indeed’s values, provides continuous learning opportunities for our employees and supports our mission to help all people get jobs,” Davis added.

In recent months, businesses have shared messages of support for Black communities amid global protests against racial injustice. Crescendo said its aim is to ensure these business’ statements outlive this “emotionally-heightened period,” and go beyond donations and solidarity statements to incorporating actionable anti-racism education and commitments in their workplaces.

According to a ​D&I study from Crescendo conducted earlier this year, 100 percent of surveyed D&I leaders said that their team was too small given their responsibilities, with an average of one dedicated D&I employee per 743 employees, for companies below 5,000 employees.

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An April report from the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Dream Legacy Foundation found that eighty-five percent of underrepresented entrepreneurs in Canada experienced a loss in revenue, contracts, and cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founded in 2017, Crescendo’s platform is designed to help companies build more inclusive workplaces. The solution is integrated with Slack, Microsoft Teams, and email, and aims to help professionals learn about different cultures through “personalized learning journeys.” Crescendo’s platform also provides D&I teams with insights into the impact of their D&I program.

In tandem with the long-running effort to increase anti-racism awareness and further their commitment to supporting Black communities, Crescendo has introduced specific anti-racist learning tracks, co-created with Black D&I professionals and creators.

The proceeds from their anti-racist materials are going directly to these content partners, as well as non-profit organizations that support Black lives year-round, including Freedom Schools via Black Lives Matter Toronto, The Okra Project, and Black Voters Matter Fund.

Similar initiatives that have been launched include the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism, which is mandated to combat systemic racism in the innovation economy, and the BlackNorth Initiative, which is aimed at removing systemic barriers for Black-owned businesses across Canada.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast