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Commitment to Action

Kurt Schrader

You may have noticed that Clubhouse has been a little quiet with our communication lately.

That’s because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking for the last couple of weeks about everything going on in the world and what we can do to make Clubhouse a better place to work, a place that is working to be actively anti-racist and a better corporate citizen.

I’ve had a lot of time to listen and to talk to many of our employees about how they’re feeling. I’ve told them that I didn’t want to make an empty performative statement about this topic. Another “insert our brand name here” message with white letters on a black background didn’t feel like enough. I wanted to come to the table with actions that we’ll be taking immediately to begin the process of doing a better job, to make sure we’re taking long term action and not simply reacting to the moment.

Here are the things we’re doing immediately to begin changing Clubhouse for the better:

  • Working with our lawyers to add an anti-discrimination and anti-racism clause to our terms of service that will give us broad latitude to remove customers from Clubhouse that don’t align with our values.
  • Starting to measure and report on the number of candidates at the top of our hiring pipeline that identifies as underrepresented so that we can set targets and hold ourselves accountable for increasing the percentage of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) we interview for our roles going forward.
  • Instituting a Rooney rule for any director level and above role (beginning with our in-process VP of Finance role) to require group interviews of at least one candidate from an underrepresented demographic. We’ll also assess the success of this over time with the intent of expanding this wider if it’s showing positive results.
  • Declaring Juneteenth as a permanent Clubhouse holiday, starting now. We encourage all of our employees, and everyone else when possible, to use this day to be active in their communities.
  • As we ramp our hiring back up (we've slowed it down due to the pandemic), reevaluate the places where we’re sharing our job posts to make sure that we’re putting them where more underrepresented and BIPOC candidates are likely to see them.
  • We're pushing for Engineers to spend time removing harmful language from our codebase and tools. Some examples of what we're doing (and encouraging our customers to do): renaming our master branches to an alternative (eg develop, trunk, or production), removing any references to master / slave, removing instances of whitelists and blacklists.

It’s important to note that this is just the start of the process. Our next action items include creating a policy for additional paid employee activism days beyond Juneteenth and re-imagining our Diversity & Inclusion Committee to be more action-oriented and targeted with their efforts. I expect us to continue to make strides here and to get better at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.

Thank you for being a customer of Clubhouse. We’ll keep striving to continue making Clubhouse into a place that I hope our employees will all look back on in the future and be proud to have worked at, and that our customers can always be proud to use.