When it comes to companies supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, organisations or people’s individual mahi [work] - whether external or internal, the question of “value delivered per dollar spent” is usually ever-present. I wrote a whole separate article on my feelings about it…
What I think I am realising more and more is that doing your own work as a team, as an executive, as an individual on why you want to support DEI is actually most of the journey. And it’s a never-ending one too!
When you awaken to reasons of DEI’s beauty, richness, just outcomes, representation, belonging, culture, and, you know, being on a better side of history - the question of “whether I should support it or not” becomes obsolete. What’s in front of you now is how do I support it, learn about it, celebrate it?
Melodics is a Tāmaki Makaurau based team of engineers, musicians, designers and educators that created an app to help you learn to play musical instruments in a fun way. Storyo was born out of love and passion while I was working at Melodics as a Product Manager, and simultaneously advocating for better DEI: how do we ensure people on the team feel like they belong? How do we address DEI for our user base, music & tech industry as a whole?
Since I left 2 years ago, Melodics has made wonderful strides to do the inner work on their own why and built a documented and transparent DEI strategy that has deep buy-in from everyone, and was driven by the CEO which, among other things, includes:
...As well as promoting and supporting local initiatives - like Storyo, and our friends, PeopleForPeople! For the next few months, Melodics is partnering with us to help Storyo share bad-ass stories of women & gender diverse folks with you all!
It was one of the most awesome “exchanges” of value. If I had to summarise it, it went like this:
“Hi Melodics, we are looking for ongoing partners, would you be keen?"
“Cool… so if you want to hear about corporate benefits…”
“No, we love what you do! And want to enable you to do more of it! We are humbled you asked us to be a part of this journey."
For someone who works tirelessly in the arena, having companies that support you in ways that are possible to them because they believe in the importance of your work and because they want to contribute to that shift in culture that we really need is music to my ears. Music… hah… get it? Melodics… music?
Melodics isn’t a big corporate either, they are a team of 40 people who are trying to make it work for their business too. They haven’t “solved” DEI internally (not like anyone can “solve” it), they are just starting. In fact, we are all starting on this journey in some way or another - removing barriers that we built or upheld for so long requires work and courage and commitment.
The tech industry and music industry have a lot of work to do in the area of representation, equity & belonging, and I hope we can all get in the arena together because there is work for everyone here.
This is a message of hope and deep appreciation for the support that Melodics has provided. But, more importantly, it is a letter of gratitude for them doing the work on their why so that I could show all the amazing impact that Storyo has already provided to the world instead of having a “corporate value delivered per dollar spent” conversation.