Anti-racism is a process of actively identifying and opposing racism. It is centred around the goal to challenge racism and work to change the policies, behaviours, and beliefs that perpetuate racist ideas and actions. Systematic racism permeates our surroundings as it is deeply embedded in our culture and communities, including schools, the justice system, government, hospitals, and within companies. Combatting this pervasive issue among our society is more than simply claiming that one is “not racist.” Creating awareness and tangible action steps around the institutional and structural problems that upholds White supremacy and contributes to racist behaviours, attitudes, and policies is key for actually affecting change.
Strava is an exemplary company for implementing a thoughtful and realistic plan to face this challenging reality. They have outwardly expressed their commitment to antiracism and achieving racial equity within their company. They share, “sports should be about play, striving and joy. And, more than anything, sports have the power to unite us. But all this isn’t possible without racial equity.” Strava serves over 85 million athletes around the world. They are dedicated to creating the space and conditions for a healthy platform, to learn from and build with diverse perspectives, and to use their resources to achieve racial equity.
They are taking responsibility as a company for identifying thier part in making improvements in this area. In doing so, they have changed their composition and culture so they can more fully support antiracism.
Five Ways Strava Is Prioritising Anti-racism
- Company Values: Strava’s core values drive their unified, collaborative and passionate team to build the most engaged community of athletes in the world. Antiracism was added to their already established values of authenticity, balance, craftsmanship, commitment and camaraderie. This addition reflects a permanent shift in how they work together and what matters most.
- Holding Space: When traumatising events happen, Strava has established the importance of slowing down and creating a safe space for teammates to process their thoughts and emotions on the matter, without the pressure of continuing “business as usual.” Groups have been created, including Black, Latinx, and AAPI teammates, to regularly meet to express, share and build camaraderie in support of one another. They are also in the process of endorsing the layers of intersectionality and diversity.
- Education: Strava took the time to learn, reflect, discuss, and build a shared language to talk about race and racism. In parallel, members of their Antiracism Working Group developed The Framework, their own internal foundational guide to supporting their teammates on their journey of living into antiracism. The Framework is on its way to be the cornerstone of how their team develops a deeper understanding of unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, and centring on antiracism in the workplace.
- Representation: Strava has redesigned thier hiring and promotion practices to reduce bias and work toward racial representation throughout all levels of the company, especially in leadership roles. They update their career page quarterly with their progress made and have introduced antiracism competencies into their performance management and promotion process. They are making more of a concerted effort to increase representation at the executive level with having in mind to recruit the best possible person for each role from a richly diverse set of candidates.
- Celebration: They’re making moments like Black History Month and AAPI Heritage Month with more robust celebration and learning through invited speakers and team events. Additionally, Strava is observing important days, including Juneteeth (June 19) and Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 11), as paid company holidays.
Strava is not only advancing racial equity within their company culture, but also within their product. Inclusivity remains at the heart of what Strava offers to their users. A few noteworthy elements that they have incorporated in the app are:
- Shaping the Strava experience with antiracism in mind: The product development process charts the course for the features they make and how they work. Strava has shifted their approach to product planning and prioritisation to better consider the impact of the choices people make on people of colour worldwide. Through this realisation, they have since doubled the size of their research team to ensure they’re asking athletes what they need and how they can consistently improve, incorporating features that enhance peace of mind to the athlete’s mind whilst being active.
- A commitment to elevate diverse athlete stories and perspectives: Strava is committed to storytelling and marketing that reflects the diverse global athlete community. This extends to the artists and teams behind the cameras and computers who they work with to craft these stories. To help them gain perspective, they’ve established an Antiracism Advisory Board of marketing leaders who they compensate for their contributions to helping them do better.
- Challenge Grant Programme: Strava – promoted challenges offer organisations a way to amplify their cause and increase their reach, but they can be expensive for non-profits. In 2020, Strava donated 15 challenges for non-profits focused on racial justice and the environment. These helped raise over $2M in support of these causes. They’ve since expanded this programme.
- Mentorship Opportunities: The company has created a mentorship programme to connect Strava employees with students, professional and entrepreneurs. In 2021, they had 25 mentor-mentee pairs kick off the programme and have significantly grown since.
Strava has made substantial strides since 2020 towards becoming an antiracist company. They remain committed to racial equity and will continue to take actions to foster a cohesive and healthy culture that will uplift and support their employees.
Interested to join the team at Strava? Check out open opportunities here