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Tech has a homogeneity problem. Karla Monterroso — a longtime leadership coach, racial equity advocate and the founder of Brava Leaders — jumped on Equity last week to talk about how that issue was complicated by a bull cycle that saw power in visionary pitches — something now tested by a bear market in which talent is constantly turning over and founders have to make critical decisions with second- and third-order effects.


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Monterroso argued that a diverse workforce needs more than well-intentioned leaders to function properly. The skillset of a founder in 2022 comes with emotional intelligence on how to handle conflict, a mature understanding of power and the ability to offer context around decisions in a way that empowers their staff.

“We’re going to need leadership that is actually much more comfortable with complexity.” Karla Monterroso

To me, the takeaway from this episode is just how big the startup founder’s job is today, regardless of stage or scale.

My entire conversation with Monterroso lives now wherever you find podcasts, so take a listen if you haven’t yet. Below, we extracted a few key takeaways from the interview, from tech’s allergy to conflict to the consequences of widespread layoffs.

What do you commonly see needing to change within organizations seeking to create a more diverse workforce beyond hiring? How do you begin to fine-tune your culture so your diverse workforce is taken care of?

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