CEO Jacob Hsu shares why diversity builds innovation

By Adam Curtis

The U.S. The Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency interviewed our CEO Jacob Hsu as part of a series for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month. The conversation focused on the business benefits of diversity, Catalyte’s process for finding and training hidden technology talent and the company’s actions to create an inclusive corporate culture.

You can read an excerpt of the interview below. You can read the full transcript here.

MBDA: It appears that your Catalyte executive leadership team is very diverse; and research consistently shows that there is a substantial positive correlation between diverse leadership teams and financial performance. Do you have any advice for other small businesses on how to achieve this?

Jacob Hsu: Business owners need to understand that diversity isn’t something to cultivate just to feel good about yourself or your company. Diversity is important because it helps you build innovation and expand the problem-solving capacity of your organization. It creates stronger and wiser teams.

This is what diversity offers you: the ability to see problems ahead of time and have the different perspectives, ideas, insights and solutions to overcome disruptions and build a company that grows stronger over time.

You need people who don’t look, think or act like you in the room when decisions are made. This ensures that you see as many possible disruptions ahead of time and have as many possible solutions to work from when they hit.

MBDA: Has Catalyte taken any actions to address our country’s social injustice issues with staff?

Jacob Hsu: My message to everyone at Catalyte is that you belong here and your voice matters.

Diversity isn’t the end. It’s a start. What matters is belonging and inclusion. You’re not an outsider. You’re not a foreigner. You’re one of us.

It’s important that Catalyte is an active participant in solving our economic inequality crisis and providing meaningful opportunities to people who have historically been excluded from the technology industry. At Catalyte, they do belong.

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