Inclusion Works: Interview with Audius
As part of our new series - Inclusion Works, we've interviewed the team at Audius, a music streaming and sharing platform that puts the power back into the hands of content creators with the help of blockchain. Let’s see what their approach is when it comes to Diversity and Inclusion and how they’re making it a part of their culture and work process, not just another program for the checklist.
What does diversity mean to you as a company?
The right & best ideas come from groups that represent the problems they are solving for. Music is diverse and is successful only through its diversity. It’s imperative to our mission that we reflect that diversity (in race, ethnicity, culture, gender, orientation, economy, and belief) and build products that reach diverse and meaningful audiences through it.
What does inclusion mean to you?
At Audius, we believe that anyone in the world should be able to create value and earn value through the platform we create. That notion breathes through how we organize our team and the products we build. We deliberate, make decisions, and make compromises as a team making sure that everyone is empowered with the tools we use to share their voice and opinions (be it synchronous video calls or asynchronous updates and slack messages). We revisit our company and engineering roadmaps together and speak openly during all-hands meetings. It’s important to our culture that opinions are not shadowed by personalities, but that we provide the space for all voices to be heard and elevated through what we work on.
Why do you think D&I is important?
Not only is it important to invest in diversity, equity, and inclusion from both a team-building and product-building perspective, it is important for us to actively engage with each other around the hard-topics and challenges that our industry faces and that becoming passive towards them is equally as damaging toward achieving our mission.
What actions is Audius taking to become more diverse?
Becoming a more diverse team begins with hiring and building the diversity that represents the industry we serve. It continues through executing on our mission to enfranchise artists of all backgrounds, beliefs, and walks of life. As a remote-first organization, our company is uniquely positioned to be able to bring in talented voices from wherever they are, independent of location, but it is our duty to not stop at building the team, but to value and cherish diversity internally.
What actions is the company taking to become more inclusive?
Cultural team-building events at Audius are brought about from members on the team and compensated by the company. We’ve had cooking classes around the Lunar New Year, watched a panel conversation at the Smithsonian during Black History Month, held book clubs and show-and-tells where everyone is given the opportunity to share their authentic self with work. We’re a company that cares a lot about building relationships between employees and one-on-one time with everyone from our founders to our peers is vital to our growth and the inclusivity of our whole team.
What challenges have you faced while on this journey?
The Tech Industry and the Music Industry both have deep histories of underrepresentation. Growing our team intentionally and directly to combat some of these issues is challenging but crucial to our success.
Does Audius have any initiatives for helping diverse candidates to get into tech?
Audius is an open platform – beyond the traditional sense of open technology. Code, data, and ownership of the protocol is open and diffused across a broader community than just our company. Through efforts engaging directly with our community (on platforms like Discord), we empower everyone who might not have a Computer Science degree or first-hand experience writing code to be able to build on top of Audius and own into the protocol. In fact, the Audius Discord bot, which powers over 50 discord servers listening to music in the Audius ecosystem, is entirely developed by the open community.
If you like Audius' approach to D&I and the way they’re incorporating that into building their product, you can take a look at their open roles and apply here!
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