As many of you do, on March 8 I wake up and grab my phone.
First, I call my grandmother. Then I call my mom. Then I call my aunties and a number of women that I love to bits that have had an outsized impact on my life.
I called them today but unlike every other day, I had special news to share. I told them that we too are doing our (small) part to make sure the next generation of women have a better opportunity in this world.
I'm excited to be announcing The W Pledge, a new initiative to help close the gender gap.
We're the first contributors in pledging €1M in scholarships - to start.
We want to see more women in our classes and in tech companies in general and we're ready to do whatever it takes to reach that goal.
We took the first leap but are looking to add more partner companies that also care about closing the gap and are willing to put their money where their mouths are.
Why are we doing this, you may ask. Is this some "marketing stunt"? Is this self-serving? Or is this us doing "good"?
It's all of the above. It's just the right thing for a business like us to do in 2021.
If you know me, you know that I don't belong to the "woke" culture. I do not like the endless competition of "wokeness". Or weaponising social issues to grow our own status by showing "purity". The world is messy. I am messy.
On woke culture, my favorite quote is from former POTUS, Barack Obama:
"That is not activism, that is not bringing about change. If all you're doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far".
That is why we also refuse the idea that we are a "social impact business". That's not really a thing anymore.
In our vision, either you run a business, or you run an anti-social business.
Anti-social businesses create huge negative externalities for society and we believe that, ultimately, they will pay a hefty price for that.
We don't want to do that: it's in our best interest to strive to build a business that does good and does well.
If you're interested, you can pre-apply for the W Pledge scholarship here. We'll reach out back as soon as possible.
Now, back to work.
P.S.: if you're interested in helping us train more women and close the gender gap faster, drop me an email at tobia at strive dot school. We are looking for like-minded companies that want to act.