Black Lives Matter
June 2, 2020
For those in the black community, we know you carry an extra burden right now and 23andMe stands in solidarity with you.
Our company is based on the foundation that all of us are linked by a shared thread - DNA - that we are genetically 99.5% the same. We share so much in common, yet black and brown skin means you will disproportionately experience injustices and prejudice that can put lives on completely different trajectories.
I feel awful and overwhelmed by the events going on. Hashtag after hashtag, there is little meaningful change. How can we break the cycle? The world is filled with people who, I believe, genuinely want to create an equitable society but are unsure how to take the first step to make that happen. We all have habits we need to break, biases we need to actively fight and silence we need to end.
As a leader who really cares, I feel the responsibility to not just talk about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, but to make meaningful changes and contributions through my own actions and how we operate at 23andMe. Our management team, Board and employee base must have greater diversity. I am ashamed to say I do not have a single black employee who is at Director level or above. Our product is euro-centric but must expand to be inclusive and equitable. We absolutely have the potential to be better. Despite our efforts, I have to honestly say that we are also part of the problem.
I'm holding myself accountable. I'm holding 23andMe accountable. And I'm asking that our customers hold us accountable. This will include making sure that we change our hiring practices, that we make sure we give greater promotional opportunities within the company, that we dedicate resources to evolve our product to better represent all communities and that my management team and Board have more inclusive representation.
George Floyd and many others in the black community died an unjust and tragic death. I send my deepest sympathy to the families, friends and communities that are grieving. We regrettably cannot change the past but I can certainly learn from this and will do everything I can to be part of changing the future.
CEO and Co-founder, 23andMe
23andMe and its employees will make donations to the following non-profit organizations.
We encourage everyone to contribute.