Hey girl (or minority guy),
We are a late-stage startup with a C-suite comprised entirely of twenty-something dudes who used to live in the same dorm at college, and now work out at each other’s home gyms on weekends. We had been working to take our startup public when Goldman Sachs announced that it would no longer help IPO companies without at least one “diverse” board member. As you can imagine, this has left us scrambling to find a token minority willing to join our leadership team before our Series C funding runs out. Preferably a woman, but as long as our bankers are willing to count an Indian man as “diverse,” we are too.
(We are still confirming whether LGBT also counts towards the requirement, but for the moment, we are open to applicants from this group as well.)
Whatever kind of minority you are, it would be helpful if you could be very visible about your minority status, at least in our company leadership photos (perhaps by wearing a rainbow lapel pin, or a pink kimono). That way, if we are ever accused in some gotcha-journalism op-ed of having a toxic company culture, we can point to your picture on the website and exclaim, “But that’s impossible. Just look at this homosexual/Japanese/woman we have on our management team!”
Having more diversity like you on our board is super important to us, because companies with diverse board members have higher stock prices, and higher stock prices are super important to us. In our defense, it’s not due to a lack of effort that we lack diversity. Our management team is constantly on the lookout for new talent to bring to the company. But no matter where we network—on the golf course, in our “Finance Bros” WhatsApp group, at gentlemen’s clubs, you name it—we just haven’t been able to find any women, or minorities, or whatever, that have the skills and interest in serving on our board.
But point taken. We promise to try harder.
We appreciate the unique business insights and years of industry experience that a diverse board member like you can bring to the table. That is why we plan to give you full authority over all note-taking during board meetings. We also encourage you to express your views and take an active part in debates on the future of the company, for example by nodding politely whenever the CEO is talking, or murmuring in agreement after you’ve been interrupted by another director. Occasional interjections such as “That’s a great idea!” or “I like John’s suggestion” are also appreciated, especially since we have three people on the management team named John.
Just so you’re aware, the current board members all refer to each other by chummy nicknames based on their initials, some innuendo about their sexual prowess, or an inside joke that would take too long to explain. That just goes to show what a tightknit, collegial work environment we have. Of course, we will wholeheartedly embrace you as one of us by giving you a nickname as well. Something that demonstrates how much we value your contribution to the team, like “Dollface” or “Quota.”
If you’re not a fan of these nicknames, we can refer to you as “Mrs. <insert your husband’s last name here>” instead. Whatever makes you feel comfortable.
If all this sounds like a dream role for you, swing by our founder’s house between the hours of 11 PM and 3 AM to drop off your resume. He’ll most likely be in the backyard, chilling in the hot tub, so feel free to bring your own swimsuit (or not!) and join in.
And if you’ve got a sister or a gay brother, encourage them to send in their resume too, because starting in 2021, Goldman Sachs is going to require us to have at least two of you diversity hires on our board.
Look forward to working with you!