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Latina Lista: News from the Latino perspective > Columns & Features > Guest Voz > Guest Voz: Latina tech founder shares lesson that comes with team diversity. And it’s not what you think.

Guest Voz: Latina tech founder shares lesson that comes with team diversity. And it’s not what you think.

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By Jacqueline Ros
LatinaLista

If you need me I’ll be there — it’s the implicit promise we make to those we love and it’s why Revolar exists. Revolar is a discreet wearable whose only job is to keep you and your loved ones safe. Hi! I’m Jackie the CEO of Revolar. My co-founder Andrea and I have experienced many successes and failures on our Revolar journey, and this is our way of sharing what we’ve learned.

Diversity in a team means more than just where people are from. It’s about diversity of perspectives. People can be diverse in their backgrounds or life experiences or in cycles of life. But diversity isn’t easy.

It’s easy to work with people who think like you. It’s not easy to get push-back or tough feedback on a consistent basis. Diversity makes for better products, because they see things you wouldn’t. They think in ways you wouldn’t. It’s powerful but new — and new can be hard.

I know this from experience. Revolar is an incredibly diverse tech team with 22 full-time team members. We range in age from 22-60 years old and are 25% Latino and 75% mix from all over, including Russia, Thailand, and Canada. Our team is also 50% Female and 50% Male.

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However, I’ve found frequently with some of the younger team members, and more specifically the younger female team members, that a lack of confidence holds them back. They are talented, smart, ambitious, creative, funny and empathetic — all these wonderful reasons why we hired them in the first place!

The struggle comes with giving and receiving feedback.

Feedback is critical in a diverse team. I want people on my team to speak up, stand up, and express themselves respectfully. With time on our team, we’ve seen members become more confident, more secure in their conversations.

On our team, we call this professional courage.

It’s easier to avoid uncomfortable conversations, but in the long run, it hurts culture and development. It’s also easy to feel defensive when receiving feedback. However, take some space, practice with someone you trust, and get in there! Be your best professionally courageous self, fail fast and stay flexible.

Jacqueline Ros is the CEO & Founder of the wearable tech company Revolar.com</em>

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