Vi-Vien is currently an MFA student at the University of San Francisco and is consulting at Atipica on content and strategy.
It’s been a month since I joined Atipica. Their data-driven software uses AI to help minimize bias and promote diversity and inclusion in the hiring process. I had just come from a workplace that left me a little terrified of tech and all the connotations that came with it. With Atipica, I didn’t know what to expect. Here are my thoughts on my time here thus far, split up into the three topics that have made my time here distinct and memorable.
Atipica is “building the world’s first Inclusive AI for the talent life cycle.” We’re working towards a more diverse and inclusive hiring funnel in tech. The products provide insights on how inclusive a company’s hiring funnel is, step by step. The ultimate goal is to empower hiring teams to make the applicant experience more equitable.
The first time I saw the products, I was floored. We’re a small team, still under ten people. Our products are robust and intuitive enough to look like they had required the work of dozens.
Last week, I went to an onsite meeting with executives of a major public company. For them, diversity and inclusion was a top priority. They were in in awe of the different functions that could support their current diversity initiatives and also give them insights on areas they could improve.
Before we left, a hiring executive told us that this was the best meeting she had all day. Our CEO seemed equally enthusiastic as we exited the building. “Small startups aren’t easy to run, but when you meet with companies that seem as excited about your product as you are, it makes it all worth it.”
I considered titling this “company culture,” but company culture starts and ends with the people in the room. Or, in cases of distributed teams like ourselves, the people in the Google Hangout. A week into my time at Atipica, I went on the annual team offsite at a cabin in Burlingame. Being able to cook and eat and play games together was surprisingly important. I saw firsthand the synchronicity and camaraderie that is required to create a high-functioning, inclusivity-prioritizing product.
Atipica is led by solo founder and CEO Laura I Gomez, a veteran in the tech industry who has been featured on several publications, including CNN and USA Today. On a train back from a meeting, she told me about how people seemed to think her life was full of glitz and glam. Her calendar was full of meetings with potential clients and investors, speaking panels, and running the entire company. I didn’t often see Laura treat herself to aforementioned glitz and glam; I mostly just saw her hustle.
Everyone else hustles as well. This distributed team communicates more efficiently than many local teams I’ve worked with. Everyone is willing to help each other at a moment’s notice, and the “bro-grammer” culture isn’t around. The talent is undeniable. So is the humility, work ethic, and the standard for excellence.
I don’t read many articles about Silicon Valley that are glowing with praise. To put it lightly, the lack of diversity in the tech bubble is crippling. I see these buzzwords being thrown around often while, in reality, little change is being made.
Silicon Valley’s reputation seems increasingly ostentatious and elitist. Deserved or not, it’s a breath of fresh air to work in a place that practices what it preaches.
At our offsite retreat, we discussed company values. We came up with a handful of important ideas, but my favorite is build with purpose. While still only in our second seed round, we’re slowly adding members to our small and mighty team. We’re getting more potential investors and clients excited about not just a fancy gadget, but a tool that empowers inclusion and empathy in an industry that needs it. You can be sure that whatever you see next from Atipica, we’re going to build our team and our product with deliberation, excitement, and lots and lots of purpose.