Our Antiracism Commitment

Reflecting on Year One

Our Antiracism Commitment

Reflecting on Year One

Sports should be about play, striving and joy. And, more than anything, sports has the power to unite us. But all this isn’t possible without racial equity. That’s a realization we as a company came to far too late. 

Our data spanning over a decade clearly shows the impact of environmental racism in Black communities and the inequality of participation in cycling and running for Black athletes. As a company that serves over 85 million athletes all over the world, we have a responsibility to create the space and conditions for a healthy platform, to learn from and build with diverse perspectives, and to use our resources to further racial equity.

In June 2020, Strava made a commitment to becoming an antiracist company. We took this action in the wake of the many police killings and repeated injustices that happened to Black people in the United States last spring, including the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and culminating in, but not ending with, the murder of George Floyd. We now see our former lack of awareness and inaction as inexcusable and a privileged perspective that harmed our BIPOC teammates and global community of athletes, and denied the truth.

A year ago we said we must do better, and we will . What follows are the actions we’ve taken in year one of our journey and what we plan to do next.

Centering antiracism inside Strava

We realized that we needed to make adjustments to the inside of Strava before we could make meaningful improvements in our product and in the community. We set forth to change the composition of our company as well as the culture within it so that we could more fully support our antiracism commitment. 

Here are some ways we’ve prioritized antiracism inside Strava during year one and commitments we are making for year two.

  • Company Values Strava’s company values are the north star we look to as we build for and celebrate athletes and they’re the standards we measure ourselves against. This year we added antiracism to our core values of authenticity, balance, craftsmanship, commitment and camaraderie. This addition reflects a permanent shift in how we work together and what matters to us most. 

  • Holding Space One of our biggest learnings of the past year has been to slow down and hold space when traumatizing events happen, so that our teammates can process their thoughts and emotions without the pressure of continuing business as usual. Groups created in the past year by and for our Black, Latinx, and AAPI teammates meet regularly to create a safe space to build camaraderie, share with and support one another. And there are layers of intersectionality and diversity that we will support as we move forward in year two.

  • Education We took time to learn, reflect, discuss, and build a shared language to talk about race and racism. In parallel, members of our Antiracism Working Group developed The Framework, our own internal foundational guide to supporting our teammates on their journey to living into antiracism. In year two, The Framework will be the cornerstone of how our team develops a deeper understanding of unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, and centering on antiracism in the workplace.  

  • Representation We’ve redesigned our hiring and promotion practices to reduce bias and work toward racial representation throughout all levels of the company, especially in leadership roles. Our careers page is updated quarterly with our progress. Additionally, we’ve introduced antiracism competencies into our performance management and promotion process. We acknowledge we have yet to increase representation at the executive level and will approach the currently open searches so as to recruit the best possible person for each role from a richly diverse set of candidates. 

  • Celebration We’re marking moments like Black History Month and AAPI Heritage Month with more robust celebration and learning through invited speakers and team events. And we’re observing important days, including Juneteenth (June 19) and Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 11), as paid company holidays.

Advancing racial equity in our product and the Strava Community

The whole community is stronger and better when every athlete can experience the joy of sport and the camaraderie of inclusion in the group. The following represents both the changes we’ve made this year, and commitments we’re determined to undertake in the year ahead. 

  • Promoting and protecting a healthy community platform Our community standards now require that any athlete on Strava agrees to actively work against discrimination in all forms in the Strava community. And in year one, we enhanced tools and added staff to combat hate speech and remove offenders from Strava when they act out of line with these standards. 

  • Shaping the Strava experience with antiracism in mind  Our product development process charts the course for the features we make and how they work. In year one, we changed our approach to product planning and prioritization to better consider the impact of the choices we make on people of color all over the world. We doubled the size of our research team to ensure we’re asking athletes what they need and what we can do better. In the year to come, we’ll be working on feature improvements that could enhance athlete peace of mind while being active. 

  • A commitment to elevate diverse athlete stories and perspectives We are committed to storytelling and marketing that reflects the diverse global athlete community. This extends to the artists and teams behind the cameras and computers who we work with to craft these stories. To help us gain perspective we've lacked, we established an Antiracism Advisory Board of marketing leaders who we compensate for their contributions to helping us do better.

  • Challenge Grant Program Strava-promoted challenges offer organizations a way to amplify their cause and increase their reach, but they can be expensive for non-profits. In 2020, we donated 15 challenges for non-profits focused on racial justice and the environment. These helped raise over $2M in support of these causes. In 2021, we’re expanding this grant program.

  • Antiracism Donation Matching Program Strava provided $100,000 in support of several non-profits working to promote social justice and antiracism via direct donations from the company and through matching donations made by employees. In year two we are doubling Strava’s financial commitment here.

  • Mentorship Opportunities Our team created a mentorship program to connect Strava employees with students, professionals and entrepreneurs. In 2021, we had 25 mentor-mentee pairs kick off the program, and we’re excited for the next round later this month. 

  • Strava Metro In the year to come we’re committed to leveraging Strava Metro data to take intentional first steps against environmental racism and inequitable access to cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

The commitment we made to becoming an antiracist company last June was a long overdue starting point. And there is no finish line. We remain committed to antiracism, we will not leave this work, and we will hold ourselves accountable for doing better – as a team, a product, a company – in service of our community.