diversity, equity, and inclusion updates:
a letter to the community

This illustration is by Brandy Brown, Instagram @maraboudesign, a member of Minted’s community of independent artists. Brandy Brown designs with the modern family and their extraordinary friends in mind. She resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and believes that function and clean design go hand and hand. Brandy describes her aesthetic as both playful & smart, and specializes in Graphic Art and Editorial Styling.

What We Are Doing

Credit: Brandy Brown, Marabou Design, Instagram

December 22, 2020

To all members of our Minted family,

Minted has always stood for inclusivity and meritocracy. One of our most cherished beliefs is that great design and art should rise to the top based on merit alone. Our design crowdsourcing platform strives to remove all other forms of bias that have historically made it very difficult for independent artists to get their work to market. Personal connections and gallery representation shouldn’t be prerequisites. A degree from a fancy design school shouldn’t be a price of entry. Gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability - none of these factors should determine whether one can build a career in art and design.

This summer, I announced the beginning of new diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Minted that embody our longstanding values and drive near-term action in areas where we have room to improve. We are interested in long-lasting changes, even though those kinds of systemic changes often take longer than quick-fix band aids.

I’m pleased to announce some of the initial highlights of our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative.

1. We have made a $50,000 donation to Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG), a nonprofit organization that aims to “combat the lack of representation of Black talent and culture in the design industry.” We are actively discussing more ways to collaborate with BADG, so please stay tuned.

2. We are announcing our goal of doubling the representation of Black and Latinx artists in our artist community in the next 2 years. Our internal study determined that these two groups of artists are underrepresented in our artist community relative to the U.S. population at large. Our 2-year goals:

  • Double the % share of active artists in our community who are Black and Latinx
  • Double the % share of Design Challenge submissions from Black and Latinx artists

3. We will eliminate non-anonymous voting from our Design Challenges, even though it already represents a small fraction of our overall votes. In anonymous voting, the voter does not see the identity of the artist. The vast majority of our votes - and 90% of our consumer votes - already come from anonymous voting. We will increase these rates to 100%.

4. We will continue our 12-year long statistical analysis to understand and root out all forms of bias in our crowdsourcing process. Over the years, we’ve identified many forms of bias that can affect voting and the outcomes of our Design Challenges. We will continue to commission deep data dives on each step in our process to root out bias. If there are interesting learnings to share, we will share them publicly.

5. Internally, we expanded our Employee Resource Groups. We now have employee-led ERGs for Black and African Descent, Latinx employees, and LGBTQ+ employees. I’m thrilled to see our employees take on leadership roles to bring these groups to life.

We have much more work ahead of us. The level of passion and commitment that our Minted employees are dedicating to this initiative give me confidence that we will make lasting changes for the better. If you have any ideas as to how we can do better, as always, let me know.

Mariam Naficy
Founder & CEO, Minted