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WeWork-Owned Meetup Wants To Pick Its New Leader From A More Diverse Pool


The outgoing chief executive of WeWork-owned tech company Meetup has made an impassioned call on Twitter for a more diverse group of candidates to fill the role he is vacating.

Scott Heiferman this week said that the applicants for the role of CEO were “not a diverse pool yet” and that Meetup wanted to avoid falling into the trap of saying it was forced to hire a white male chief exec because that was the only kind of candidate that applied.

“To be clear: We’ll hire the best candidate,” he wrote. “I'll gladly hire a white guy to be CEO if he’s the best candidate. But I’d short-change the co by not meeting a diverse pool of candidates. To find the best candidate, push to meet a diverse pool.

“Pushing for a diverse pool is hard work and sometimes uncomfortable, so pardon me for doing something uncomfortable: I’m asking for help. If you care about seeing more diversity at the top, here’s a way to do something about it.”

Both real estate and tech companies have issues with diversity among leadership positions. In real estate this has led to a significant gender pay gap between men and women.

Heiferman is changing roles to become chairman at the company, which allows its users to find people with similar interests, like dog walking, digitally and then come together in the real world. WeWork bought the company for $200M in 2017.

An article in Wired in 2016 outlined how the company had made efforts to make its leadership, entirely male and white when it was founded, more diverse. Its strategies included hiring people with the right skill set for senior leadership positions, rather than just those that had done the job before; getting senior leadership more involved in the recruitment process, rather than just relying on recruitment consultants; and targeting people who were currently in jobs rather than simply those that applied for the role.