Meet Abadesi Osunsade, the founder of Hustle Crew, which proudly runs on a .CO domain. Hustle Crew is a for-profit social enterprise working to create a more productive workforce within the digital tech sector. Hustle Crew works with young professionals, tech companies, digital agencies, university staff, student unions, schools and non-profits to promote and facilitate greater inclusion. It was founded by Abadesi Osunsade in London in September 2016.
They provide talks, training, books & podcasts and have worked with brand giants such as Google, Pinterest and the BBC. Their mission is to make the tech industry more inclusive and diverse, to allow everyone an opportunity to succeed, as they believe an inclusive workplace is good for business.
The moment Hustle Crew was devised was when Abadesi realized that many of her high achiever male friends, who graduated the same year as her, with the same grades (or lower), at similar companies were earning 2X – 3X more than her. She was gobsmacked — where did she go wrong? She had negotiated every salary she was offered, asked for pay rises at regular intervals and most importantly worked her ass off. What she realized was that there was more to the business world than she had learnt at university.
There were tons of career hacks she had missed along the way, there were the unseen discussions with colleges and informal mentors that people with privilege had more access to than others. Once the penny dropped she knew she had to find a way to democratize access to this information. A way to give more ambitious, talented individuals a place to thrive.
To get this business off the ground one of the biggest obstacles Abadesi had was ensuring that people understood her mission. Abadesi says “People from privileged backgrounds and differing demographics didn’t think that they needed to make their organization more inclusive, when in reality, they desperately needed to”.
“Not everyone understood the mission at first, but I’ve learned that sooner or later they eventually do. A handful of supporters identified that I was onto something early on. Their conviction fueled mine and their unwavering support stopped me from quitting. Their network became my first clients. Those clients referred more, including people who didn’t see a need for diversity. It became full circle.”
“One of her finest moments in the Hustle Crew journey has been helping thousands of people make a career move they had only dreamed about, and collaborate with other organizations championing diversity of all types.” Hustle Crew is so proud to have worked with OUTinTech, POCinTech and YSYS and some of the world’s leading tech businesses to improve diversity and inclusion efforts. Abadesi states “It’ll take a while until we reach complete inclusion in tech, but we are making progress.”
Word to the wise – one of the biggest pieces of advice Hustle Crew has is to have an informal board of advisors. “It doesn’t have to be an official thing, it’s about self-awareness. Identify your weaknesses, your areas of growth, what you need to do to stay resilient — then bring people into your life to support you on these fronts. Make them your co-working buddies, lunch dates and yoga partners. Take a genuine interest in their work and they will invest time in yours. I have an amazing “board” yet I doubt anyone on it knows I think of them as that.”
As to why Hustle Crew is on a .CO domain, Abadesi says “ I wanted a domain that felt noteworthy, international, official and good for SEO”.