5 Social Justice Startups to Watch in 2022
The last few years have seen an unprecedented amount of attention fall on social injustice. From the George Floyd protests to the growing support of universal basic income in the US, the country — the world, really — has never been more aware of its lingering issues.
Fortunately, there are some smart people working to solve these problems, and they’ve created some intriguing companies to try and make a difference. The wider global community of technology companies is paying close attention, as well.
Writing about the current momentum that “social entrepreneurship” has seen lately, HubSpot’s Dan Tyre notes that he’s seen “a significant uptick and interest in companies that have a basic alignment in social responsibility, meaning the mission is not just to grow and make money, but to do good in the universe.”
Here are five of the top social justice startups to watch in the coming year.
Vault aims to pioneer what it calls “TrustTech” — a new category of software intended to help make workplace ethics and misconduct reporting more safe, reliable, secure, and trustworthy.
At the peak of #MeToo, a 2019 study by Gartner found that only 41% of workplace misconduct is reported, which could, at least in part, be due to outdated methods and systems for handling these cases. The Vault platform offers tools to change that, including:
- A mobile app for incident reporting.
- A web-based interface that enables even customers and vendors to report incidents.
- A resolution hub that makes case resolution simpler for ethics, compliance, and HR teams.
- Robust analytics to help locate cultural issues within a company.
Vault offers solutions for nearly any ethical reporting need, from fraud and bribery to discrimination and sexual harassment. The available tools make the process safe and simple for the reporter while aiding resolution for the team working the case.
Experts believe that by the year 2065, there won’t be any one racial or ethnic majority in the United States. Considering that, it’s no wonder that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace has become a major topic of discussion. However, while the US has never been more of a melting pot, there’s still a long way to go before the actual demographic diversity is properly represented in the workplace.
Joonko is a platform for recruiters looking to increase diversity in their hiring processes. HR teams can use Joonko’s feed to discover qualified candidates from underrepresented sectors. There are plenty of diversity and inclusion solutions out there these days, but what sets Joonko apart is the unique approach it takes to pre-qualify candidates.
The platform boasts an enormous candidate pool — over 108,000 at the time of writing. The candidate pool is the result of Joonko bringing together partner companies, among them major US employers, to share their candidates. When a company in Joonko’s network makes a hiring decision, the remaining qualified applicants (Joonko calls them “silver medalists”) for that position are automatically added to the talent pool, and then matched with relevant positions from the other companies.
The sharing of candidates among Joonko’s partnering companies serves all sides — companies get to cut significant time on sourcing, and the candidates themselves get a second and third chance of landing a position.
3. Legal Equalizer
The role of law enforcement is to protect and serve the public, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. However, recent high-profile cases have shown that this is far from reality for everyone.
Legal Equalizer aims to help ease fears for people during encounters with law enforcement. It’s a mobile app (available for iOS and Android) that provides several potentially life-saving features, including:
- A list of your rights during a police encounter, as well as tips on how and when to respond.
- State-specific laws that you might need to be aware of.
- The ability to alert pre-selected emergency contacts to let them know you’ve been stopped — with a single tap. You can even share a map of your exact location.
- The ability to record the encounter, with automatic upload to the app’s servers in the event your phone is confiscated.
- Access to a network of attorneys you can contact for legal assistance.
The app is extremely simple to use: each function gets its own tab, with large buttons that can easily be hit, even during high-anxiety situations. The thorough features and thoughtful design make this one a winner.
It’s an unfortunate reality, but even in late 2021, the gender pay gap still exists. According to data from Pew Research, it remains alive and well, with women earning 84% of what men made in 2020. That gap has been the same for the last 15 years, and it widens even further for Black women, who are making an average of 63 cents for every dollar made by white men.
Syndio aims to help change that. It offers a pay equity platform for businesses that makes it easier to resolve pay inequities — whatever the reason. It can help find and resolve pay gaps based on gender, race, ethnicity, and more.
And it makes the process much faster than traditional methods.
Syndio’s PayEQ software enables companies to analyze pay equity across the organization and rapidly identify disparities. It can also be used to help prevent pay inequities in an organization by continuously monitoring pay rates and analyzing proposed changes to ensure that everyone is on the same page (and pay scale).
Our final startup is fittingly aimed at helping other startups — namely, nonprofits — maximize their impact. Instil offers a platform to help nonprofits stay organized, improve relationships with donors, and prepare presentations.
Instil is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that offers a robust feature set geared specifically to the needs of nonprofit organizations.
There’s functionality for donor management, corporate sponsor management, fundraising campaign tracking, and robust analytics and reporting. Instil also makes it simple to integrate your other tools, such as fundraising and donation platforms.
Finally, the company’s development roadmap is quite promising — there are plans to add volunteer management, member management, and scheduling functions to further ease operations for nonprofits.
Powering the future of social justice
As the world becomes more aware of the social injustices that continue to lurk in society, the call to action has grown. With it, so have innovative startups aiming to change the world.
Whether it’s equality in pay or in the eyes of the law, there’s a startup reshaping how we feel about these issues — and what we do about them.