Hobnob 2: Doug van Spronsen

Versett is a digital agency with clients all around the world – their role is helping companies design, build and scale their business. They offer specific services like software design and UX/UI development, but those specific offerings are meant to address a bigger question: how should this particular company or product be built, in order to be competitive?

Unsurprisingly, that’s a question Doug van Spronsen and his partners had to ask themselves in founding Versett. And one of the key things they landed on was that a digital agency is made up of people – the engineers, designers and consultants who empower their clients to achieve more. They set out to build Versett as a human-centred organization, and to be truly human-centred, they had to make diversity and inclusion a priority.

For the past five years, the agency has made a concerted, company-wide push toward greater inclusiveness and diversity. That journey has involved extensive research, engaging with thought leaders, setting measurable benchmarks and staying publicly accountable to them – even when that’s uncomfortable. It’s not the kind of work that’s ever finished, but it’s the kind of work we need to start building a more equitable world.

In this week’s Hobnob, Michael talks with Doug about the process and outcomes of creating a more inclusive agency. Given that the advertising industry is still much less diverse than it should be, it’s important food for thought – and Versett has shared more details on their goals, their progress and the areas where they still need to do better here.