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Katrina Lake, Stitch Fix founder and CEO, says trying to find people who fit in is the ‘anti-diversity’

“What I hope is that we can become the living and breathing example of why diversity is important,” Lake said at Code Conference.

As a public company CEO, Katrina Lake said having a diverse team was always good for Stitch Fix. And now she wants the company to serve as an example of a big public company with a great deal of diversity of demographics as well as thought.

“What I hope is we can be the living, breathing example of why diversity is important and how you can build that into a large publicly traded company,” Lake said at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. “But now I feel more of a responsibility to make sure people see us as that.”

Lake said she didn’t build a diverse team by looking to fill quotas for different demographics but was trying to do what was right for the business. To her, building a good business required a diversity of perspectives.

“It wasn’t necessarily I was going through and building the team that way and saying this person needs to be X or Y,” Lake said. “But actually one of the things that has been valuable is this concept of culture add versus culture fit. Companies will say ... you’ll meet a candidate and say, ‘Is this person a culture fit?’ [But] trying to find a person who fits in is the anti-diversity.

“Growth comes from learning,” she continued. “The way your company grows is by trying new things, and that ... comes from seeing different perspectives, and that can come from people you surround yourself with.”

Watch her full interview below.

This article originally appeared on

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