The HubSpot Culture Code states a guiding aspiration of ours as an organization: to build a company that reflects the diversity of our customers. Over the past five years, our diversity, inclusion and belonging (DI&B) work has been necessary to make progress on that vision, but it hasn’t been sufficient. As our CEO and Co-Founder Brian Halligan shared in an open letter in support of Black Lives Matter last year, we must do more to drive real, lasting change for communities of color, both at HubSpot and beyond. 

That’s why, as part of HubSpot’s larger Black Lives Matter action plan based on feedback, ideas, and conversations with our Black employees, we’re excited to announce HubSpot’s Black Advisory Board today. 

The mission of the Black Advisory Board will be to provide feedback and guidance on how we can grow better as a company, including, but not limited to all matters of inclusion, with a focus on how we can improve the HubSpot experience for Black candidates, employees, customers, and partners. The four members of the advisory board represent a variety of global expertise in technology, DI&B, and customer experience: 

  • Leslie Forde is the founder of Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs, a startup that has been profoundly helpful to us already at HubSpot in the midst of COVID-19. We’re excited to continue to learn from her on parental inclusion and how we can better welcome and support BIPOC leaders in tech. 
  • Dr. Claudia Igbrude is the Learning Technology Business Partner at PayPal Global Customer Solutions. Her passion and experience in designing and implementing technologies for training and talent development  along with her work in justice by design will help to guide our own practices. 
  • Jeanine Francis is the DI&B International Lead EMEA and LATAM at LinkedIn. Her corporate and local community work to ensure people have access to equal opportunities to thrive and grow will help us consider how we think about inclusion from a global perspective. 
  • Dantley Davis is the Chief Design Officer at Twitter and his work building inclusion into design principles and customer feedback will be extremely valuable as we improve our platform of software and support for customers. 

“Building an organization that’s representative of the world we live in is critical to our success as a company. The outside perspective of this group of experts will help us see our blindspots when it comes to building truly inclusive teams, processes, products and experiences for our employees, customers and partners", said Celeste Narganes, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at HubSpot. “We’re incredibly excited to learn from Leslie, Claudia, Jeanine and Dantley and look forward to their impact as we continue to push ourselves to grow better.”

The four founding members of the Black Advisory Board will work with HubSpot through January 2022, and their commitment will include: 

  • Mentorship with an executive HubSpot leader and two members of our BLACKhub Employee Resource Group (ERG), sharing insights and advice on how we can collectively work to make HubSpot a better and more inclusive workplace. 
  • Sharing honest and open feedback on how to make our go-to-market, customer and partner strategies more thoughtful and inclusive of Black-owned, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses. 
  • Identifying areas of improvement across recruiting, retention, promotion and leadership practices. 
  • Participating in ERG programming, as well as in HubTalks (internal talks with external leaders we admire organized for HubSpot employees), and other DI&B initiatives.  

We believe that in order to build a company our grandchildren would be proud of, we have to focus on walking the walk in our DI&B work, not just talking the talk. That’s why the Black Advisory Board is a critical component of HubSpot’s Black Lives Matter action plan, developed with our Black employees’ ideas for fighting systemic racism, creating a more inclusive company, and helping to make tech a more equitable community. The plan’s four pillars are introspection, investment, inclusion, and impact. This includes initiatives related to recruiting and retention, customer commitments, deeper investment in our local communities, and more. 

We’re grateful to our newest Advisory Board members for guiding us in this work and helping HubSpot find opportunities to make a greater impact.

For more information about HubSpot’s diversity, inclusion, and belonging efforts, visit


Originally published Jan 26, 2021 8:30:00 AM, updated January 19 2023