Searching for Meaning: People Want to Work for Start-ups Tackling Climate Change

Virginia Aulin

February 7, 2023

Free food! Concierge services and onsite massages! Bring your pet to work!

These have often been hallmarks of high-tech Silicon Valley recruiting strategies. Along with big bucks and benefits, of course. The quid pro quo could often be long, intense hours. And what better way to keep people at the office longer than a snack bar on every corner and fancy complimentary cuisine in the company cafeteria?

Things are changing.

People want more meaning in their work. They want to be part of organizations that are trying to make the world a better place. And, more and more, that means a focus on the environmental health of our planet.

A headline in last week’s New York Times tells the story succinctly: “‘Recession Resilient’ Climate Start-Ups Shine in Tech Downturn: Tech workers and investors are flocking to start-ups that aim to combat climate change.”

The investor part of the equation is fodder for a follow-up blog (watch this space!).

But as an HR professional who has spent many years determining how best to attract – and retain – great talent (competitive comp and benefits being only the starting point – providing a workplace culture of inclusion, teamwork, flexibility and respect for each other and the environment is now the foundation) and someone increasingly concerned about the consequences of climate change, this is music to my ears.

Photon’s founding team is passionate about becoming the most trusted electric propulsion provider serving the most fragile ecosystems and communities around the world. And they have been successful at recruiting intelligent, creative, ambitious people, who describe their rationale for joining Photon like this:

“It’s a space that I was excited about because of a problem that Photon is helping solve, which is climate change. I was very happy to be in a space that very much aligned with goals I had for myself in working in the renewable space.” – Ayomide Lamuren, Business Development Associate.

“I learned to work hard for what I believe in and I know we need to be more concerned about the means we use to get around. So, Photon Marine seemed like a great fit for addressing an almost unexplored avenue of clean transportation.” – Scott Morrison, Engineering Associate.

“It’s a great feeling waking up every morning knowing that my efforts that day might contribute to ensuring humanity’s continued and prosperous future on this planet. That’s why I wanted to join Photon.” – Brian Boshes, Sr. Product Manager.

“I work in climate technology because I’m motivated by impact. Proving it’s possible to find balance between natural resources and financial sustainability is my ultimate goal. Science, technology and the interconnectivity of them takes time, attention and expertise. The industries that Photon plays in understands that this balance is necessary for any success.” – Kat Hunt, VP of Operations.

Photon’s technology will provide a streamlined, more efficient and more cost-effective way for those who work on the world’s oceans, lakes and waterways to transition to cleaner power alternatives. And Photon aims to bring together diverse stakeholders to decarbonize the marine industry.

That’s a mission that motivates people who want to do work that matters. On land and water.