Whenever someone new joins Lever, they do a “meet me” presentation to introduce themselves beyond who they are at work. Every member of the team also shares their user manuals whenever kicking off a new project. User manuals are documents that each engineer completes about their working styles. How do you like to receive and give feedback? What skills, technical and soft, are you focused on developing? What do you want your teammates to know about you and how you work? They set teams up for success and help “Leveroos” focus on open communication.
The entire company actively practices inclusion by including sessions like “You Belong Here” in onboarding. We get personal with why D&I matters, celebrate the wide variety of identities in the room, and talk about how each person can help keep Lever diverse and inclusive, from being pronoun conscious on Slack to how inclusion has shaped each program and initiative at Lever. We’ve have multiple employee resource groups (ERGs), including Leverettes Who Code, a growing subgroup of our Leverettes Women’s ERG. Leverettes Who Code get together for lunch once a month and create open forums to have discussions about work, company culture, and any topic that may impact members of the group, both personally and professionally.
Twice a year, every employee goes through a compensation calibration to reassess market data and ensure that you have a candid conversation with your manager about your compensation, growth, and promotion path. We do this at Lever because women and other minorities often don’t advocate for themselves, and we believe that promotions and raises shouldn’t just go to those who ask for them.
Every engineer at Lever has the opportunity to review code, even if they are not the responsible reviewer or primary decision maker. We’ve also incorporated demo sessions into our Eng Weekly meetings. Spearheaded by our newer engineers, our demo culture allows folks to show bit of what they have been working on and provides a way to celebrate work in every form. We encourage everyone to participate as a way to feature what each person has build or is working on.
We’ve recently modified our interview process in order to make it more fair for people from different backgrounds. For example, we eliminated upfront tests that biased toward younger, college-aged candidates (we now provide a take-home assignment if the first interview is positive). We try to be as varied as possible with the channels we use to attract potential candidates and actively reach out to diverse candidate pools through Women Who Code, Power to Fly, POCIT, and more. We strive to be fair and unbiased in how we compensate and promote employees, too. We have many women and people from ethnic minorities in managerial positions on different teams, and this is because we only compensate and promote based on performance.
Once you’ve been hired, you’ll find that every employee and collaborator is confident to candidly express concerns or make suggestions. One of the best parts of working at Sticker Mule is being on a team where there is mutual respect between peers. Opinions on all levels are equally valued, and we don’t tolerate arrogance or rudeness. In fact, we have a zero tolerance policy regarding any form of abusive behaviour. All of our departments have various meetings where everyone gets a turn to speak and anyone can schedule private meetings with anyone in the company at any time. We also offer various ways for people to anonymously submit complaints and/or suggestions.
We’re proud to offer generous parental leave plans and we allow engineers to adjust their work schedule according to their personal needs once they return from their leave. We maintain awareness of our inclusiveness and know we’re far from being perfect. That said, we are constantly on the lookout for possible issues, gather company-wide feedback, and take anonymous culture surveys as a guideline to structure an even more inclusive company.
We’re building a communication platform to improve education at universities and colleges. In order to build the best product for students who are in different fields of study, have different learning styles, and require different tools to facilitate their education, we need a diverse and inclusive team. Aula’s engineers represent 10 different countries. We believe it’s our duty to make everyone – regardless of their background, sexual orientation, faith or gender identity – feel welcome. Not only is this a key part of our ethos, but we also know that having a diverse and inclusive culture makes business sense, too.
The first step to achieving this is to clearly define measurable objectives and key results (OKRs), which we share publicly and continuously evaluate. Everyone on our team has access to all information, and we believe this transparency is another important step to creating an inclusive culture. We also open source our employee handbook and our diversity and inclusion policy so that everyone, internal and external, can benefit. We recognize that this is a learning process, and we are all committed to unlearning inequality and invite team members to give us feedback on how we can improve.
One of the many ways we prioritize inclusion is through our asynchronous interviews. All of our interviews are conducted over Slack and mirror how we really work on a day-to-day basis (we are, after all, a globally distributed team!). More importantly, asynchronous interviews remove a lot of the unnecessary stress that make some people underperform. As a result, we are better able to screen for underlying skills rather than the most visible proxies, like brand names on a CV, and we get to show candidates what it’s really like to work at Aula so that they can evaluate us, too.
Our hiring goals are intertwined with our inclusion and diversity goals. While we allow everyone to apply, we have strict OKRs around our outbound recruitment strategy: which is only sent to underrepresented groups within Aula. We advertise our jobs broadly from remote channels like remoteok.io, to Ada’s list, Elpha, and Power to Fly, People of Color in Tech, Techqueria, and many other niche job boards/communities to foster a diverse talent inflow.
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We switch off on facilitating meetings and take care to hear each person’s viewpoints and not let any one of us dominate.
We also try to think about how diverse and inclusive we want to be in the future when making decisions. We don't have any trans members, but is our health insurance trans-inclusive? None of us have kids, but are our work hours good for parents? We try to consider these things in our policies while taking into account the near-certainty we'll get it wrong and need to change in the future.
We’ve sponsored Alterconf NYC, MoonConf, and Recompiler magazine, because we believe it’s important to support inclusive tech communities and resources.
Alto focuses tremendous energy on diversity and inclusion, both in hiring and our day-to-day practices. An exceptionally talented engineer who nails our interviews won’t make the cut if s/he doesn’t also share and embody our values. We make sure every candidate speaks with at least two female interviewers and when discussing technical challenges with current team members, we strive to create an environment where everyone feels they can speak openly and without fear of judgment. Our company culture of transparency, compassion, and open-dialogue is something we’re set on maintaining as we grow, even in the face of competing hiring goals.
Atlo values technical expertise and a strong programming skillset, but it’s almost more important that every member on our team embodies humility and compassion too. After all, our patients face the same problems regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, or gender. As you can imagine, a problem facing a diverse population requires an equally diverse team to solve it. We can’t overstate how highly we prioritize our commitment to inclusivity.
We recognize people come from different backgrounds and are committed to expanding our community (via our platform and our new hires) so that it’s diverse and inclusive. We work with Code 2040 to provide an annual unconscious bias training and also ask employees to take a quarterly CultureAmp pulse survey that looks at diversity and inclusion across the organization as well as within a given team. When we compare our scores to other similarly sized companies, Handshake has shown to have relatively high inclusion numbers as well as strong overall engagement scores.
We’ve also recently revamped our interview process to make it more fair for people from different backgrounds. For example, we eliminated “academic” questions that bias toward younger, college-aged candidates (e.g. binary search tree algorithms and puzzles). Instead, a core part of our interview process involves a project that tests the candidate’s ability to do a Handshake engineer’s actual job. As our company is dedicated to making the job search process unbiased and fair, we are proud to have an engineering interview process that actually tests for real world skills.
What’s more, we have several Employee Resource Groups for people with similar backgrounds to share their experiences at the company. Some of these include Women at Handshake, African-Americans at Handshake, LGBTQ+ at Handshake, Mental Health Allies at Handshake, La Familia at Handshake, and more. Each group has a budget they can use to hold group events (to increase team bonding) or events that include the broader company (to drive awareness).
In addition, we have several remote-first teams at Handshake, and we actively prioritize making sure they feel included in the conversation. For instance, if remote employees are dialing into a meeting, managers are trained to pause and ask for their feedback and thoughts.
Finally, for all company events, we explicitly ask the hosts how the event will be welcoming and inclusive for people from different backgrounds. For example, for events intended for a gender-specific audience, we ask whether trans and/or nonbinary people are welcome and we always make sure to choose events where the answer is a resounding yes!
We are actively questioning and working to disrupt systems that lead to oppression with programs such as Allyship training, WHOA (Women Helping Others Achieve), and Change.noir (ERG for folks from black/African backgrounds). We see our work in fostering inclusivity as a constant process to improve ourselves, the places we work, and the world around us so everyone can thrive. We do this with integrity, honesty, and humility at every step.
Two ways we practice inclusivity are by having open communication lines across the company, and always putting the team first. Leadership shares detailed information about financials, employee happiness, and the health of the business company-wide on a regular basis, which is what we call radical transparency. Additionally, we are continuously improving how our teams operate independently and together. We are in the process of moving to a true autonomous organizational structure within the engineering team. This means decision making and teams will be led by key stakeholders.
Lastly, as part of Change.org’s inclusion practices, we are dedicated to making this a safe space for everyone regardless of their upbringing or what they’re going through today. We understand that mental health is a struggle for many people in the world and occasionally for the people who work here, too. Our #1 priority is the health and wellness of our staff and that’s why we have an open environment where employees feel safe and comfortable to take care of themselves without judgement.
At one of our company offsites, we spent a significant amount of time discussing our company values. From those conversations, we decided to model the company that we aspired to be, and make it easy for others to fork that handbook if they wanted to borrow from or were inspired by it. Why make it public? If we’re lucky, people will fork it, work on it, and perhaps use it as a starting point to create their own.
We make a big effort to create an inclusive environment that is open, frank, and predictable. One of the ways we are working to maintain this is by implementing a new engineering growth and leveling framework that recognizes contributions which are typically undervalued or ignored in traditional engineering ladders. Areas like clear communication, organizational design, and well being are held at the same level as technical growth.
While our headquarters are in New York City, we serve home buyers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We help veterans, families, and everyone from first-generation home buyers to folks who are downsizing as they buy or sell their homes. Our users come from different socioeconomic backgrounds and have different needs, so it’s incredibly important that we build products inclusively and with our diverse set of users in mind. We cherish our team members’ various opinions and perspectives because we know the only way we can create a good product is by seeing all angles and considering all ideas.
We also want to be inclusive internally. Everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed at Ribbon. Though we’re small (~50 employees, ~10 engineers), it is of the highest priority to make sure our team is being treated fairly not only in action, but in compensation. We hold bi-annual compensation audits to ensure there are no pay gaps across gender, age, or race, and routinely take a step back to make sure our code of conduct is up to standard. We are committed to operating with integrity.
Our interview process is standardized to reduce bias, too. Every candidate that comes through our doors will participate in two technical interviews, a meeting with our CTO, Wei, and a recently added culture interview. By providing the same challenging and exciting interview for each candidate, we make sure everyone has the opportunity to show us their best without extraneous hurdles.
We don’t just welcome the weird and kooky at BackerKit, we prefer it. Not only is different good, but it’s also necessary for us to relate to our customers, who are generally people that have niche passions (and that’s why they’re crowdfunding!). In this way, we are inherently inclusive at BackerKit.
It seems like everyone on our team has at least one “weird thing” about them. It makes BackerKit an extremely colorful place to work, but it’s also a business strength of ours. Our team members come from diverse backgrounds, have a wide variety of interests, and as a result, bring unique perspectives and opinions to the table. We have tarot card readers, dancers, beer-makers, and even a professional cello player on our team. As an engineer, you should look forward to pairing with John (our ex-punk-rocker-turned-lawyer-turned-dev) and Lindsey (our ex-librarian-zine-creator-turned-dev).
Of course, we also make conscious efforts to increase and promote inclusion at our company. Early in BackerKit’s history, we defined core competencies and standardized interview processes across all roles to limit any bias in our hiring process. Our leadership team attended unconscious bias training workshops early on as well, and we often refer to Project Include, which helped us to revamp our interviewing processes in 2015. As a tech company in Silicon Valley, we’re also proud to have a 50-50 gender balanced across our company.
If you have a “weird thing” too, we’d love to hear what it is! You can apply here.
1 Open Positions
Presence: The first step to inclusion is simply including a diverse set of people in your company. We actively discuss how to improve and diversify the culture in our #diversityandinclusion chat channel and other forums. To reduce bias in engineering hiring specifically, we obfuscate the names of candidates when evaluating our take-home coding assignment, which plays a major role in our process. We've also introduced standardized rubrics and assessment metrics for our interview process to help eliminate implicit bias. And despite our relatively small size, we're continually investigating methods for improving our candidate pool's diversity. Our CEO Howie unambiguously supports devoting significant resources to this end.
Participation: Once you get people in the door, you must ensure that everyone is involved in meaningful decisions. Our employees come from all walks of life: some are parents to newborn children, some are empty nesters, while others are part of the younger workforce. Airtable believes it can mold itself to accommodate your work style. Most of our communication is asynchronously accessible (see section below on work arrangements). Company-wide celebrations happen at all hours of the day, not just after work, and include activities, food, and beverages compatible with a variety of lifestyles. Oh, also, we are pet friendly: well-behaved dogs are a frequent sight around the office, and we celebrate photos of cats, dogs, and all other critters on an equal footing in our #animals-and-robots chat channel!
Progress: At Airtable, we want all employees to create the biggest impact possible. We're currently still building out our HR organization, but as table stakes, we offer weekly HR office hours to support employees. We've instituted a program of training managers in coaching skills to maximize every report's chance of success. There are also active discussions about how and when it would make sense to formalize employee resource groups for underrepresented minorities and other groups (our current thinking is that we're a bit small right now, but that we should nurture their organic formation as the company grows; we're open-minded on this score though, so feel free to talk to us about it!).
There are many affinity groups at Gusto including Women with Gusto, Gaystos, Vets of Gusto, and others. We also partner with industry leaders to offer company-wide training about unconscious bias and inclusion and belonging.
We’ve been vocal (#transparency) as a company about increasing our team diversity. Women currently make up 26% of our engineering team, and we remain as ambitious as ever when it comes to our diversity goals.
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At Custora, we focus on values when it comes to hiring. Our values include willingness to experiment, being constructive, and taking ownership. During the interview process, we have a culture add session where our culture ambassadors deep dive into how a candidate could potentially contribute should they join us: what projects have they led in the past, what are things they’d do different, what are things they want to add to Custora?
We also provide an opportunity for folks to learn more about our values and how we practice them day-to-day. This often includes individuals from other teams - like Nitika from Product, or Asher from Partnerships - as we want perspectives outside of just our technical teams. As a collaborative and smaller company, inclusion and cross-functionality are extremely important to us and how we work. People from different walks of life and with different perspectives are the greatest additions to the amazing team we already have.
Abe is a perfect example of this. We were really excited about him joining Custora not just because of his technical skills and domain knowledge, but because of his ideas for how to shape Custora’s culture. Abe wanted to introduce ERGs, focus on diversity, and participate in hiring and branding, all of which he has delivered on. We now have have a ERGs for our “Queer-storians,” new parents, and some others groups that are currently in the works. (Stay tuned!)
Inclusivity also extends to skill sets and teams. At Custora, we want everyone to have the opportunity to work with everyone else, and encourage people to work on projects that aren’t the “obvious choice.” Staying outside of your comfort zone keeps you engaged and learning. Twice a year, we have our hackathon, THON. The entire company shuts down for an entire day and everyone works on a side project (which aren’t necessarily work related). The goal is to unite people that wouldn’t typically work together on a project that they find interest in. In the past, we’ve installed light sensors to indicate empty bathroom stalls, built harmonographs, and we’ve even shipped a feature: Spotlight. The possibilities are endless and the team mashups are refreshing!
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Our internal view on inclusion is “Do More.” It’s not enough to post a job on a few under-represented job boards, we need to have an end-to-end process that feels inclusive. It’s not enough to survey potential hires about their interviewing experience, we need to implement their suggestions. Inclusion is not about headcount, it’s about creating an environment where everyone feels confident and heard.
We think inclusion must span across not only our hiring practices or internal culture, but also bleed into the product itself. Twenty-first century relationships are shifting in many different ways, and we want to design our product to embrace such shifts. For example, millennials are marrying later, or not at all, and fewer couples get joint bank accounts. Rising rents in major urban areas means many people live with roommates longer. We want to design our product to accommodate these macro lifestyle shifts and make our product useful for any lifestyle.
1 Open Positions
We know diverse perspectives in the decision making process yield better decisions, and are proud to be fully committed to diversity and inclusion efforts in 2019 and beyond. We’ve restructured our interview process to ensure diverse representation on panels, and are actively sourcing from more diverse candidate pools. Of course, diversity and inclusion only begin with hiring.
Our entire company took unconscious bias training in Q2. We also are working to provide continued education, conferences, and external resources so we can become better teammates for one another and build a better work environment for everyone. We currently have a flat organization, which makes it easy for everyone’s voice to be heard, and we want to maintain how positive and inclusive we are as we scale.
We come from a wide range of backgrounds: some of us grew up in cities, others in middle America, others on the other side of the globe, and some on army bases. We represent multiple nationalities and have joined PAX with different educational and work histories. We have engineers earlier in their careers transitioning into consumer electronics for the first time, while other engineers have shipped millions of units at dozens of companies in the past. We have benefited greatly from having so many different viewpoints because we are building a product for a large consumer audience.
In case you were wondering, you do not have to be a cannabis user to work at PAX! In fact, we’ve found non-cannabis users tend to have a less biased view of our software stack and product decisions, and can ask questions that non- and new users of cannabis are wondering. No matter what your background, upbringing, or experience is, we celebrate our differences.
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The workplace we want to see in this world is radically inclusive. In order to be this change, we must actively practice inclusion—from the moment someone hears of Asana, through their interviews, first day, and entire time on our team. We do this by maintaining a culture of openness and kindness: encouraging every employee to bring their full selves to work and recognizing the value that diversity brings to our team and work.
Inclusion isn’t just a feeling we strive towards; we set goals and build programs around it, too. Our head of Diversity and Inclusion leads these efforts, but every Asana contributes to them. Whether employees are attending CLG to learn how to be open and curious when their beliefs are challenged, or participating in one of our three employee resource groups, we recognize that inclusion is an active practice that contributes to Asana’s success.
Finally, we’re committed to measuring the impact of our inclusion practices, because without measuring it, we won’t know if we’re succeeding. We conduct annual employee surveys and maintain open channels for feedback so that we can make incremental improvements.
Our company’s gender ratio is pretty unheard of in Silicon Valley, even though our founders are both men. We are a feedback and learning-oriented company and we believe that having diversity on our team enriches communication and improves learning outcomes for all of our employees. Whether it’s true or not, it’s not about gender but how we can build the best place to work. If you join Eden, it means we value your ideas and opinions, and everyone wants to hear them. At the end of the day, we strive to empower each other and to create a better place to work, for everyone, Eden included.
1 Open Positions
At Eaze, we recognize that major reform of the cannabis industry must come from diverse and inclusive internal teams. Making decisions that change the outward-facing image of cannabis in our web and mobile products, as well as in media, requires us to celebrate diverse perspectives, and model a future of a just and upstanding industry. To this end, we take noticeable measures to prioritize inclusion. We encourage flexible work schedules, diverse hiring discussions, and weekly team building activities celebrating our backgrounds. We discuss inclusion actively and are always amenable to new ideas!
Mobile-based personal and professional development platform
San Francisco, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., or Remote
Our mission is to help everyone live their lives with more clarity, purpose, and passion, and we need representation among those building the product experience in order to do so. While we are more diverse across gender and ethnicity than most technology start-ups, we are not interested in doing the bare minimum. We always want to improve the inclusivity and diversity of our workforce. We ensure that we have a diverse candidate pool through sourcing and connecting with underrepresented communities. As an example, we have adopted the Rooney Rule for the on-site stage of our process.
Enable immigrants to use their data to land on their feet
San Francisco, New York, or Remote (North America only)
Financial inclusion is one of the main parts of our mission, and we see inclusion at the company as an important way to make the best product for the people we serve. Our initiatives are led by our CEO, Misha, which means that Nova has executive buy-in for enabling a diverse range of people to succeed. We invest a lot of resources in our internal committees dedicated to sourcing talent from under-represented groups and fostering more inclusive norms.
Some improvements we are making are our employee onboarding program (which includes succulent workshops, assembling desks for each other, brown bag lunches, and 1:1’s), unconscious bias training, and revamping our onsite interview practices to be more inclusive. We’re also doubling down on internal employee resource groups.
For example, [email protected] now has quarterly meals together, either at a restaurant or hosted at someone’s home. At recent [email protected] lunches, we broke into small groups of 3-5 people. Each group had a moderator with a list of questions to stimulate discussion, and this led to intimate, deep conversations that we probably wouldn't have had otherwise. Many of us left feeling extremely proud to be working alongside such talented, interesting women.
We genuinely want everyone at the company to feel like they belong at Nova, and we’re committed to providing equal opportunities to succeed for everyone, regardless of who they are.
We believe inclusion is critical to building a successful company, where everyone feels valued and able to succeed. And inclusion begins with our hiring practices. We are thoughtful to source from a diversity of candidate pools and use hiring rubrics for structured interviews that minimize bias.
To us, diversity is about much more than race/ethnicity, gender, and age. While we, as a company, have to report these demographics under federal law, we believe that government-mandated forms oversimplify the broad range of identities that we’re trying to create more space for every day. This is why we run a voluntary and anonymous Inclusion Survey at Square every year. It allows people to be measured as they self-identify, and gives us a way to measure whether we’re truly building an inclusive workplace where people from all backgrounds can thrive.
When you join Caviar, you’ll have access to interrupting bias training and have the opportunity to engage with our Square Communities such as Asian Pacific Islander-Squares, Black Squares Association, WomEng, and Veterans at Square, just to name a few. These employee-founded, employee-run resource groups promote inclusivity at Square through professional development opportunities, guest speakers, social events, office installations, and more.
We’re working with very diverse populations of customers, who are then serving very diverse communities within their cities. While we often hear about company diversity being a top-down effort that starts with leadership, we at Remix hope to personalize our diversity efforts for every individual at the company. It shouldn’t feel like another diversity charter that every company is out to do. We aim to have a company that represents the urban community that we serve which includes diversity beyond gender and race, and includes includes diversity in age, background, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and religious views. We’ve set clear diversity metrics and are incorporating training on diversity, inclusion and belonging, and unconscious bias at the company.
Transforming endpoint security with big data analytics
Waltham, MA; Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; and Hillsboro, OR
There was a large push in 2017 that focused on attracting new women to the organization and supporting our current women employees. The momentum we created then carried into 2018 when we officially established our Diversity and Inclusion team. We have since invested in more initiatives, such as putting out content to showcase our women and what it’s like to work there, sending 24 of our technical women (including engineering, product, sales, sales engineering, and more) to Grace Hopper Conference (which we also sponsored), sending 30 women to the Mass Conference for women, and hosting a number of internal meetings/presentations to support our women. We also signed the Parity Pledge.
Inclusion, of course, is not only about gender. We also support people of color and LGBTQ groups and have a number of internal groups (via Slack) and events to support and celebrate Carbon Black employees. We also invest in Hack.Diversity, which focuses on helping the underrepresentation of high-skilled minority employees in Boston’s economy. We also engages with our greater community through things like STEMatch and TUGG’s Guppy Tank (both focused on exposing 6th graders to careers in STEM).
In 2019, we plan on building out new initiatives via Employee Resource Groups and expanding our D&I initiatives to build momentum in the people of color and LGBTQ groups.
35 Open Positions
We know that diversity and inclusion in the Bay Area is a troubled area, and we are truly committed to improving. Our engineering team is 34% female, but we don’t compare ourselves to industry averages, nor do we believe that gender diversity is true diversity. Our entire company is dedicated to creating a more inclusive environment, and have hired Paradigm to help us deep dive into our inclusion efforts. We host Pride Month every year and are proud to be involved in the Pride Parade, a trick-or-treat session at our headquarters for our employees’ children, and Girl Geek dinners in the past. We have a primary and secondary caregiver leave policy that has nothing to do with maternity, paternity, the type of relationship, or whether the child is biological or adopted. Even our vacation policy is centered around the spirit of being your best self.
Diversity and inclusion is not a box that you check. It is a continued commitment and effort that encourages people to not only be their best selves, but to also promote the people around them to do the same.
9 Open Positions
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