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.
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Whether it’s adding more women to the team (we’re currently evenly split) or people of different ages, ethnic backgrounds, parenting status, and abilities — diversity is extremely important to us. We want to learn from one another and believe our different backgrounds are of the utmost value. For example, one of our engineers creates new stem vocabulary for ASL.
For us, inclusion means helping people get in the door and thrive once they’re here:
That’s just the start. We know that many issues around inclusion are systematic, and some are invisible if you don’t have firsthand experience.
To combat that, we actively solicit feedback on our salary policy, benefits, office, team policies, and how we communicate. Everyone who works at Dark has a different background and set of interests. We’d love to hear your unique perspective, but we also understand that some things are private. When we get feedback on something we didn’t even know to ask about, we listen first, think, then respond.
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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Alto focuses tremendous energy on diversity and inclusion, both in hiring and in 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 skill set, but it’s almost more important that every member on our team also embodies humility and compassion. 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.
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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.
Companies are groups of people working together, trying to accomplish a common goal. A company can only reach its full potential when the people there all respect one another, listen to each other, and work together.
We value richness in perspective, experience, and background and have already built a team that is well represented across multiple dimensions. As we grow, every new hire as an opportunity to add richness to our team (and avoid creating a monoculture), which is why we eliminate interview practices that introduce biases like whiteboard interviews. We’re open to folks from any educational or professional background as long as they are eager to learn and grow into the role.
Inclusion is important to us on a daily basis, not just in who or how we hire. We practice it through the following principles every day:
We want to make sure everyone at Mode is included, even interview candidates. All of our processes are designed to be inclusive to all of us and guard against implicit biases. Below are just some of the ways in which Mode practices inclusion.
Responsive web design tool, CMS, Ecommerce, and hosting platform
San Francisco (HQ) and Remote
At Webflow, we have the opportunity to bring a variety of cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and identities to our work. More than that, we have a responsibility to support and champion our entire team in radically inclusive and empowering ways. We’ve made great strides, but know we have so much more work to do.
Since 2019, we’ve:
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Cloud-based observability platform
San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, or Los Angeles
We are committed to hiring a diverse workforce and supporting the career growth of people who are underrepresented in tech, starting with how we speak to potential applicants in our job descriptions. We are thoughtful about the language we use and do our best to welcome all applicants to apply.
Once a hire is made, we have a wide variety of employee resource groups (ERGs) available, too. Fireside chats, panels, social events, and workshops are regularly held by ERGs such as Relics of Color, Rainbow Relics, [email protected], NeuRelics (Relics who want to help build a culture with neurodiversity and mental health in mind), and NR-VERG (Relics who have served).
Fostering a diverse and inclusive community is important to us not just within New Relic’s walls, but also when we’re outside of the office. Employees get paid time off to leverage their skills and contribute to a cause they’re most passionate about. (As one example, several of our DOS team members went to local schools to read to kids last year.) In order to create more equality and accessibility in the tech community, we also offer free software licenses to non-profits and invest in STEAM education. You can learn more about our non-profit work here!
Last, but not least, we also conduct a company-wide inclusion survey every year. We take the results from this survey very seriously, quickly act on the feedback provided, and always use a 3rd-party service to ensure confidentiality. Personally, for those on our DOS team, we continue to be impressed by the anti-oppression analysis New Relic brings to the forefront. There is ongoing education for staff on how to address culture add vs. culture fit, equality vs. equity, and talking about systematic oppression in an industry that has a lot of work to do. Overall, New Relic has the capacity to support the empowerment and growth of people who are underrepresented in tech and believe we have no excuses in helping shift the status quo.
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.
Career network for college students and recent grads
San Francisco, Denver, or Remote (US)
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!
From a product standpoint, we are constantly asking ourselves how to make Seesaw as inclusive as possible. Thinking through a diverse, equitable, and inclusive lens is critical for our business. It’s how we can provide the best service possible to our users. Seesaw needs to be intuitive for students at all grade levels to use, as well as for parents and teachers across various socioeconomic, cultural, and educational backgrounds. We serve an extremely diverse population and build features that facilitate connections between disparate parties that are also easy to use. For example, we added a translator in our messaging app so that parents and teachers can communicate even if they don’t speak the same language.
Internally, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) plays an important role as well. We make sure our people programs are equitable, and are always looking for ways to refine or improve our processes. As a company, we regularly survey employees with tools like Officevibe to help us identify areas we can be improving and keep employees engaged. We’ve invested in DEI training at the manager level and all our new hires go through DEI onboarding. Each quarter, our DEI Committee (which represents various teams and identities) identifies an educational focus to create greater awareness around DEI topics within the company. To kick off 2020, we decided to focus on education. We’ve been giving educational presentations (i.e. about K-12 student demographics in the U.S.) and brought in a panel of SFUSD school teachers to talk about the demographics of their classroom and how they differentiate their teaching for different learners like English as a Second Language (ESL) or students with disabilities.
Overall, everyone is incredibly open and welcoming at Seesaw. Many of us agree that Seesaw is the humblest company we’ve ever worked at, and that we noticed it as early as our interviews. When you walk around our office, you won’t be able to tell who’s on the leadership team and who joined us last week, and you’ll likely find yourself in conversation with multiple people. 😊
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.
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!).
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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.
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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.
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.
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We welcome everybody and do not discriminate based on gender, race, what school you attended, or what big company you worked at previously. We are actively seeking diversity of experience in all facets to enhance our company so we’re able to emphatically serve our users. We are currently a team of mostly men and fully acknowledge this must change in order to build the strongest culture and best products for our customers.
What matters most to us is that you are the right person for the job and can take ownership for the product you’re working on. Your GitHub contributions, previous work, and ability to contribute a ton of value to Point is what’s most important.
If you’re interested in meeting us or learning more about our vision for the future, we’d love to meet you. You can view our open roles here!
Enable immigrants to use their data to land on their feet
San Francisco, CA or New York, NY
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.
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 recognize that everyone has a life outside of work. Employees are free to step out for appointments when needed, and it’s common for folks to take breaks during the day or opt to WFH. Nova Credit’s kitchen has healthy snacks and the company funds monthly group workouts for employees to check out new workouts and fitness studios together. Parents like Stache often WFH to care for their babies (new/expecting parents can expect to receive 16 weeks of paid parental leave), and it’s perfectly fine if you want to take boba breaks with JT.
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.
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 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.
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