Spoiler Alert: I am a white woman.
I grew up in Spain, which means that I technically immigrated (though I have dual citizenship), while my father is still green card status. He has a thick accent and a very Spanish mustache. I’ve seen the discrimination first hand; how the way that he speaks has kept others from seeing how brilliant he is. Luckily, he doesn’t read my company blogs, so he won’t get a big head from reading this.
Above all, it’s important to me that my company is fair; that beyond how you speak, the color of your skin, who you love, how many years you’ve been on this earth, what god or non-god you pray to, how many babies you have or want, whether or not you have a vagina, what your education level is, or what your physical abilities are, we will see you for what you bring here.
Holy crap. I just read that list back, and that’s a lot of ways to discriminate against people. Admittedly, though, it’s not always easy to avoid. We have biases. Employee networks tend to consist of people with similar backgrounds. It takes time, effort, and commitment to fight against it.
Because of this, we’ve done a few things as part of our commitment to hiring the best, brightest, and most diverse. For one thing, we committed to caring about that effort. It may seem like a given, but it’s the first and, in my experience, most important step. You and your team have to be intentional about it. We thought we were doing well for a while until we took a step back and realized… we had no female engineers. Last year, we committed to changing that. Now, we have 3.
Here are some other intentional changes that we’ve made:
? We do not require a college degree, which is important, as it can alienate people of certain socioeconomic backgrounds.
The result: We’ve had more diverse applicants. This is something we’ve cared about since day one. Some of our rising leaders do not hold a degree—even people in our core leadership team.
? We remind ourselves of biases often; it’s a constant part of our recruiting stand-ups. We forgive each other, but what we don’t do is allow those biases to be part of our decision–making.
The result: Our team is more united in our purpose, and with clear values, it’s easier to make decisions.
✨ We care about having a workplace where you can be yourself. Bring your style, your culture, your tattoos.
The result: An increased ability to take risks. A safe space to focus on the work. We have made great progress and we’ll continue to get better. Above all, that’s what we stand for as an organization: becoming better through intentionality.