Monday, September 14, 2015

Slack Diversity Data

This week Slack posted their diversity data in a really thoughtful and reflective post on their official blog. For those who might not be familiar with them, Slack is a team communication tool that is available as an app for integrated communication, file sharing, notifications, comments and searching.

As an organization they have been very transparent about their efforts to analyze their practices so that they can make real-time adjustments to recruiting efforts and workplace policies.
Our primary goal is to avoid becoming yet another place where underrepresented groups exit the technology industry. We don’t want to be a place where people give up on their ambitions. All kinds of people should be able to be successful at Slack. While much focus has been on the pipeline, we understand that increasing the diversity of applicants and new hires will not result in any significant change if people from underrepresented groups cannot thrive at the company. Workplace policies that foster inclusion are equally important.
This sort of work is really exciting to see, in organizations in general and particularly in technology and software. It is fantastic that they recognize that even with the best intentions how important it is to keep taking data and doing analysis in order to minimize and remove bias in processes as much as possible.

How did they do? I encourage you to look for yourself, but more importantly I wanted to applaud them for having the bravery to lead the way from wherever they were rather than waiting for the data to look ideal. Sharing this sort of information allows us to start more public conversations, which we need as an industry and a society.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emily -- that is really interesting data. I think they have hit the highlights of what common consulting practices are now in tech. I was at a Women in Biotech conference on Friday at Radcliffe and heard much the same thing. What I am thinking -- do we have the product knowlege we need to really move the bar on this? Is it a matter of thinking in a structured way and presenting ideas to companies in parallel fashion? By this I mean, standard, good things to do to orgs that aren't doing anything....all the way up to really innovative change proposals for companies that are ready for them? What would those very innovative things be? I want to know more about this!