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Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Introduction

As an Asian-American female CEO in Silicon Valley, I’m afforded an intimate view into the ever simmering discussion around diversity and inclusion in tech. Even more so, because I’m building a company whose job it is to help other companies do their best hiring.

I prize the luxury of getting to think constantly about how organizations scale, and in speaking with hundreds of talent professionals every year, I’m struck by a common theme: People are more bought in and committed to diversity and inclusion than ever.

Since the very early days, we’ve embedded diversity and inclusion firmly and intentionally in Lever’s culture. Our first diversity and inclusion taskforce formed when we were just 10 employees. Fast forward to today, and at approximately 100 employees, our team’s gender balance is 50:50, 53 percent of our managers and 43 percent of our board are female, and 15 percent of our employees are underrepresented minorities (non-Asian and non-White).

And so, talent leaders and company executives come to Lever not only for a hiring solution, but guidance, too. Before they’ve heard about Lever’s latest feature rollout, and sometimes before they’ve even learned that Lever’s product is hiring software, they know us as “that company with a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion.” They’ve heard our story and want to know how they can achieve the same results. They’re ready for the next level of discourse (one that’s aimed at actual solutions), and they want to know what they can do today to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

That’s why I – along with my colleagues Jennifer Kim (Head of Employee Experience) and Ciara Trinidad (Head of Diversity and Inclusion) – are writing this series. Our goal is to take what we’ve learned from our fellow Leveroos, innovative customers, industry leaders, and dozens of studies, and compile it into a vision for how we can actually achieve more diverse and inclusive workplaces – step-by-step.

Stay tuned every week for Lever’s 10-part series:

1. 50+ Ideas for Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion in the WorkplaceThe key to making progress is starting. 

2. Fixing Your Culture. Building an inclusive culture comes before diversity hiring.

3. Setting Diversity Goals That Resonate. How to define unique goals that actually respond to your people, stage, and business.

4. Getting Buy-in. How to get commitment from your employees, execs, and everyone else.

5. Reducing Hiring Bias. How to introduce inclusive hiring practices and tackle unconscious bias.

6. Diversifying Your Pipeline. How to attract more diverse candidates with authenticity.

7. Committing to Fair Compensation. How to approach compensation, offers, and negotiation with a clear philosophy.

8. Following Through After the Hire. How to design your onboarding to help everyone belong and engage.

9. Navigating When Things Go Wrong. How to look out for red flags and deal with them. 

10. The Next Level. Radical ideas for creating diverse, inclusive, transparent and fair orgs.

We packaged this series and added even more insights - including those from diversity leaders at Lyft, Shopify, Yelp, and Affirm - to write our 70 page Diversity & Inclusion Handbook. Download it now! 

Further reading

5 Ways Diversity Efforts Can Backfire

This is a guest post by Vinayak Ranade, founder and CEO of Drafted, which helps companies hire more through referrals. I’m probably going to commit a faux pas in this post. But my intent here is to learn, and ...

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The Diversity and Inclusion Handbook [New Resource]

The topic of diversity and inclusion in the workplace - D&I, as it’s become known - has never been more prominent than it is today. Many leaders, hiring managers, and their teams are genuinely hungry to build an environment in which candidates from every background ...

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4 Key Ways to Foster Transgender Inclusion

Shannon Scott, Founding President of United Equality Consulting, is committed to helping teams answer an essential question: "How can we best facilitate transgender inclusion?". Through showing companies ...

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