Today, with humanity focused on simply surviving, you need to make sure your organization's ongoing efforts, especially in the areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), stay a priority. Especially when diversity and inclusion in startups focus on creating and maintaining an inclusive environment, these efforts are even more necessary when your team of professionals can feel more isolated than ever.
Moreover, in the United States and worldwide, people are now experiencing completely different impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, African Americans have experienced a huge impact on their health, while Asian Americans are, in most cases, the target of racism based on false assumptions. Additionally, many women suffer much more from the transition to paid work, as they have additional household responsibilities. This is why companies must try to keep their DEI initiatives in the spotlight.
"Diversity" is "the range of human differences that includes race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability, religious or ethical value system."
“Inclusion” is defined as “participation and empowerment, in which the inherent value and dignity of all people are recognized. An inclusive company encourages and maintains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for its employees' talents, beliefs, experiences, and lifestyles.
Despite current social and economic problems, these efforts continue to flourish and progress. We hope this article helps you find ways to sustain your own DEI efforts despite various glitches and injustices.
Major DEI initiatives
There are specific ways in a DEI effort to minimize bias and provide support and opportunities to help retain and promote employees.
Metrics, accountability / reporting
The main purpose of reporting is to measure what concerns diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The first step may be to collect the necessary data through an anonymous voluntary survey of all employees. This can include different approaches and considerations for collecting data on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. Each question related to identity provides an opportunity to “get what you need” and self-identify in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, or even military status.
The collected data and metrics can show what needs to be improved and show the most successful and influential areas. But, don't forget to change direction and make appropriate adjustments to weaker areas, as it is important to know your strengths and sources of achievement.
It is crucial to track and understand how the recruitment, retention, and acceptance of all DEI staff are progressing.
Hiring and promotion
Hiring and promotion are areas prone to unconscious bias. Recruitment and promotion practices should be reviewed to minimize any bias.
Engaging in active and varied recruitment marketing and developing a strong employer brand helps underline DEI's efforts.
A thorough and guided review of all job descriptions shows that they are inclusive and empowering.
All methods, old and new, are used throughout the company, including, for example, the use of inclusive language in job descriptions, the anonymity of the assignment process for applicants, ensuring diversity in the selection of reviewers for reviews, and a diverse list of interviewers for applicants and others. Documenting these processes formally can help establish expectations and consistency throughout the process and provide an opportunity for discussion and discovery of new ways to improve the process.
Mentoring and ongoing training
As with most software companies, there are varying levels of experience within an organization. For example, you might have a couple of senior engineers and other current employees who started their careers at your company. Since informal mentoring can occur continuously through daily interactions and teamwork, formal mentoring helps teams grow faster. Employees feel more involved when they are constantly learning. Moreover, it leads to higher retention and a happier team.
The mentoring program is one of the main goals we are pursuing in 2021. Our BoostyLab diversity developers strive to balance the program structure to ensure a sufficient process and make the experience quite productive while ensuring that employees' needs and goals are met. We follow DEI values that show that professional skills are more important than race/gender/orientation.
Also, unconscious bias training works well if done correctly. Unconscious bias training should have the necessary content, built around real-life situations in the workplace, not science and research. Again, startups need to evaluate the impact of training before and after, for example, by measuring employee engagement in strategies or other work items that reduce bias.
Important projects and efforts
Our commitment to DEI is unwavering. At BoostyLabs, we periodically hold seminars and/or training for employees to educate them about the values and views of DEI. Let's take a closer look:
Our efforts at DEI are very active. Since the genuine commitment to DEI requires tone from the top and allocating the necessary budget when needed, it strengthens DEI's efforts and reinforces DEI as one of its core values.
Once a month we hold special meetings with our managers where employees can ask open questions or clarify what they are interested in at the moment. Through these exchanges, the leader can learn what is important to the participants, and the staff gets to know the leader on a more personal level.
To be effective, it is crucial to understand what can be achieved by creating channels for sharing resources and setting aside time to discuss them. Our company regularly conducts DEI training to provide each employee with ample opportunities for reflection and participation in various initiatives.
Encouraging participation and contributions
Our DEI focuses on promoting diversity and fairness, such as building corporate responsibility, minimizing hiring bias, and promoting career development. Thus, these initiatives benefit not only everyone in the company but also diversity in application development. Our company values absolutely all employees and helps to create and develop their projects.
We are committed to ensuring that our diversity developers' work and effort in promoting DEI and expanding these initiatives are rewarded when the time comes to flesh out and promote team members' contributions.
Our business model and culture are based on our mission and values. This is also true of our approach to DEI.
- Security - We believe that the security and privacy of products and processes are the keys to success.
- Openness - we follow the open exchange of information, knowledge, or ideas.
- Decisiveness - our company strives to always treat others ethically, with understanding, and trust.
- Empowerment - We empower our people to do great work and our community to create economic value.
- Continuous transparency permeates each of these values. We believe in honesty and clarity about our work, financial viability, and our employees' overall commitment and morale.
As you can see, we strongly believe that diversity and inclusion in tech startups is what is urgently needed now. But getting the results you want requires not only doing but prioritizing to ensure the right process for building a better organization.