At PowerToFly our mission is simple: connect companies with women in tech so they can diversify their teams faster. Hiring well balanced teams is hard, despite numerous studies showing how diverse companies perform better. That’s why we focus on connecting with hiring managers who are trying to make a difference. By showcasing their goals, practices and the environments they’ve created, we want to shed light on the initiatives hiring managers like Brian Hamman, the VP of Engineering for News Products at The New York Times, are doing at major companies to bring in more women to change the makeup of their teams.
Hamman’s team is responsible for the core news experience across the web and native apps for the storied media brand. PowerToFly spoke with Hamman about how he is trying to hire a diverse team, how coding and journalism intersect and how he got his start in tech.
Is your tech group diverse?
We are looking to become a more diverse group and we are focused on bringing more women to the team. We have created an excellent parental leave policy. We have 10 weeks for partners and adoptive parents and 16 weeks for birth mothers. It can be used anytime within a year of birth and takes effect immediately upon employment. And we are getting out into the community more through organizations like Grace Hopper. We also have a culture and diversity task force where we have done both unconscious bias training and training in career management.
What are your top tips for hiring a diverse engineering team and for hiring more women?
I struggle with hiring a diverse team as much as everybody else. The things that I find most successful beyond networking at places like meetups and events are:
- When we hire a new developer at The Times I ask them as soon as possible about who we should try to recruit right away from their previous company or network. I ask them to look for people or give me names of people who I can go after myself. I tend to see more diverse candidates that way because I can ask for those types of referrals.
- I also am the “LinkedIn Stalker.” I am always emailing a bunch of people, inviting them to coffee and getting them to interviews, etc. I’ve had really great success meeting people that way.
- We are also experimenting with tools like Textio to analyze job descriptions to make sure that we are not using words that push women away from the NY Times.
- The harder challenge is getting engineers to consider working at The Times if they would never consider media. To address that problem we are working on growing the network of female engineers and engineers outside of the newsroom. Our women in tech task force is building out an excellent network of female engineers which helps in the hiring process
To me, the challenge is not only hiring women but retaining them once they are on board. We are working on:
- Promoting a better work/life balance. We have a much better parental leave policy and I want to see that promoted more so candidates are aware of it.
- Focusing on career development — I’ve seen women who are really good leave The Times for opportunities elsewhere. I want to make sure that everyone is growing in an engineering role at our media company. When you are in media the path forward in tech is not as clear as when you are at a company based in tech. For example, I was pretty much the first person to have every role I’ve had at the times. In media there can be a lot of uncertainty in your career as a developer. We just released a career ladder for engineers that gives a clear path for advancement to very senior levels without having to go into management, which is important for many engineers.
- We are also starting to talk about a remote work policy. We are setting up things like video conferencing and Slack to help with this process. We are not going to be a remote company but we are trying to figure out how to make it an option at times when people need to work from where they are. We are setting up best practices for remote work so that when someone might need this as part of their package to work at the Times, we can consider it as an option and make sure it is a productive experience.
Why do you think it is important to attract more women?
I’ve been on teams that were all men and teams that were balanced. The more balanced teams are better. You get to better decisions faster. You cut corners where needed faster. And you back out of dark corners faster. You get different ideas from a diverse team. When we launched NYT Cooking it was very helpful to have a mixed team. If you have more perspective, then you will have a better chance that you do not ignore an entire area of your audience, and overall your product will be more successful.
Is speed important in the hiring process?
It varies on the team and the role. We are slow on hiring. We would like to get faster. However, we want to hire the best person not the first person. We don’t just try to hire to fill a slot. We prefer to bring in many candidates and hire the person who is the right fit for the job. We like to hire people who believe in the mission of The Times and will spend time looking for mission-driven candidates.
How did you get your start in tech? And what is your role now at The Times?
I became the VP of Engineering for News Products six months ago. I oversee the website, mobile apps including iOS and Android, the video team, and the front end teams.
I had a roundabout way of getting into tech. I was a computer science major in undergrad but I actually got to the New York Times through Journalism school. I did database reporting at Journalism school at the University at Missouri. The New York Times created an internal role after the Jayson Blair case. I was hired onto a team that kept track of corrections, travel, and making sure standards are being met. We created a database of corrections to see if there were trends on errors.
A year later I was on the interactive news team programming for journalism election results and social interactives. I was the Deputy Editor for about 6 years. I was at the intersection of coding and journalism as I was building tools for reporters and telling stories. I built an internal search engine for the reporters to use that tracked things from Guantanamo Detainees to puppy photos. From there I went to the NYT Now, Cooking, and Opinion sections. I was in the lead engineering role for these apps. I managed an engineering team for new products. It was the first time I considered myself an engineer as before that I was journalist who also coded.
What are the coding languages most in demand right now?
We are hiring for iOS and Android developers. We are also eager for Node and React. On the backend we need Java, Scala and Go. On the data end we are looking for people who know python. And we are looking to move to Google hub provider so people with that experience are highly sought after.
💎Want to implement change in your team or organization? Watch the video to the end to do it successfully.
📼 To implement change you need to follow certain steps. Play this video to get three top tips on how to do it the best possible way. You'll hear from Kyle Lisboa, Support Operations Manager at Esri, who shares her experience with you!
📼Why implement change? Tip #1: Identify the reason. Think about the business reason for the change. If you understand why change is needed, it helps you explain it to others. Avoid making change for change's sake and implement solutions that solve problems.
📼Plan to implement change! Tip #2: Develop a plan. Create a detailed plan to help implement the change. If you create steps and timelines, this will guide the process. It also helps others understand how you are progressing towards the implementation and what the next steps are.
To Implement Change You Need Others - Tip #3: Seek Feedback
Gather feedback from those affected before, during, and after any changes are implemented. Allowing others to provide their feedback helps to create an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels part of the solution.
📨 Are you interested in joining Esri? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Kyle Lisboa
Kyle is an experienced Strategic Operations Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. She’s skilled in Arcgis Products, Databases, Management, Geography, and Cartography. If you are interested in a career at Esri, you can connect with her on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Esri
At Esri, they build cutting-edge geographic information system (GIS) technology that customers use to solve the world’s most complex challenges: slowing climate change, stamping out disease, designing a better city, fighting crime, and much more. Their ArcGIS software is helping communities around the globe respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by monitoring the surge, managing testing sites, aiding essential workers in finding childcare, mapping food and essentials, and keeping residents informed and safe.
Nearly 80% of workers want to work for a company that values diversity, equity, and inclusion, per a CNBC survey.
But how do prospective employees — and, for that matter, current ones — know whether an organization takes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) seriously?
Metrics can help.
What are DEI metrics?
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging metrics are measurements of how a company is doing against its stated DEIB goals. They help track progress, light up problems, synthesize momentum over time, prioritize investment, and allow a company and its employees to have accountability over DEIB intentions.
How can DEI metrics help my overall DEI strategy?
Creating a DEIB strategy is the first step in making your workplace more equitable. But having DEI metrics is a vital second step in ensuring that progress happens.
DEI metrics help a company actualize their strategy, live out their values, meet employee expectations, and make the workplace more fair for all employees.
10 examples of DEI metrics
1. Hiring: the diversity of your candidate pipeline.
How diverse is your applicant pool? Have your candidates self-identify and track what representation looks like in your candidate system.
2. Representation: the demographics of your current employees.
Many companies put pressure on their new hires to make up for gaps in their existing employee population — so make sure you’re benchmarking against data on what your current workforce is made up of.
3. Representation: the demographics of your leadership team.
People need to see that there is a path for success for people who look like them at your organization. What does the makeup of your board look like? Your directors? Your managers? And what does the promotion pipeline look like into those roles?
4. Representation: the demographics of your suppliers.
The money that you spend can significantly impact communities around you — so you should be measuring whether you’re doing that in a way that challenges bias and champions equitable treatment.
5. HR systems: pay equity.
Do all employees, regardless of gender or race, make the same amount of money if they’re doing the same job? If not, what’s your gender / race pay gap and how quickly are you closing it?
6. Employee experience: HR issues.
It’s important to track wins when it comes to DEIB, but it’s also vital to track times when your organization falls short. How many HR / People issues related to DEIB, including allegations of unfair treatment or bias, has your organization dealt with in the past year? What was the result of them? How quickly did issues get resolved? These metrics are key to know.
7. Employee experience: satisfaction with DEI progress.
When you send out employee satisfaction surveys, make sure you include questions on how employees perceive your current progress on DEI goals. They’re the ones most impacted by your strategy — and their opinion matters.
8. Employee engagement: participation in communication platforms.
How often do employees participate in Slack? What about by-channel participation? Looking at data on who talks to who and when can help highlight issues with inclusion or culture. Some companies are using AI-enabled text analysis tools to look for signs of frustration or for problematic language.
9. Employee participation: ERG membership.
Employee resource groups can be hugely helpful in creating community around different identities, interests, and demographics. They can also provide guidance on how to actualize your organization’s DEIB goals. (Which is part of the reason you should pay ERG leaders for their efforts, but that’s a topic for a different blog.)
10. Brand reputation: customer perception.
We’ve talked about key groups for whom DEIB metrics matter — prospective employees, current employees, leadership — but they matter to your customers, too. Whether you add a DEIB component to your existing NPS process, conduct 1:1 customer interviews, or get feedback some other way, it’s important to see whether your customer base is seeing progress on your DEIB goals, too.
Have you ever been so exhausted that you quit your job?
You may have been experiencing burnout.
Burnout is characterized by overwhelming exhaustion, detachment from your work, and a sense of ineffectiveness.
And while anyone can experience burnout, if you have ADHD, you may be more susceptible to it.
Before you get to the point where quitting feels like your only option, there are steps you can take to set healthy boundaries and start feeling more like yourself again. Read on to learn how you can recognize burnout in yourself, and what to do if you’re experiencing it!
How Does ADHD Burnout Feel?
There are some clear signs that you’re burning out, but ADHD can make the descent to burnout harder to detect. These warning signs include:
- Lack of motivation - not wanting to do the things you need to do or the things you love.
- Exhaustion - feeling overly tired both mentally and physically.
- Irritability and mental fatigue - feeling short-tempered, mean, or like you snap easily.
- Physical discomfort - body aches, low energy levels, and general pain.
- Negative outlook - the tendency to find something wrong with nearly everything.
- Emotional dysregulation - feeling weepy, sad, or unable to smile or connect with others.
Generally, burnout starts with taking on too much. Exhaustion creeps in, and you feel like every day is working against you because you are constantly overwhelmed. You may start to feel like the entire world is spinning out of control, or like no matter what you do you can’t keep up (or catch up).
If this resonates with you, you might be on the road to ADHD burnout.
Why People with ADHD Can Be More Susceptible to Burnout
So why does ADHD make some folks more susceptible to burnout? There are a few common ADHD traits that often result in behaviors correlated with burnout (taking on too much, working too long, etc.):
- Hyperfocus - ADHD is not exclusively about attention deficits. In fact, hyperfocus is the opposite – a deep, intense concentration to the point of being oblivious to your surroundings. Per WebMD, hyperfocus is a state of highly-focused attention that lasts for an extended period of time. You concentrate on something so hard that you lose track of everything else going on around you. When hyperfocus sets in at work, it can be hard to unplug or be aware of the people and environment around you.
- Time Tracking - Losing track of time is one thing, but if you find yourself losing track of hours without realizing it, that could be related to burnout. People with ADHD perceive time not as a sequence of events the way others usually do, but as a diffuse collection of events viscerally connected to the people, activities, and emotions that fill them.
- Difficulty Prioritizing - Do you take on too much and then struggle to prioritize it? When someone asks for help, does everything often go to the wayside so you can jump in? Or maybe the daunting anticipation of the tasks ahead prevents you from starting. Per ADDitude, ADHD impacts your temporal processing abilities, which can affect executive functioning.
Combating ADHD Burnout
If you think you may be suffering from ADHD burnout, there are a few ways to take back control. Here are three tips for combating ADHD burnout:
Reserve Your Yeses - Pump the brakes when you recognize the early signs of ADHD burnout. Start reserving your yeses right away. Say no, and practice not apologizing. It is okay to say, "I have a lot on my plate right now and cannot take that on. Thanks for thinking of me." Saying no is nothing to apologize for, and it should be celebrated! You are working to protect your energy above all else.
Practice Over-Estimating - If you think you could knock something out in a day, give yourself a week. Overestimate on time and allow yourself the grace to have a little more time than usual to complete projects. Slowing down when starting a new job or role will help you produce high-quality work and prevent ADHD burnout.
Drop the Mask - Be honest with your employer and friends. Let them know that although you seem to keep up internally, you struggle. Identifying ADHD burnout from the outside can be extremely difficult. Your honesty and transparency will position you to determine if your environment is supportive and inclusive.
How to Support Colleagues Dealing with ADHD Burnout
The experiences above may not resonate with you personally, but perhaps you’ve noticed other people you work with describe or experience them.
If you’re a manager, there are several ways you can support colleagues with ADHD (as well as neurodivergent employees more generally) to help prevent burnout. Ask for clarity on when they have felt the most supported at work. Discovery questions like, “how did you feel at that time?” or “how was the pace of that project?” can help you to understand their actual capacity.Download this free guide if you’re looking for more ways to support your neurodivergent coworkers. Work with your DEIB and HR team to develop new neurodivergent inclusivity standards to help you stay ahead of the ADHD burnout cycle.
💎Worried about bias in the workplace? Watch the video to the end to find out how to reduce it!
📼Avoiding bias in the workplace requires a lot of effort. Play this video to get three top tips that will help you. You'll hear from Ben Lopez, Talent Acquisition Manager for EMEA at Workiva, who shares advice on how to create a more fair, equitable environment where everyone feels welcome and has a seat at the table.
📼Acknowledging bias in the workplace is the starting point. Tip #1: Recognize Bias. Take the time to recognize your own bias. Both conscious and unconscious. And look out for bias within teams and among peers. Work together to understand how you can all avoid each of those biases that you may encounter.
📼Avoid sneaky bias in the workplace! Tip #2: Rely on a structured process. Whether it's about interviewing, promotions, or performance reviews, relying on a consistent, fair, and objective process will help guard against bias. Document the process to keep both you and your peers accountable. And when it comes to interviewing, work with your peers and other participants to define clear questions and objectives to cover with each candidate.
Reduce Bias In The Workplace By Knowing Different People - Tip #3: Widen Your Network
Don't always engage with the same people. Widen your internal network, and interact with different teams, and different departments. Get to know those with different life experiences, different academic backgrounds, and different work experiences. Understanding those who are different from us allows us to be more empathetic and create an environment where we all feel a sense of belonging.
📨 Are you interested in joining Workiva? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Ben Lopez
With a robust background in recruitment, Ben is an agile and well-networked talent acquisition leader. He’s been recruiting high-caliber talent around the globe for 15 years, spanning SaaS software, professional services, oil & gas, and healthcare across four continents. If you are interested in a career at Workiva, you can connect with Ben Lopez on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Workiva
Workiva was founded to transform the way people manage and report business data with various collaborators, data sources, documents, and spreadsheets. Today, people all over the world use their platform to seamlessly orchestrate data among their systems and applications for transparent and trusted connected reporting and compliance. At Workiva, they are innovative in everything they do—from how they build their software, to how they serve their customers, to how they treat their employees.