How This Small Company Made Diversity & Inclusion an Imperative Part of Their Growth
It was during a retreat for Zapier, an all-remote company that connects apps for automated tasks, that the idea of a diversity and inclusion change log was born. Wade Foster, Zapier’s co-founder and CEO, had realized that overtures to creating a more welcoming workforce were not taking hold. “When you looked around the room, all you could see were white males.”
As part of the change log, Zapier decided to make small, incremental changes, as opposed to radically shifting strategies and practices. These small shifts allowed them to test various methodologies and see what worked.
Ultimately, Zapier found that being thoughtful around the hiring process was what worked best for them, particularly in regard to the language they were using in job descriptions and how those job descriptions were being distributed, as well as investing time and resources into managerial training.
“We’re small. The best thing that we do is managerial training. Anyone in a managerial role gets training - the basics of being a good manager. The biggest thing that hinders under-represented groups are managers who just don’t know any better,” says Foster.
Meghan Gezo, Zapier’s People Operations Specialist adds, “We try to find two to three conferences or events a year that are targeted towards underrepresented groups in tech and sponsor them to raise our visibility in that space. We try to find ways to get our name out there to people who have never heard about us.”
Both Foster and Gezo state that while it’s difficult to measure results, they do track applicants and have seen a shifting talent pool. They’ve noticed improvements; a change, more of a diverse mix.
For a young company in growth-mode, it’s an important adjustment, and an important initiative. Gezo advises, “When you're a smaller company like we are, you don't have as much money to throw at this kind initiative, but there are some relatively inexpensive and small changes you can make. Setting the tone when you're small makes it easier to keep implementing these changes as you grow.”