The company assigned senior technical staff as mentors to lower-level employees, designed a program specific to emerging female leaders, and piloted apprenticeships for black, Latina and indigenous women. The results have been promising, Blanche said.
To attract a wider candidate set, Atlassian had a major rethink of its employer branding.
“Some people are really excited about kombucha on tap, and some people are really excited about 401(k) matching and backup childcare,” Blanche said. “It’s not about changing everything about the brand but making sure that you’re showcasing everything that you have to offer.”
Staff at digital radio service Pandora is 49 percent female. Women make up 38 percent of its leadership. Two of every three of its interns are non-white; 40 percent are female.
Pandora’s diversity efforts, showcased in LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Recruiting Trends Report, are notably creative.
- Carefully targeted content on LinkedIn, delivered by way of sponsored updates to audiences such as females, and students attending historically African-American colleges and universities.
- The People of Pandora Podcast lets employees talk about their lives, and Pandora shares that liberally and socially with prospective candidates. Podcasts have included Pandora Women and Leadership, and Pride 2018. The latter is described as “Four Pandora queers talk openly about what it’s like to be non-binary, how their race intersects with their gender identity and sexuality, pronoun changes and more!” Podcasts are promoted via the innovative @LifeatPandora Twitter profile.
IBM’s diversity and inclusion hiring efforts are often long range, Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre told Tech Republic.
The manufacturing giant partners with organizations that reach future workers as young as middle school. It hosts a summer technology program for young girls called Excite Camp, a public school P-TECH partnership for high school students interested in STEM careers, and partnerships that include Girls Who Code and 15 historically black colleges and universities.
Girls Who Code (GWC), a U.S. national nonprofit, focuses on reducing the gender gap in the tech industry by encouraging girls to explore computer science careers. It offers summer immersion camps and after-school coding clubs. As a corporate sponsor, IBM supports the summer camps, where 20 students attend workshops, take field trips and find mentors. Local IBM offices provide speakers and facilitators.
These smart partnerships are helping fill talent gaps and enhance diversity, according to McIntyre.
“You don’t have to go it alone—there are heaps of opportunities to collaborate and learn from the wisdom of others,” she said.
Retention is a focus of IBM’s diversity efforts as well. New hires have more than 300 business resource groups, many offering mentors and leadership workshops.
The Society for Women Engineers has partnered with IBM and numerous firms to increase their female IT staff. Founding members of its STEM Re-entry Task Force include Booz Allen Hamilton, Caterpillar, Cummins, General Motors, IBM, Intel and Johnson Controls. According to SWE president Penny Wirsing, more than 60 percent of the midcareer professionals taking part in its 2016 pilot found jobs. Ford, GE, Johnson & Johnson, and others employers have now joined the program, which typically has 200 participants.
“If a company is looking for women engineers, they should be recruiting at WE18, the largest conference and career fair for women engineers,” Wirsing told us. “Last year’s annual conference, WE17, was attended by over 14,000 engineers. The conference allows for one-on-one interaction with qualified candidates, and opportunities to interview for open positions right onsite.”
“Diversity fuels innovation,” McIntyre said. “Given what we’re up to as a company, it’s more important now than it ever has been.”
The statistics bear this out:
- In a study of 22,000 companies from 91 countries, Peterson Institute for International Economics determined that firms whose leadership was made up of at least 30 percent female were 15 percent more profitable;
- McKinsey & Co. found that companies in the top quartile for diversity were 15 percent more likely to financially outperform others;
- McKinsey also determined that gender balance resulted in happier, more productive employees, which produced a 41 percent jump in revenue.
Clearly, success in diversity hiring is a must for a company’s bottom line.