Two years ago, I wrote about “The Future of Women at Teleport”. At that time, we had six women working at Teleport out of forty-three employees — around 14%. That included one woman in our engineering department (5%), two in sales (14%), one in marketing (33%), one in design (50%), and then me in Human Resources (100% of HR). Now, one fourth of our team members at Teleport identify as women, and that number is growing. In our most recent cohort of new hires, half of our new hires identified as women!
Our intention two years ago was to increase representation of women at Teleport and we have definitely made improvements in that area. As we close out Women's History Month, here are five ways we work to continue to increase representation and leadership of women here at Teleport.
1. A recruiting team focused on diversity and inclusion
Everyone on our recruiting team focuses on diversity and inclusion. This isn't accidental. As we developed the team, having a lens towards diversity, equity, and inclusion were part of the core values and skills we were optimizing for. Not only is there incredible diversity on the recruiting and HR teams, there is awareness of the importance of diversity, intentionality about ways to increase diversity, and participation in various diversity initiatives among recruiting team members.
2. A compensation philosophy and practice that are fair and aimed at targeting the gender pay gap
As we assess compensation yearly, one of the lenses we use in our assessment is equity and attention to the ways in which unintentionally we may be contributing to the gender pay gap. Part of our responsibility is routinely checking ourselves for bias in pay. We seek to confirm that all demographics are being paid fairly and to stay ahead of any red flags or disparities in pay or other forms of unfairness that may negatively impact individual demographic groups. Thankfully we continue to see parity in pay and continue to focus on transparency and consistency as tools against gender bias in pay and benefits.
Understanding employee needs can go far beyond pay, and certain groups may face roadblocks that don't always show up in compensation reports. Open communication, soliciting feedback, and listening are key ways we try to be both proactive and responsive.
3. Be mindful of the ways that benefits impact gender
We're proud of our distinction as a Great Place to Work and our Best Culture and Best Perks & Benefits awards. Part of our attention to providing excellent benefits is being attentive to the different needs of our team members. One example is our Wellness benefit. Each team member receives $10,000/year to spend on whatever means wellness for them. This puts the control into the hands of our employees because we trust them to make the best decisions for themselves about their wellness needs.
We also pay attention to the ways that our policies and benefit practices have unintended consequences for different genders. We recently increased parental leave with a specific intention of ensuring parity for parents of any gender. Part of achieving gender equality is supporting men playing a more conspicuous, hands-on role in the home. Maybe that's why we're also winners of Work-Life Balance awards!
4. Avoid making assumptions
Recognizing unconscious biases is an important step in promoting equity in workplaces. Instead of making sweeping assumptions about the needs of women in the workplace, our goal is to get to know our team members individually, including their strengths, passions and motivators.
One way to avoid making assumptions about the needs of women in your workplace is to actively solicit feedback from company leaders. Monthly managers roundtables, one-on-ones with managers, as well as engagement and pulse surveys allow us to make decisions that are data driven and responsive to the unique needs of our team members. It is very important that our workplace promotes an open space for all employees to speak up on issues affecting them - all employees play a role in proactive and beneficial communications.
5. Creating a safe space for your employees to be heard and feel seen — and to have fun
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are a great way to create an inclusive environment for team members. Our LOT (Ladies of Teleport) employee resource group has come a long way. We used to fit in a couple of cars to have lunch together. Now we span continents and gather on zoom to connect.
These are just a few of the ways that Teleport works to ensure inclusivity, but there is plenty of work to do. We seek to continue to increase diversity at all levels, encourage leadership and representation in all teams, and continue to develop our hiring practices with attention to bias. What are ways you increase gender diversity?
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