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5 Tips to Increase Diversity in the Workplace.

As product managers, we are always on the look-out for inspiration by attending recruiting trends meetups. Two weeks ago, we went to a meetup organized by AdRoll and Entelo with one of my fellow product managers, Neeti Chokshi. I was already keen on diversity, but attending this meetup made me realize that we all have a part to play.

First, I think it is important to remember that diversity in the workplace is not only focused on gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, or disability. Diversity is also a way of preventing “group think”: having employees from the same age demographic, university, or company can be harmful, as explained in this previous blog post.

In Silicon Valley, there are many instances of companies that are only ex-Googlers or Stanford-only alumni.

From the discussions I had at this meetup, here’s a list of quick actions that you can take now for a more diverse workplace:

1. SET GOALS

Create objectives for each of your teams, like “I want 50% women in our Sales Department by Sept 1, 2017”.

2. REVIEW YOUR JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Is the wording in your job descriptions attracting a diverse job market?

For example: “looking for a youthful account manager to join a team crushing quota.” Is this age discrimination?

Are you using gender specific job titles like waitress or salesman? Maybe try alternatives like server or Account Executive.

A study published in the American Psychological Association shows that the wording used in job ads sustains gender inequality in the workplace. This site took this article further and wrote an algorithm that checks if your ad is “gender-coded”.

3. SOURCE BETTER

Increase your talent pool. The bigger your pool is, the greater chance you have of finding diverse candidates. Additionally, there are some filters that can be used by your sourcers (check the examples on LinkedIn and Entelo). Finally, searching for potential hires at universities with higher rates of diversity can be a great source of candidates.

4. BE CAREFUL WITH REFERRALS

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about referrals. However, referrals generally come from the same “mold” as your current employees (same school or company), which can create a “clone army”, especially in tech.

The next one is my favorite one and should be implemented at every company:

5. RAISE AWARENESS

You need to raise awareness internally. Engage all managers and individual contributors on what diversity means and how to embrace differences. As Sarah Hallahan mentioned it during the meetup, it’s not scheduling boring online training on “this is how to be unbiased”, but engage them and have your team brainstorm on what it means to be diverse.

The points above are not a secret recipe but rather small practices that can be easily adopted.
The subject of diversity also comes with the one of inclusion. As my manager would say: “diversity is inviting someone to a party, inclusion is inviting someone to dance at that party”.

If you are as interested as I am about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, please check out our four panel sessions at Hiring Success 2017:

  • “Women in Tech”
  • “When being hired IS success”
  • “How successful are your diversity sourcing and hiring practices?”
  • “Closing the gender gap at all ranks of the business”.

Header photo comes from Women of Color in Tech Chat.

Margaux Muller

Margaux Muller

Margaux hails from France and started her career as a recruiter. She joined SmartRecruiters in early 2015 and implemented over 90 customers. She is now bringing customer's insights to the Product Team and works on enterprise configuration features.