March 5, 2021

The tech companies pioneering in diversity and inclusion 

In the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, companies across the globe vowed to play their part in helping to make the world a fairer place for everyone. Many leading technology companies publicly declared their commitment to champion equality in a sector that often lacks representation. From global tech brands to innovative startups, discover how companies are implementing successful diversity and inclusion programmes and find inspiration to launch your own workplace initiatives. 

Nutmeg championing LGBTQ visibility

Online investment management company Nutmeg is based in the UK and prides itself on diverse hiring practices that create a culture of inclusivity. The fintech brand is headed by Martin Stead, chief executive of Nutmeg and one of a small handful of openly gay CEO’s in the UK. In response to the lack of high profile tech leaders from the LGBTQ community, Stead volunteers with Diversity Role Models and visit schools to tackle homophobic bullying. Stead’s profile brings visibility to the lack of LGBTQ representation in tech and his achievements reflect the open and inclusive culture that is being cultivated at Nutmeg. As Stonewall Diversity Champions, Nutmeg has implemented several diversity and inclusion initiatives to help employees from all backgrounds feel welcome. From celebrating Pride Month to installing gender-neutral toilets, Nutmeg ensures LGBTQ employees are recognised and heard. Outside of work, the company has a lively LGBTQ network that hosts socials in popular queer venues including the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

Follow Nutmeg’s lead by championing diverse groups across your workforce and encourage management from all backgrounds to visit schools to educate students about discrimination.

Charlie HR levels out the playing field for women

UK based HR software company Charlie HR is committed to using its expertise to help small companies improve their recruitment practices. They have implemented several tried and tested HR policies internally that tech employers can use including mental health, diversity and parental leave. Charlie HR has also achieved a somewhat elusive status in the UK tech sector boasting a 50/50 gender split across their entire workforce, making them one of only three London-based startups to do so. Dedicated to championing gender diversity at all levels, the HR tech firm has several female staff occupying senior positions of leadership and credit their inclusive HR policies for making female employees feel more welcome.

Take inspiration from Charlie HR and implement policies that create a healthy workplace culture where women are valued. Make flexible working mandatory and proactively encourage female managers to mentor junior female employees.

Drift creates opportunities for young tech talent

Conversational marketing platform Drift is part of the minuscule 2% of VC-backed companies led by Latinx founders. With statistics indicating that only 8% of Latinx-owned businesses operate in the technology sector, Drift made it their mission to bring about greater diversity and inclusion.

Drawing on their personal experiences as first-generation Americans, the founders have taken many important steps to create programmes that encourage equality in the workplace. To increase talent from underrepresented backgrounds, Drift has annual goals for recruitment and provides mentoring opportunities to help nurture internal success. They launched eight employee resource groups for underrepresented demographics including LGBTQ and women, which Drift uses to drive individual employee development and governance. Committed to investing in the communities where they operate, the Drift Charitable Fund was launched in 2019 to support youth enterprise in diverse communities.

Make an impactful change in your local communities by hosting hackathons for underprivileged youth or arranging graduate recruitment fairs to attract young tech talent.

Slack creates employment opportunities for marginalised groups

Following their high profile buyout from Salesforce last year, the workplace messaging app Slack has gone from strength to strength and have always embedded diversity in their hiring practices and workplace culture. The tech firm shares its annual diversity and inclusion report to ensure they hold themselves accountable and continue improving their internal programmes. In a bid to increase young tech talent, Slack partnered with Year Up, to provide workforce training schemes to underrepresented youth and create meaningful tech career pathways. The Slack for Good programme was also established to engage marginalised communities in the tech sector. From apprenticeships for the formerly incarcerated to STEM events targeting Australia’s Aboriginal communities, Slack is devoted to affecting real change in the tech sector.

Find more innovative ways to support and engage with groups often on the fringes of society by creating internship opportunities that provide legitimate tech employment pathways.

Bulb gains honest feedback from employees

UK green energy tech firm Bulb is dedicated to disrupting the way we consume energy and applies this same dogged determination to improving their workplace culture. Co-founded by Amit Gudka, Bulb boasts a diverse team and regularly shares data on the racial/gender make-up of their workforce. Steps they have taken to boost equality range from anonymous employee surveys, hiring of apprentices and launching a diversity and inclusion forum. 

Allow your employees to share their opinions by involving them in workplace conversations around diversity. Provide a safe space where they can offer real-time feedback on workplace culture via a survey and ensure you use the data to refine your diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

Google joins fight to end racial injustice

Tech giant Google announced several commitments to build sustainable equity for their black employees. These include improving black representation at senior levels, establishing a talent liaison for fairer hiring practices, implementing anti-racism educational programmes and supporting the wellbeing of black Googlers. Going beyond boosting workplace diversity and inclusion, Google went a step further with external initiatives to support the black community at large. They are investing over $175m to create economic opportunity for black businesses and are also supporting five UK organisations in their ongoing pledge to advance racial justice. Colorintech is proud to be one of these five organisations and is actively joining Google to disrupt the technology industry and make diversity a norm.

Look at practical ways you can support internal staff from minority backgrounds and their wider communities by offering grants to key organisations and charities that are committed to enforcing real change.

Written by Letitiah Obiri, Founder @ Polkadot Digital