Slack is one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley with an estimated value of $US2.8 billion. Its business communication app is often called the fastest growing software of all time.
But Slack appears to have set itself apart from the rest of the industry in another important category: gender diversity.
According to its diversity report released on Wednesday, 45% of all Slack managers are female, with 41% of the entire workforce having a woman as their manager. In non-engineering positions, 51% of the workforce turned out to be female. Out of the roughly 250 employees worldwide, 39% are reported to be female.
Those are pretty impressive figures, considering the fact that most of the big tech companies have less than 30% female representation in their workforce.
“While 45% of all people managers at Slack are women, it’s noteworthy (and not shown above) that fully 41% of all people working at Slack have a woman as their manager. This means that 41% of our people report to a woman who helps set their priorities, measure their performance, mentor them in their work, and who make recommendations that will impact their compensation and career growth,” Slack said in the report.
In terms of racial diversity however, Slack’s numbers were pretty much in-line with the rest of the industry, and heavily skewed towards white and Asian employees. Only around 10% of their workforce were African-American or of mixed race, while the portion of people who called themselves Hispanic/Latino was less than 1%.
“While ‘Hispanic/Latino’ was an option for respondents, responses totaled less than 1% — too small a percentage to report at this time. (It is possible that some people with Hispanic or Latino backgrounds elected to identify as multi-racial),” it said.
In order to make sure they’re on top of this issue, Slack also shared these four guidelines they stick to when hiring people:
- Examining all decisions regarding hiring/recruiting, promotion, compensation, employee recognition and management structure to ensure that we are not inadvertently advantaging one group over another.
- Working with expert advisors and employees to build fair and inclusive processes for employee retention, such as effective management education, company-wide unconscious bias training, ally skills coaching, and compensation review.
- Helping to address the pipeline issue with financial contributions to organisations whose mission is to educate and equip underrepresented groups with relevant technical skills (like Hack the Hood and Grace Hopper), as well as supporting a variety of internship programs to broaden access to opportunity (like CODE2040).
- Attempting to be conscious and deliberate in our decision-making and the principles and values by which we operate. Changing our industry starts by building a workplace that is welcoming to all so that a generation of role models, examples and mentors is created.
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