Diversity continues to be a hot topic in the tech community.
And for good reason: most tech companies want more diverse employee populations. Groupon is no different.
We’re pushing hard to increase employee diversity at Groupon and have made solid advances over the past year.
Today, I want to update both our diversity statistics, as well as the programs we have in place to continue the momentum we’ve seen since our last report.
First, though, let’s take a step back and talk about why we think increasing diversity in the workforce is important. Some talk about diversity as if its value is self-evident. But that sells the topic short.
There’s value to the larger conversation when companies talk about diversity in terms of leverage — e.g., how and why diverse communities can be a force multiplier for their businesses. And there’s value to the larger conversation when we’re more expansive with the definition of diversity: race and gender diversity are important pillars, but so too are veteran status, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, nationality and parental status, among others.
Here are just a few of the reasons we’re focused on diversity:
Groupon’s merchants and customers are a melting pot of countries, cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. Having a diverse workforce helps us better relate to and serve those perspectives. It allows us to step beyond just being a customer-focused company; a diverse workforce gives us the opportunity to truly connect with our customers and the communities in which they live.
How that plays inside the company day-to-day is that diversity brings viewpoints and ideas to the front that may not have otherwise been considered and that can accelerate innovation. A more diverse workforce can bring a different kind of idea to the table, and that can net more good ideas and more great things for our customers.
Even with work to do, we see the benefits of diversity in product design, in user experience and in our sales calls at Groupon. This matters for our culture and our business. It’s not some box ticking initiative… we’ve learned from other areas of our business that bolting on foundational elements doesn’t work. We’re making progress because we’re continually integrating diversity into all parts of our organization — from hiring, to training, to retention, to career development, to reporting.
All that said, here are Groupon’s updated diversity statistics. We know there is room to grow, but we are making progress thanks to the commitment and the work we’ve done to make this a core part of our business.
Let’s dig in:
Global Diversity | March 2016
US Diversity | March 2016
What we’ve done isn’t as important as what we’re doing. To that end, here are a few of our key focus areas:
Continue to expand our sourcing efforts with diverse communities
We are focused on establishing stronger relationships with diversity networks, organizations and schools. Many talk about a “diversity pipeline” issue, but we think that’s only a challenge if you artificially constrain where you look.
Enhance leader capability
While diversity works best as a core value that’s spread throughout an organization, there’s no denying that leaders play a key role in the success of diversity initiatives. Equipping leaders to champion diversity efforts begins with helping them understand potential institutional and personal barriers. To that end, we’re working with Paradigm on training for managers across all our functions to raise our cultural awareness and remove potential barriers to inclusion.
Continue to support STEM education and women in Tech
We’ve established strong partnerships with great organizations like Girls Who Code, Grace Hopper and Chi Ladies Hack. In some cases, these have a longer-term focus on developing future generations of diverse talent, but — in all cases — they’re deserving groups we’re excited to work with.
Maximize the role of our Employee Resource Groups
Our ERGs — Women@Groupon, Blacks In Groupon, Parents@Groupon, Pride@Groupon, and Veterans For Groupon — are passionate cultural ambassadors both inside and outside of Groupon. We want to help these groups be even more effective in recruiting and retaining talent, as well as in telling the Groupon story.
Remain thoughtful about how we select, develop and retain talent
This one is pretty simple. We’re enhancing our Human Resources tools and practices to ensure that we nurture talent across the company and that we provide meaningful careers for everyone — including our diverse populations.
We haven’t cracked the code on growing diversity at Groupon, but we’re working on it, and — most importantly — we’re making progress. Hopefully, our path is one that others find useful.–RW–