What we learned from improving diversity rates at Pinterest

    By: Clair Fuller on Jul 16, 2017

    Candice Morgan writes, "In today’s workplace, diversity is more than just a buzzword; it’s a way to build a stronger business. At Pinterest, we understand that diverse teams yield smarter, more innovative results, which are essential in the competitive, dynamic tech industry. With over 175 million active users worldwide, Pinterest thrives on providing users with relevant ideas: what to wear, what to cook, how to furnish your home, and where to travel. Pinterest’s fastest growing users are outside of the United States, and for current and future users, it’s important that the people building our product make it relevant to people of different ethnic, social, physical, and geographic backgrounds.

    But businesses have long struggled to increase diversity across all levels. For nearly a decade, I worked at Catalyst, a nonprofit focused on helping women advance in the workplace, consulting with progressive companies who began investing in diversity initiatives in the ‘90s. The tech industry joined the diversity movement to diversify their workforces far later, after being scrutinized for its stark lack of gender and ethnic diversity. What brought me to Pinterest was a bold move I hadn’t seen previously: in 2015, the company decided to set public, challenging goals to increase hiring rates of women and employees from underrepresented ethnic groups.


    The next step was to figure out a strategy to reach these goals, and, more broadly, to ensure a culture of belonging and managerial competence in inclusion. I joined Pinterest as the company’s first Head of Diversity in January of 2016. By the end of that year, we had hit or exceeded most of our goals, improving hiring rates of underrepresented engineers from 1 to 9% and increasing underrepresented talent from 7% to 12% in other roles. But we saw limited movement for women engineers, only increasing our hiring rate from 21% to 22%, which fell short of our goal. While higher than industry norms, this flatness was in large part due to our focus on putting more women in senior roles versus in entry-level roles (more on that later). Over the course of my first year at Pinterest, I’ve learned four key lessons about how to improve diversity from within a company."


    Released: July 16, 2017, 11:00 am | Updated: July 16, 2017, 11:05 am
    Keywords: NAWL News

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