Aug 18 2015

Closing the gap: how we’re creating an inclusive environment..

It is no secret that the discussion surrounding diversity in the tech industry reveals itself to be a multifaceted issue. There is no shortage of thought-provoking articles (for example, here, here and here) on the subject. But in every argument, one point rings true: a highly diverse team can build software that takes into account a much broader range of perspectives and is more inclusive of all its users. Yet, most teams are forced to overcome the obstacle of a lack of diversity, because that’s the current standard in our industry.

This is not a problem that can be solved by sitting on the sidelines while waiting for someone else to find an all-encompassing solution and it’s not something that only companies who have reached parity should discuss.

Last weekend MojoTech engineer Katryn McIntosh had the honor of introducing the film CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. Katryn is one of three female employees, and the only female software engineer at MojoTech, but that isn’t a discouraging figure, rather, a motivating one. It says we’ve got some work to do, so let’s get going.

This post acknowledges the disparity within our own company, but more importantly, the steps we are taking to ensure a welcoming environment for all future team members.

What we’re doing:

  1. Taking the Temperature: We are increasing the regularity with which we evaluate our policies, practices and culture to see how they impact members of the team, individually and collectively.

  2. Mentorships: We recently created a new position at MojoTech, Engineering Mentor, to remain proactive in ensuring the professional development of our team. By giving employees access to help or advice we are creating a system that encourages continual growth and ensures that no one is left behind or not receiving the help they need to succeed.

  3. Transparency: At MojoTech, we strive to be a transparent company that encourages its employees to speak openly about the ways in which our company and our industry is growing. A good company should always be looking to better itself and to do so, you have to be willing to criticize yourself, ask hard questions, and be prepared to explain the thought-process behind some of the decisions the company makes. We recently experimented with our own version of Reddit’s AMA, giving Mojos the opportunity to present senior leadership with questions and curiosities about the way the company works. Just like Reddit, Mojos could upvote each other’s questions and had the option to remain anonymous.

Why we’re doing it: We want the best engineers out there to come work with us, but we also want them to feel supported and invested in. We will continue to assess the way we reinforce our team members and monitor our company culture so that together we can continue to create exceptional products we’re all proud of.

If you or someone you know would be a stellar candidate for MojoTech in either Providence or Boulder, please peruse our Jobs Board or tweet at us and let us know if you agree with our approach toward solving “the gap” and creating an inclusive work environment.