I am excited to join the Pendo team, return back home to North Carolina, and continue to work in a space that is so personal to me. In my first month at Pendo and the final month of the year, I’ve been able to reflect on our commitments as a company, learn from our Pendozers across the globe, and better understand the work we have ahead of us.
2020 has shown us as a society that there is still a lot of work to do to build diverse, inclusive, and equitable communities. Diversity and inclusion will continue to be a key component of how we attract the best talent and continue to innovate.
As we move into the new year, I have two major reflections:
- The journey to building a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive company takes time and investment. Real change requires buy-in, self-reflection and awareness, and ultimately a lot of focus. It requires enabling and implementing new processes, behaviors, and ways of working that don’t solely focus on diversity as the output–but that consider equity from the onset. I’ve learned in my past experiences that this change doesn’t happen overnight.
- You have to collectively celebrate the wins along this journey. This year has been incredibly challenging for all of us. But it has also been a period of growth and progress. You have to take the time to pause and celebrate the wins–big and small–in order to recharge and continue.
What we’ve done: A look back at 2020
Over the past year, Pendo’s Diversity Advisory Council–Blake Lee, Cat Minowicz, Elise Heglar, Emily Morgan, Erica Akroyd, Fanny Laufters, Joe Toler, Melodie Moorefield-Wilson, Moshe Hyzon, and Natalie Chalco–in partnership with our people and leadership teams have made major progress towards our goals, which I’ve outlined below. Together, we will build on this work over the next year.
Goal #1: Ensure diversity and inclusion strategies are embedded in our recruitment, performance management, talent development, and training efforts.
What we’ve done:
- Launched competency-based interviewing questions to reduce bias
- Implemented “Rooney Rule” with diverse candidate slates for VP roles, and increased the number of diverse candidates in the hiring pipeline
- Expanded our presence and partnership with diverse talent branding platforms including InHerSight, Wise (Women in Sales Everywhere), Dyversifi, National Society of Black Engineers, HireBlackInitiative , and others
- Completed salary benchmarking with a focus on equity and made necessary adjustments
- Started weekly DEI office hours
- Provided unconscious bias and difficult conversations training for all employees
Goal #2: Support existing and new affinity groups with executive sponsorship, as well as cross functional diversity council.
What we’ve done:
- Engaged more than 65% of all employees through our affinity groups at Pendo
- MOSAIC: Increased attention and company-wide conversations around race
- GSRM: Organized and launched a company-wide Virtual Pride week
- Neurodiversity: Created a space for open and safe discussions of neurodiversity relevant topics (mental health, focus, task management, medication)
- Femmegineers: Standardized the front-end engineer interview rubric and the engineering career framework overview to reduce bias
- Women of Pendo: Provided support/lunches to COVID healthcare workers in the local community and raised money for the Malala Fund
Goal #3: Ensure the events we host are welcoming to all people and include a diverse set of speakers.
What we’ve done:
- Held events to hear and learn from diverse perspectives including NC Supreme Court Justice Anita Earl, Reuben Ogbonna, founder of Marcy Lab Schools, LinkedIn’s Director of Engineering Shalini Agarwal, and other powerful voices
Goal #4: Update the Pendo platform to improve accessibility and promote inclusion.
What we’ve done:
- The Pendo platform updated language from “Whitelist/Blacklist” to “Include List/Exclude List”
- Pendo updated our logo to support International Women’s Day, Pride Week, and the Black Lives Matter movement
Where we are
Ultimately, diversity, equity, and inclusion are best measured in actions, not graphs. Yet in the spirit of sharing our progress and learnings, here is where we stand today:
The work ahead
Over the next year, Pendo will continue to invest in DEI–from hiring to building an inclusive workplace environment. Below are a few places we will focus:
- Increasing the number of BIPOC employees at all levels
- Replacing the term “culture fit” with “culture add” so we can identify individuals who can contribute in diverse ways to a dynamic, innovative environment
- Establishing better baseline data and reporting in the hiring pipeline so we can better analyze trends and understand gaps for informed programming
- Implementing blind resume reviews and standardizing the interview process
- Strengthening strategic partnerships with HBCUs and community affinity groups
- Developing innovative outbound recruiting strategies to engage more diverse, quality talent
- Continuing our internal and external speaker series to educate our employees and the broader community
As we prepare for 2021, we will continue to improve and we will learn along the way. It will be a journey–a journey that requires trust, holding ourselves accountable, and continuing to prioritize DEI in our hiring practices, our culture, and our engagement with the community.
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