How Slack Got Ahead in Diversity

How Slack Got Ahead in Diversity

Last week, Slack, the company whose popular, plaid-themed messaging app has simplified office communications and introduced the custom-fox emoji into our daily routines, quietly released its 2017 diversity report. Such reports, which list statistics such as the percentage of women in management and underrepresented minorities in technical jobs, have become something of an annual rite of passage among Silicon Valley tech companies. As public concern about gender and racial inequities in tech has grown, companies have begun, over the past several years, to share figures.

Slack has been outperforming other Silicon Valley companies, and its current numbers show that the trend has continued. At Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, women hold between 19 percent and 28 percent of leadership positions and between 19 percent and 20 percent of technical roles, according to those companies’ most recent figures. At Slack, women make up 31 percent of leaders and hold 34 percent of technical roles. Also, in Slack’s U.S. workforce, percentages of underrepresented minorities (including black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, or American Indian or Alaskan employees), are, in some cases, triple that of peer companies. At Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, underrepresented minorities hold between 4 and almost 8 percent of technical roles and make up less than 11 percent of all employees. At Slack, by contrast, underrepresented minorities make up almost 13 percent of technical roles and roughly 13 percent of all employees; they also make up 6 percent of leadership. The number of Hispanic women at the company has more than doubled since last year. The number of Hispanic men more than quadrupled.

What’s notable about this is that Slack has achieved it without a designated “head of diversity,” a role that has become ubiquitous at tech companies—Google, Facebook, and Microsoft each have one—and might soon become more so. 

To read more about how they did it, check out the full article at: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/how-slack-got-ahead-in-diversity/558806/

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