The progress we’ve made, and where we’re headed next
By Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot
One year ago, HubSpot released its first-ever Diversity Data report, joining companies like Apple, Google, and Intel in sharing a snapshot of the composition of our company by gender, ethnicity, and age, along with our plans to make HubSpot more diverse and inclusive as we grow.
Twelve months later, we’ve made some meaningful strides, gathered some learnings we can use to improve as we grow, and identified some areas where, frankly, we had hoped to move the needle faster. Below is a full deck with a comprehensive look at our data, along with my assessment of what worked and what we’ve learned along the way.
A Few Wins
Gender diversity on the HubSpot board
This fall, HubSpot joined just 20% of companies with three women on our board with the appointment of Jill Ward, formerly of Fleetmatics and Intuit.
In addition to moving the needle on our own board, we hosted events throughout the year focused on helping more women secure board seats and published a step-by-step guide to joining boards to help other women and companies move the needle on gender diversity.
Gender diversity at the vice president level
46% of our vice presidents company-wide are now women, a 20% jump from last year. Across the company, 45% of managers and up are female. We’ve accomplished this goal through a combination of internal growth and external recruiting efforts, and are really proud to have made meaningful progress at a senior level in the company as part of our stated strategy to improve gender diversity at HubSpot long-term.
An 11% increase in ethnic diversity in engineering
Our technical roles at HubSpot primarily reside in two teams — our business enablement team and our product and engineering team. Both teams saw an increase in ethnic diversity (see notes on definitions and terms included in the presentation for clarity on how we calculated these numbers), with BET at a 7% increase and product and engineering at an 11% increase.
Areas for Continued Improvement
Ethnic diversity overall and in management
We saw a 2% improvement in the overall ethnic diversity of HubSpot, and still have significant work to do to improve our overall composition as a company, particularly at all levels of management and leadership.
Over the past year, we’ve:
- Established partnerships with Hack.Diversity
- Hosted the First-Gen in Tech and ConnectED programs for the second time, making them established parts of our core programming
- Launched People of Color at HubSpot’s (POCaH) Mentorship Program
We’ve also successfully implemented the Rooney Rule and the Norrington Grant to make diversity of race, gender, age, location, and experience a priority in senior leadership hiring for director-level roles and above.
We’ve seen a 5% shift in our employee age demographics from the 16–25 cohort to the 26–45 age cohort. We remain a young company, as with many of our peers in tech, so though we’ve seen minor improvements in our overall cohorts, we can still do better at attracting and growing more experienced candidates.
In 2018, our new benefits include increased family leave and egg freezing benefits along with expansion of our backup care and employee assistance programs, all geared specifically toward attracting and retaining more experienced HubSpotters.
We also just launched a return to work pilot in our Dublin office targeted towards working parents, which will help us engage experienced professionals who took time off to raise children as part of our candidate mix.
The composition of HubSpot’s ethnic representation
HubSpot’s ethnicity data is US-only employees per EEO guidelines. Many of our peer companies in technology break out individuals who identify as Asian because in many of their companies, as individuals who identify as Asian are actually overrepresented as a percentage of their companies compared to overall United States demographic data. That’s not the case as HubSpot, where Asian employees in the US represent 7% of our employee base, equal to the percentage of our employees who are Hispanic. Black employees comprise 2% of the company, while American-Indian or Alaska Native represent <1% of our employee population. We have continued progress to make with each under-represented minority ethnicity group on both the diversity and inclusion fronts.
True to our company value of transparency, this deck includes all the data. Instead of reiterating it here, I’ve briefly outlined some of the key things we’ll be focused on in 2018 to make continued progress on our diversity and inclusion goals:
- Expand our offerings for working parents: In January, we announced that we have increased our family leave offerings and as a company will now cover a significant portion of the cost for egg freezing, in addition to our existing fertility support through our medical coverage. This initiative, combined with our commitment to workplace flexibility and the accompanying employee resource group, ParentSpot, is a significant investment of time, energy, and effort. We believe it has and will continue to help us attract and retain top leaders who wish to grow their professional impact while also growing their families.
- Double down on what worked: We had a few clear plays that worked within teams or locations, ranging from teams implementing the Rooney Rule beyond senior roles to include managers and individual contributors, to our focus on targeted sourcing and events for both Latinos in Tech and senior women in tech. We’ll be using that data and context to inform our sourcing, events, retention, and growth strategies to make HubSpot more diverse and meaningfully more inclusive as we grow.
- Create shared employee resource group sponsorship models: Last year, employee resource groups were run entirely out of our People Ops team, which was good for our initial approach. But for this year, we’ve recruited executive sponsors for employee resource groups outside of People Operations, so senior leaders feel meaningful ownership of inclusion activities and driving leadership awareness and participation in key events. We’ve also built peer advisory boards, listservs, online resources, and Slack channels for intentional and effective communication and community building. We’ve also added employee resource group messaging to our onboarding process, so new and veteran employees alike can actively participate in our inclusion efforts.
The work we’ve done around diversity and inclusion is among the most humbling work I’ve done since being at HubSpot. I learned personally you cannot over-communicate early and often enough the business importance of your diversity and inclusion efforts, that you have to recruit allies early and often, and that you need to be specific in your asks of people and teams to really move the needle versus asking for vague support.
We learned that you have to listen more than you talk, that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to transforming the composition of your company, and that empathy, humility, and transparency are necessary ingredients to make meaningful progress globally.
I believe this is truly the beginning of what we are are capable of as a company and a team and look forward to reporting back next year with even more improvements across gender, race, age, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Diverse teams win, and our plan is to help millions of companies grow better globally. To do that, we’ll need a team as diverse as our customer base and a talent strategy that is as inclusive as it is remarkable. To that end, our diversity initiatives are mission critical, and I look forward to your suggestions, input, ideas, and feedback to help us further improve as we grow.