What's the story?
What’s the story?
Since the racial reckoning sparked by George Floyd’s murder in 2020, many companies have recognized the need for systemic change. Redesigning systems is hard work. But expecting different outcomes without a different approach is often wasted effort. In 2022 we considered where systems thinking could have the greatest impact. A systems thinking approach requires us to identify patterns of behavior over time, and the underlying structures that drive them, before designing interventions known as high leverage points. This section looks at areas where we took this approach, including in recruitment, product development, content creation, and widening non-traditional pathways into tech. For example, when we changed our approach to recruiting, instead of doing more work with individual teams on inclusive hiring, we created a working group to incorporate inclusive hiring into our whole recruiting system. While this work is still in early stages, its scope is beginning to affect every team across the company.
Who are the people?
“Reimagining People processes, particularly in recruiting, to support our diversity and inclusion objectives is often harder than it sounds. You have to be willing to let go of ‘how it has always been’ and pursue a new direction with a clear vision of what can be, garner unambiguous sponsorship from senior leaders, create upfront cross-functional alignment, and drive relentless project management. At the end of 2022, we decided to reboot our efforts to increase the diversity of our talent pipeline — taking some seemingly small but meaningful and disciplined first steps, and we are hopeful that the impact will be significant.”
Chief People Officer
Chief People Officer
What worked (and what didn’t)?
In terms of our overall approach, what worked was prioritizing systems change over ad hoc DEI initiatives. What worked was pulling together cross-functional teams from across the business — vocally supported by leadership — with a mission to redesign systems. What didn’t work was pulling together cross-functional teams without ensuring joint responsibility for delivering clear objectives, such as joint OKRs. Another example of what didn’t work was a lesson we learned around recruiting: when attempting to incorporate DEI into our recruiting process, we lacked a clear operational plan, and failed to engage cross functional leaders to drive forward decisions and progress. We have now resolved that issue, and have begun making significant progress.