Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace was not at the forefront of Reveal when we launched as the startup Sharework in 2019. Like many, the founders of Reveal strongly believed that the success of a company was based on the talent that made up the company. They knew that the best talent was available globally and found opportunity in the pandemic to follow this intuition.
What initially was an effort to have a large talent pool ultimately led to a company that spans over 6 time zones. The people who live in these time zones differ significantly. Because of this, Reveal created a DEI policy early on to continue to have access to the greatest talent around the world and ensure that talent would be able to grow their careers within the company.
This article explains Reveal's experience developing and continuing our DEI policies and programs. There are several nuances that we experienced.
General information about Reveal
Reveal is a French company with a Remote First Policy. We have an international team with employees in the UK, United States, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Chile, and of course, France.
At the time of this article, women account for 40% of our 59 employees. The percentage of women in management positions is currently at 70%, including one founder. For comparison's sake, the average is 50% for France as a whole. And, in the United States, only 1 in 4 tech companies has a female founder, and 53% of tech companies have a woman at the executive level.
We have a culture in which our employees can rely on each other. The Reveal team is growing rapidly, and we expect to continue to hire at a rate of approximately 50 people per year. In such a situation having a focus on culture and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are essential to our growth as well as to the wellbeing of our growing team.
How we created a DEI policy at Reveal?
"In designing a DEI policy that is representative of our global team, we encountered one major difficulty: The French Data Protection Law of 1978 (Loi Informatique et libertés), which prohibits the collection and processing of personal data which directly or indirectly shows a person's racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or even gender other than male/female."
We believe that stronger companies and robust communities are created when people of every culture, background, and lifestyle are not only accepted but valued. To make this possible, over the last 8 months, we have been building and implementing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practice at Reveal.
We started by conducting a company-wide survey and discovered that the way diversity is defined varies according to culture and origin. For example, how diversity is defined in the United States differs from how it is defined in France.
In designing a DEI policy that is representative of our global team, we encountered one significant difficulty: The French Data Protection Law of 1978 (Loi Informatique et libertés), which prohibits the collection and processing of personal data which directly or indirectly shows a person's racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or even gender other than male/female.
As a result, we could not collect data regarding ethnicity and/or religion from our team members, which left us with minimal means to measure if discrimination was experienced in our company, let alone address it to improve diversity.
For the solution we decided to find an alternative to be inclusive of our international team and ensure that we established a DEI policy that our employees in Paris, Ankara, London, New York, and San Francisco could support.
We decided not to focus on a "one-size-fits-all" DEI approach but to move the needle further and faster by addressing DEI with a diversified lens, including narratives, discussions, and solutions representative of local contexts. To do this we had to include all Reveal team members in the creation of the vision and its execution.
We have based our approach on creating a secure environment where all our team members feel comfortable sharing their perspectives on what DEI means for them. This lens allows us to identify a DEI vision and strategy that defines broad areas of focus while also allowing flexibility for local adaptation within those key areas.
Our main goals are to:
Become a company that reinforces diversity from start to finish
Present equal opportunities for all employees
Build a culture of open communication and inclusivity
Actioning our DEI policy
In our DEI vision at Reveal, each individual contributes to the strategy. This ensures representation and investment from our team members. The more individuals contribute to the evolution of anything - policies, programs, etc. - the more invested they will be in ensuring its success.
We developed three main principles to action this vision: communication, processes, and data. From these principles, we actioned on 3 separate goals:
1: DEI is at the forefront of our recruiting efforts.
Hiring: Gender-inclusive wording in our job ads; we don't require specific experience that privileges higher socioeconomic backgrounds; we are deliberate in our sourcing efforts; we take a structured interview approach when screening candidates, which is proven to reduce bias; and a varied interview panel.
Train our hiring managers and recruiters to work on our bias and understanding of differences. We recognize the existence of unconscious bias. We make an effort to minimize it by implementing a recruitment scorecard based on factual information on the candidate's competencies.
Developing & delivering a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training curriculum for all team members. We believe that by creating a safe environment to share and speak, individuals can produce, create, and work more effectively.
2 : Build a culture of open communication and inclusivity
From onboarding, we encourage our team members to speak freely. Each pillar of our company values in some way champions and embodies the necessity for open communication.
Sharing a monthly communication which includes DEI content and resources.
An HR-driven approach driven by individuals:
A semi-annual company survey. This survey includes a global e-NPS, an evaluation on the company's career growth opportunities, DEI, management, company culture, and company vision.
Developing workshops based on communication. To have an open organization a question we are faced with is, "How can we work, meet and collaborate efficiently and communicate effectively as a fast-growth fully remote company?
This manifested as a workshop series on communication with an emphasis on how to communicate & find a work-life balance & how to give and receive feedback. Workshop on pronouns / gender inclusive language and embracing diversity.
3: Create a culture that presents equal opportunities for all employees
Create a global approach to family leave: We've decided as a company to have a global approach to paternity, maternity, and adoption leave to take the maximum benefits from every country we are implemented in.
Revisiting our anti-harassment policy to ensure that Micro Aggressions and other forms of discrimination are explicitly covered.
Building a global career path mapping to reinforce equal access and give equal opportunity. We'll share the different career levels at Reveal but mostly make sure that everyone is aware of the expectations for each position and the next steps of their career.
The Diversity Equity & Inclusion policies and programs are constantly evolving as we continuously evaluate our practices to ensure that we have the best possible workplace for all our contributing members. The further we invest ourselves in DEI, the more we realise that the root is company culture. We know that it is our duty to everyone at Reveal - from the C-suite to the intern - to work in an environment that is healthy, equitable, and (usually) enjoyable.
Reveal (formerly Sharework) believes in the power of collaboration so much so that we named our SaaS category after it - Collaborative Growth. As the first ever Collaborative Growth Platform, we believe that joining forces makes us stronger, in business just as much as in everything else.