4 NYC tech companies explain how diversity drives better products

by Liz Warren
May 23, 2019

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to building a more diverse team — and now there’s even more reason to do so. According to a 2018 study from the Boston Consulting Group, diverse companies produce 19 percent more revenue than other companies. Why? Because people with different backgrounds approach problems differently — thus offering a wider variety of possible solutions, and increasing the chances that one will knock it out of the park.

We talked to four NYC companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion efforts to learn how they’ve benefited their bottom lines.

 

dailypay
image via dailypay

DailyPay, a technology solution that allows employers to offer all employees access to their earned but unpaid wages on their own schedule, is used by people of all backgrounds. Chief of Staff Preeti Krishnan explains how the company’s diverse leadership ensures that everyone is represented in their product.

 

Tell us about a project where having a diverse team with different perspectives led to a better business outcome.

There are so many important projects DailyPay works on where diverse perspectives are necessary to create innovative and transformative business decisions. One that comes to mind is our decision earlier this year to open a second office. After identifying several cities for our second office, we were able to narrow down our key priorities through a meticulous process that benefited directly from our company's diverse set of perspectives. Our final decision to open our second office in Minneapolis hinged on key considerations that were only possible through the diversity of our leadership and our team.

 

How does your company ensure that employees from a diverse range of backgrounds are included in making key business decisions?  

Our leadership team is made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We are proud to note that our leadership team prioritizes parity in decision-making and we are constantly working together to ensure that our key business decisions value all stakeholder perspectives. The structure of our company allows us to confidently and consistently take into consideration holistic, diverse views as we continue to build our dynamic business.

 

snap
image via snap

With 190 million users, Snap Inc. is responsible for making sure different demographics are included in their decision-making. Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager Jess Harvie explains how that’s done within a global brand.

 

Tell us about a project where having a diverse team with different perspectives led to a better business outcome.    

It’s important to us to bring a diversity of cultures, identities and perspectives together at Snap Inc. so that our products work for the communities we serve and want to serve. We aim to create cross-functional project teams for everything we build so that employees with diverse perspectives have a seat at the table and a hand in shaping Snapchat, Bitmoji, Spectacles and more.

 

How does your company ensure that employees from a diverse range of backgrounds are included in making key business decisions?

We strive to ensure that employees from a diverse range of backgrounds are represented on all our teams and at all levels where decisions are being made, and we do this through our efforts around recruiting, hiring and retaining our team. This is an ongoing focus for us as a company — to continue to innovate and create better products, we need as many different perspectives in every room so we continue to challenge each other and the status quo. We also have bi-annual employee engagement surveys, Q&As at our monthly all-hands meetings and channels for all employees to share their input on how we can reinforce a culture where diverse perspective is infused into everything we do.

 

stack overflow
image via stack overflow

Online tech community Stack Overflow prioritizes diversity and inclusion across all of their offices — so much so that Customer Success Manager Romna Dolan compares the team to an orchestra, complete with different instruments and musicians working toward something beautiful. She explained more.

 

Tell us about a project where having a diverse team with different perspectives led to a better business outcome.

Our CS team is dedicated to the success of our external clients as well as our internal colleagues. We work very closely with the sales enablement team to create training materials for our sales staff that empower and equip our colleagues with the right tools to address clients' pain points and to be leaders in their field. Having a diverse team allows us to see the different ways in which people learn and ask questions, whether it’s a Lessonly class online, an in-person overview on Ad Manager 101 or a quick cup of coffee to review and answer questions on process.

 

How does your company ensure that employees from a diverse range of backgrounds are included in making key business decisions?

Stack Overflow is committed to diversity and inclusion — representing not only different ethnicities and genders but also different business functions and geographic locations. Our leadership teams host monthly company-wide meetings that give high level overviews of the “State of the Stack,” which keeps us up to date on the company's happenings and health. Different business units from around the globe host in-depth weekly discussions and internal newsletters around team performance, highlights and points of improvements. In addition, we have Stack Roulette's, which is a randomized way to chat with colleagues outside of your immediate team via Google Hangouts. I've met colleagues in London, Colorado and even fresh faces in the NYC office. I think of Stack as a well-maintained orchestra. With so many musical instruments, vocal ranges and abilities, the inclusion piece is so necessary to make sure that all the different voices are heard and that they contribute to the performance to create some sweet symphonies.

 

spruce
imagae via spruce

Real estate transactions platform Spruce takes diversity and inclusion seriously — and the proof is in their team. Head of Product Nicole Reyes discussed her team’s diverse background, and how it’s helped drive value for both the company and their customers.

 

Tell us about a project where having a diverse team with different perspectives led to a better business outcome.

Our team spans multiple locations, represents a multitude of backgrounds and is about 60 percent women! Recently, we’ve been working on an operational efficiency project that is an overhaul of a core application. The outcome will make a massive improvement on how we provide services to our clients, making us more efficient and enabling us to better empower our users. The design of the solution included feedback sessions with departments across the entire company. These sessions captured over 100 tasks, 20 tools and dozens of insights informed by the experiences of our team. This led to an implementable solution that was in-line with our product roadmap.

 

How does your company ensure that employees from a diverse range of backgrounds are included in making key business decisions?

Spruce prioritizes diversity in all that it does. It is one of our core hiring principles and is discussed in every kickoff we have for a new role. Spruce also has 10 defined company values, including diversity, which are woven into every interview process. This means we’ve got diverse perspectives on every team, at all levels of seniority. Additionally, leadership reviews long-term company goals and OKRs with the team on a regular basis. Our company-wide meetings allow individuals to showcase their work and provide perspectives on the key business priorities and decisions. This transparency ensures that progress and changes are well-socialized and creates a space for feedback on all initiatives from high-level strategic decisions to delivery of a new feature.

 

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