We’re at the end of a difficult year, full of upheaval. In addition to the terrible toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US is coming to grips with how racism is at work in our lives, in ways both big and small. Of course, racism is not the only vector of bias that holds us back as a society. Every day, people experience discrimination on the basis of gender, LGBTQI+ status, age, disability, veteran status, socioeconomic status, and more. And of course, these biases affect us in the workplace, too.
I’m grateful to serve as CEO of DataGrail. We’re a growing company that is solving a really important problem for modern businesses and their consumers: data privacy that builds trust through transparency. As we look into 2021—seriously, good riddance to 2020!—the leadership team and I have been focused even more on how we can continue to build a wildly successful company with diversity and inclusion (D+I) at our core.
Why diversity and inclusion matter to DataGrail
A diverse team will build the best solutions.
Each teammate needs to be included in our success.
These are our foundational pillars when we talk about the team we want to build. Data privacy is a global issue that affects all different types of people, and every single brand has to build trust and transparency with consumers to survive. Since we are solving privacy for a diverse array of customers, we need a diverse team to build the best solutions to meet our customers’ needs.
What’s at stake
Discrimination has not been solved in the workplace. The data show us this reality, whether it’s the abysmal representation of race and gender in the corporate leadership chain from the McKinsey LeanIn Women in the Workplace Report, or the prevalence of discrimination at work from the Glassdoor Diversity and Inclusion Study. Just 3% of the C-suite is made up of women of color. Men of color are just 12%. More than 60% of American workers surveyed by Glassdoor have experienced or witnessed discrimination based on race, age, gender, or LGBTQI+ status.
We haven’t done a formal diversity and inclusion study yet at DataGrail. In some ways, DataGrail is ahead of the curve. For example, over half of DataGrail’s board members are women. And that’s very rare, as fewer than 10% of boards of private companies in 2019 had more than one woman, per Crunchbase and Him for Her.
But I recognize the ways in which we have to do better. On our current leadership team, we have just one woman and five men. I’m a white man, and my inherent privileges have no doubt helped me secure funding and customers. It’s my job as CEO to hold the door open, actively seek, and make space for people from marginalized communities to help build the company and share in its success.
What DataGrail is doing
As we plan for 2021, we are focusing on our hiring process and employee engagement and development. D+I is a specific and important part of our quarterly OKRs and plans for growth.
Some of the commitments we are building on include:
- Re-aligning managers and their reports on professional development planning and employee engagement
- Ensuring inclusive language in job descriptions
- Ensuring diverse candidates are proactively recruited and interviewed
- Training interviewers and managers to avoid bias
- Running a regular cadence of employee pulse and psychological safety surveys
- Publishing a report on diversity and inclusion at DataGrail within the next 18 months
Getting there together
As we’ve been talking about D+I internally, I’m very grateful to the DataGrail team for their honest and ongoing feedback. It’s hard and uncomfortable for many people (and I’ll admit, for myself) to talk frankly and productively about bias and discrimination. There is a lot of road to cover, but we are just getting started, and I hope you’ll consider joining us. I’m confident that our team will continue to grow with diversity and inclusion being the heartbeat of what makes DataGrail a great place to work.