These 7 NYC Tech Companies Champion Diversity. Here's How.

by Janey Zitomer
September 18, 2019

While commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives are on the to-do list of many tech companies, taking the time to put tangible, beneficial practices into place is often another story. It can be easy to make one or two changes to antiquated hiring practices and walk away. 

Luckily, that’s not the case with these seven New York City companies. Each have specific, ongoing plans for managing and combating unconscious bias — from D&I book clubs to restructuring internal meeting agendas. Not only that, they are looking for employees to speak out and challenge any out-of-date language or processes. 

 

Justworks employees chatting
photo via justworks

Justworks is a payroll, benefits, HR and compliance support company that walks the walk. D&I HR Professional Michael Baptiste explains the organization’s efforts to make the workplace as inclusive as possible, including branded platforms like their safe-space discussion portal. Additionally, Justwomen gives women founders, investors and go-getters the chance to share stories and learn from each other at various events. 

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?  

The current diversity and inclusion initiatives we have at Justworks include employee resource groups (ERGs), our D&I monthly newsletter, D&I book club, and Justreal, our safe-space discussion format. Justreal is an inclusive discussion forum that regularly explores current events and topics impacting our employees, both inside and outside of the workplace. All of these efforts began as grassroots initiatives a few years ago to address our immediate needs from a D&I perspective. Since then, we have implemented more structure, purpose, and impact around these efforts to foster more meaningful and valuable employee engagement experiences. 

We continue to strengthen our diversity and inclusion initiatives by keeping our employees first in all that we do.’’

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

We continue to strengthen our diversity and inclusion initiatives by keeping our employees first in all that we do. We have added executive sponsorship to our employee resource group process in order to create more synergy, collaboration and commitment from leadership around D&I. Executive sponsorship is one way to bring leadership and our D&I leads together around our efforts. Having the ERGs sponsored by selected executives will give employees more genuine access to leadership and give leaders more real-time feedback regarding the true pulse of the organization and our employees.

 

Recent Knotel D&I event
Photo via knotel

Knotel’s flexible workspaces are designed to make their customers comfortable. While their D&I initiatives are of course employee-focused, they follow the same formula. Taina Oquendo, Director and Head of Talent Acquisition, told us that the company is looking for people to ask difficult questions and challenge the status quo.    

Oquendo also mentioned the success of Knotel’s first collaboration as part of their employee resource group initiative: their ‘fly your flag’ recruiting event. Look out for more to come, in spaces you’ll want to spend time in. 

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

At Knotel, we’re constantly looking for people who push boundaries and question orthodoxy. Our focus on hiring those with diverse backgrounds and experiences had led to a number of internal initiatives that have had a positive impact on both our culture and our global business. We’ve developed a set of progressive parental and family/medical leave policies that have allowed our employees to focus on important life events. Employee resource groups (ERGs) have worked alongside various departments to promote alliance buy-in, strengthen networks, and generate valuable feedback for broader D&I initiatives. We also optimize job descriptions using gender-neutral language while proactively sourcing underrepresented individuals and requiring diverse interview panels. All of these and more have resulted in a positive Knotel community that pushes the business and one another forward.

At Knotel, we’re constantly looking for people who push boundaries and question orthodoxy.’’

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

We have company objectives and key results that take D&I into consideration as well as a transparent monthly diversity tracker that shows our gender and ethnicity breakdown. We continue to use it as motivation to improve our numbers.

We’re also considering partnering with a third party who can help us assess our baseline and provide objective and scalable recommendations for how we can continue to create and foster a high-performing and inclusive environment. 

Simon Data team members
photo via simon data

 


Simon Data understands the importance of gauging sentiment and gathering data before putting any plan into action — and that’s exactly what they’ve done with their customer data platform and D&I initiative. As members of the Simon Data Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce told us, intel from their company-wide survey “jump-started company conversations and awareness around inclusion and what it means for us.” It pays to ask about perceived individual involvement to ensure ongoing company growth.

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

Because Simon believes that diversity and inclusion are essential to the success of our company, we created a task force dedicated to defining and advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives. The task force has been busy with projects across the company, including conducting a benchmarking survey to gauge sentiments across the company about inclusion at Simon; working to increase diversity within teams by building diverse hiring panels; attending diversity-focused recruiting events; updating our job descriptions to use more inclusive language; and developing a Simon-specific framework for facilitating more inclusive internal meetings. The framework aims to provide guidelines to help employees be thoughtful about how meeting conduct affects people from all backgrounds.

The framework aims to provide guidelines to help employees be thoughtful about how meeting conduct affects people from all backgrounds.’’

 How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

We continue to foster a sense of inclusion by providing opportunities for both local and remote employees to interact with coworkers outside of their departments, including our women’s group, book clubs, seasonal sports games, game nights, and philanthropy events. Additionally, the diversity and inclusion task force is partnering closely with leadership to increase diversity at the executive level. 

We conduct one-on-one brainstorming sessions with employees at various levels and functions to ensure that diverse perspectives are valued and heard and continue to assess the needs of Simon Data from a D&I standpoint to ensure we are making progress and upholding our values both as a task force and as a company.

Bread team together
Photo via bread


Bringing people together from different backgrounds with various experiences is a key competitive advantage in business, and employees at Bread know it. That’s why they take continuing diversity education so seriously. 

Britney Pierini, Employee Engagement Manager, shares how Bread encourages story-swapping and provides mentorship and support to all team members. 

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

We take a grassroots approach to inclusion at Bread with an overarching chairmanship of our employee engagement manager. Our affinity groups (Ladies of Bread, LGBreadTQ, and Bread of Color) provide internal networks and resources for those who seek connection, as well as allies and sponsors who are passionate about supporting others. These groups have provided a strong foundation for diversity and inclusion at Bread to empower, uplift and connect our employees. We have showcased these voices and brought awareness to the business as a whole with learning opportunities and events celebrating our differences as a key competitive advantage. It’s really brought our teams together and celebrates our values of transparency, collaboration, respect and diversity.

We embed inclusion, respect, and diversity into our external messaging and reach.’’

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

As we enhance our programs in 2020, we will continue to offer educational opportunities such as strong mentorship, speaker series and panels comprised of people from different industries to share their experiences and knowledge. We embed inclusion, respect, and diversity into our external messaging and reach. We will continue to build out tracking and action planning around our programs’ impact during onboarding and through the lifecycle of each employee.

Perch employees working
Photo via perch

Perch’s mission to reimagine dated processes extends beyond real estate. They’ve prioritized diversity initiatives by partnering with organizations their employees care about and updating training and hiring systems, for example. 

Sarah Decker, Director of Talent Acquisition, explains the importance of Perch’s D&I plans coming from every member of the company. After all, while ideas from a few might be valuable, they certainly aren’t representative –– and that’s the whole idea. 

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

Perch has been prioritizing our commitment to diversity in hiring, from expanding our top-of-funnel recruitment efforts outside of our traditional network to partnering with organizations like Women Impact Tech and attending their career fairs and events. We have developed our own diversity mission statement and are rebranding our careers page to showcase the diversity across our offices. In Q3 of 2019, nearly 60 percent of Perch’s offers extended have been to diverse candidates, and we’ll continue to prioritize this commitment.

In Q3 of 2019, nearly 60 percent of Perch’s offers extended have been to diverse candidates.’’

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

Outside of hiring, our team has created a committee that works on fostering an inclusive environment across the company. By opening this group to all members of the organization, we’ll ensure that ideas to celebrate and build an inclusive culture come from a wide group of employees. We’ve started by surveying our team to get a pulse on how they feel about our culture of inclusivity and ideate on how we can strengthen our practices. We’ll also be implementing interview and manager trainings aimed at recognizing and reducing implicit biases.

NS1 teams meeting
Photo via ns1

 

 

According to a recent Forbes article, allyship is “a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups of people.” But of course, it’s much more than that as well. Allyship is just one of the many themes NS1 touches upon during their quarterly open sessions, where they open the floor to employees and encourage group discussion surrounding similar topics.

Chelsea Gold, Office and Employee Experience Manager, told us more about how NS1 takes their D&I initiatives seriously and what how they have impacted employees’ day-to-day. 

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

We have quarterly open sessions where we present a topic (this quarter’s topic was allyship) and break out into smaller groups to discuss the larger theme. We also have a Slack channel dedicated to diversity and culture where people can discuss current events and topics on their minds.

The open sessions have created an open dialogue for people to feel more comfortable discussing these topics. They have also encouraged people to educate themselves and become part of the conversation. Additionally, they have also made people feel more welcome and excited to be at our company.

The open sessions have created an open dialogue for people to feel more comfortable discussing these topics.’’

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

We will continue to have these quarterly sessions and increase our already high attendance. We will also start to hold community events targeted towards diversity. For example, we plan to volunteer at teen LGBTQ shelters and give engineers the opportunity to teach young women and people of color how to code.

 

Healthify goes one step beyond gut-checking themselves when it comes to reviewing resumes and using inclusive language. They look to third-party resources for confirmation that their practices are in-line with their vision. And it shows. Allie Schwartz, Director of People Operations, told us how they go about making their hiring process as implicit-bias-proof as possible.   

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

We’ve done a lot of work at Healthify to ensure we’re building a company that is diverse and inclusive. When we open a new role, we run it through diversity- and inclusion-specific websites to check for and get rid of any coded language. We then make sure every job is posted in at least three D&I-focused job boards. We also turn off pictures in hiring profiles and make D&I-focused questions a part of no fewer than two interviews. Those efforts have helped us build a team that is 61 percent women and nearly 40 percent people of color. 

We then make sure every job is posted in at least three D&I-focused job boards.’’

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

We have a committee dedicated to strengthening our D&I initiatives. Its mission is as follows: “Healthify’s D&I committee is dedicated to creating a company that represents the communities we serve. Our goal is to intentionally foster equity, diversity, and inclusion.” Earlier this year, our committee ran a company-wide survey to map what communities exist at Healthify and which, if any, were being underserved. Through those responses, we were able to build really purposeful programming around diversity and inclusion efforts. For example, we’ve changed how we interview candidates and we've built inclusion training into our onboarding!

 

Jobs from companies in this blog128 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
HR
Legal
Marketing
Operations
Product
Project Mgmt
Sales
Content
Product
new
Bread
New York
Product
new
Bread
New York
Project Mgmt
new
Knotel
New York
Operations
new
Knotel
New York
Sales
new
Knotel
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Justworks
New York
Developer
new
Perch
New York
Operations
new
Justworks
New York
Finance
new
Justworks
New York
Product
new
Simon Data
New York
Design + UX
new
NS1
New York
HR
new
Bread
New York
Sales
new
Knotel
New York
Product
new
Justworks
New York
Operations
new
Justworks
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Simon Data
New York
Finance
new
Perch
New York
Operations
new
Perch
New York
HR
new
Healthify
New York
Developer
new
Simon Data
New York
Product
new
Knotel
New York
Finance
new
Knotel
New York
Project Mgmt
new
Knotel
New York
Design + UX
new
Justworks
New York
Operations
new
Justworks
New York
Operations
new
Justworks
New York
Product
new
Bread
New York
Developer
new
NS1
New York
HR
new
Perch
New York
HR
new
Perch
New York
HR
new
Knotel
New York
Operations
new
Justworks
New York
Design + UX
new
Justworks
New York
Sales
new
Justworks
New York
Sales
new
Simon Data
New York
Design + UX
new
Perch
New York
Developer
new
Simon Data
New York
Design + UX
new
Knotel
New York
Sales
new
Knotel
New York
Developer
new
Justworks
New York
Developer
new
Justworks
New York
Project Mgmt
new
NS1
New York
Developer
new
NS1
New York
Product
new
NS1
New York
Developer
new
Simon Data
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Simon Data
New York
Marketing
new
Knotel
New York
Design + UX
new
Knotel
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Knotel
New York
Design + UX
new
Justworks
New York
Sales
new
Justworks
New York
Finance
new
Justworks
New York
Finance
new
Justworks
New York
Operations
new
NS1
New York
Design + UX
new
Perch
New York
Operations
new
Perch
New York
Developer
new
NS1
New York
Marketing
new
Healthify
New York
Developer
new
NS1
New York
Product
new
Simon Data
New York
Operations
new
Simon Data
New York
Operations
new
Knotel
New York
Operations
new
Knotel
New York
Operations
new
Knotel
New York
Operations
new
Knotel
New York
Design + UX
new
Knotel
New York
Project Mgmt
new
Knotel
New York
Sales
new
Justworks
New York
Developer
new
Justworks
New York
Developer
new
Justworks
New York
Sales
new
Justworks
New York
HR
new
Justworks
New York
Sales
new
Justworks
New York
Developer
new
Bread
New York
Developer
new
Bread
New York
Marketing
new
Bread
New York
Developer
new
Bread
New York
Developer
new
Bread
New York
Developer
new
Bread
New York
Design + UX
new
Bread
New York
Developer
new
Bread
New York
Operations
new
Bread
New York
Sales
new
NS1
New York
Sales
new
NS1
New York
Data + Analytics
new
NS1
New York
Finance
new
Perch
New York
Operations
new
NS1
New York
HR
new
Bread
New York
Developer
new
Simon Data
New York
Operations
new
Simon Data
New York
Developer
new
Healthify
New York
Developer
new
NS1
New York
HR
new
Perch
New York
Developer
new
NS1
New York
Operations
new
Healthify
New York
Developer
new
NS1
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Simon Data
New York
Sales
new
Simon Data
New York
Sales
new
Simon Data
New York
Sales
new
Simon Data
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Simon Data
New York
Sales
new
Simon Data
New York
Developer
new
Bread
New York
Developer
new
NS1
New York
Marketing
new
Perch
New York
Developer
new
Perch
New York
Finance
new
Perch
New York
Design + UX
new
Perch
New York
Marketing
new
Perch
New York
Developer
new
Perch
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Perch
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Perch
New York
Sales
new
Perch
New York
Finance
new
Perch
New York
Operations
new
Perch
New York
Developer
new
Perch
New York
Developer
new
Perch
New York
HR
new
Perch
New York
Content
new
Perch
New York
Design + UX
new
Bread
New York
Product
new
NS1
New York
Developer
new
Simon Data
New York
Operations
new
Bread
New York
Marketing
new
NS1
New York

NYC startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Benefits at NYC Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Data Analyst & Data Science Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Design Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Marketing Jobs in NYC
Developer Jobs
View 804 jobs
Design + UX Jobs
View 205 jobs
Marketing Jobs
View 307 jobs
Product Jobs
View 201 jobs
Sales Jobs
View 573 jobs
Data Jobs
View 298 jobs