Empathy is the key to any diverse and inclusive organization. At ThoughtWire, we’re lucky that this core attribute is prolific in our culture and forms the foundation for our strong team. We value empathy because it is deeply interconnected to everything we do. When we can see the world from other people’s perspectives, we can develop better solutions for everyone and begin to intrinsically understand the needs of both our external and internal clients.
Aside from the gender balance discussed in our International Women’s Day blog post, our team is also diverse in background and age. We are proud to have representation across 5 continents and more than 10 countries working at ThoughtWire. With a headcount of 55, we also have great age diversity, with 55% of our team members between the age of 18-34 and 45% between the age of 35-64.
You’ll often hear how team diversity can elevate creativity and innovation, but it’s not as simple as just making mindful hiring decisions. In order to see any of these benefits, it’s critical to create an inclusive environment so individuals feel safe bringing their whole selves to work. To promote an inclusive environment, some efforts we’ve focused on this past year are:
- Expanding our school relationships to recruit interns from five different institutions rather than one
- Consciously using language in our job postings that eliminate gender biases and ensuring only minimum requirements are listed with “nice-to-haves” clearly indicated in a separate section
- Defining our compensation philosophy and strategy as well as creating a pay structure for ThoughtWire that aligns pay with competencies and removes negotiation from the process
- Conducting structured interviews so all candidates go through the same process and answer the same set of questions which allows us to evaluate fairly
- Having all employees complete the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) training online so we are 100% certified
Following through on our belief of equal opportunity, we have also rolled out a professional development program this past year that applies to all full-time team members. Many companies have a budget put aside for training, but in practice only a select group of employees are usually approved to take advantage of this budget. I love that our professional development budget is created so that every full-time team member receives the same amount to use towards growing in their career, regardless of their position or seniority.
As ThoughtWire expands, we will continue to focus on building a diverse team, designing equitable programs and processes, and fostering an inclusive culture.