Diversity at Medium

What do our numbers look like?

In case you didn’t know, diversity in the workplace is a good idea. It builds better, stronger teams by expanding the collective knowledge of the company, improves profitability, and can boost morale.

Diversity is especially important to us at Medium. Our audience is everyone in the world. If we have a homogenous group making the decisions on how to build our product, we’re going to have a pretty narrow perspective and a one-sided experience.

Unfortunately, no tech companies are doing a great job of diversifying their teams (the number of women in leadership roles and minorities in general are pretty dismal). Companies like Pinterest, Twitter, and Google have posted their diversity metrics in an attempt to bring more awareness to this existing problem as they work towards solutions.

So how do we measure up?

Heres the breakdown (as of 11/3/14):

Ours isn’t much better… Women make up one third of our entire company and our management/lead links ratio is slightly higher, but women barely make up one quarter of our technical roles. Our board consists of no women at all (something GCC is actively working on).

We need to do a better job.

What’s Next?

First, I’m really proud of our team. We already have a lot of support internally that has already lead to more people reaching out to us, like these tweets here:

The men at our company are also putting effort into this initiative. Dan discovered a diversity in the workplace event last month and invited the whole company, Jamie had a creative idea that he wrote up and he’s also applied to independently mentor students at CODE2040 and arranged for us to host three fellows next summer. It’s pretty awesome that so many people here voluntarily invest their time to improve diversity at Medium.

But there’s so much more we can do. People Ops will be prioritizing this issue in Q1 by building a strategy and seriously executing on it as its own initiative at Medium. To start, our goal is to grow our brand as a company that encourages diversity and create more sources for recruiting this talent. Here are some low hanging fruit we plan on tackling:

  • Host at least one event per quarter that supports women and/or minorities.
  • Sponsor organizations that align with our values. We will be supporting CODE2040 to start.
  • Participate in fellowships and mentorship programs.
  • Engage in more creative sourcing by posting our jobs in more unique places, like NSHMBA, USBEIT, and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
  • I have a hypothesis that making our culture and values obvious to people outside of Medium will reduce ambiguity and they will be more comfortable applying for our jobs. I’m working on a consolidated “About Medium” landing page that will bring all of our resources together on one page so candidates can more thoroughly learn about us (big thanks to Katie for collection mixtapes!)

If you want to help, we’d love for you to be involved in our efforts. If you have any interesting or out-of-the-box ideas like Jamie’s, feel free to leave a response to this post. If you want to be involved in events, help write posts, or anything else that you’d like to do, just let me know. And if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, I’m always available.

This is a hard task that no one in our industry has been able to nail yet.

I’d love for us to be the first.

West coaster who loves menus, beaches, and great stories.

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