At Pantheon, we are actively working toward creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce, a place where people come to do the best work of their careers. Recently, we were challenged on social media to do better. And that hit us like a punch. We realized that while we have been so focused on building this culture on the inside, we have not taken the opportunity to communicate this work externally. We know that many customers and partners are also innovating in this area and that together, by sharing what we are doing and welcoming feedback, we can help each other accelerate the progress.
First, a little about my own experience: I joined Pantheon just under two years ago as Chief People Officer and the first C-level female at the time. Since then, the changes we've made to our Board and senior leadership team has set the tone for how we are elevating women in our workplace moving forward.
Elevating Women into Leadership Roles
We aspire to be a leader of gender equity in tech, an industry in which women occupy just 26% of computing-related jobs and only 28% of leadership roles at the five biggest tech companies. Changing these numbers starts by building pipelines into leadership for women, and placing women in strategic leadership roles. This has been an explicit commitment of ours for the past two years, and our representation of women in management positions has gone from almost zero to 35%. We know we can do better and I'm confident our investments in these programs will result in ongoing growth.
Welcoming Elissa Fink, Christy Marble, Laura Zwahlen & Kimberly Kummet
In January this year, we welcomed Elissa Fink, former Chief Marketing Officer at Tableau, to the Pantheon board—the first independent board member in the company's history. Elissa brings extensive experience, having helped grow Tableau from $5 million to over $1 billion in annual revenue, and we’re excited to have a crucial female voice at the helm of the company’s decision making. Already, Elissa’s guidance had been essential to Pantheon’s success.
In the last several months, we have hired three additional female executives, including Christy Marble as CMO, Laura Zwahlen as VP of Sales, and Kimberly Kummet as VP Corporate Controller. I know Christy, as the leader of our Marketing team, is especially excited to spotlight the diverse talent within Pantheon. You can expect to see more from our employees in the coming months, as we showcase the work they're passionate about—both at Pantheon, and outside of Pantheon.
Diversifying the leadership pipeline at Pantheon doesn't stop with women. We strive to elevate anyone who identifies outside the gender binary, as well as racial and ethnic minority groups. We have just launched a newly designed leadership development program for all people managers, and for those aspiring to be managers, to develop that pipeline of diversity further.
Holding Ourselves Accountable
Anti-Harassment Training and Ethics Hotline
All our employees, including the Executive leadership team, attend anti-harassment training on an annual basis. We also introduced an ethics hotline last year to provide a protected channel for employees to file complaints outside of traditional paths.
Supporting Black Lives Matter
To support mission-critical organizations involved with the Black Lives Matter movement, we have created a program in 2020 to offer our WebOps platform to qualifying organizations free of charge. In addition, one of our co-founders, Josh Koenig, who is also Head of Product, is working to raise awareness and funding to help combat police violence in Vallejo, California.
Championing LGBTQ+ Rights
At Pantheon, we are advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and encourage all our employees to bring their whole, authentic selves to work everyday. This year, we celebrated Pride Month by sharing personal experiences, hosting virtual dance parties, and listening to renowned speakers from the Black and Queer communities on intersectional issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.
In addition, we’ve teamed up with Lesbians Who Tech to promote the opportunities of the talented women, people of color, queer, and trans people working in tech today.
Addressing Recruitment From a Diversity Standpoint
One of the biggest challenges in creating a diverse, inclusive workplace is getting the recruitment and interview process right. This means mitigating unintended biases and welcoming talent from a variety of underrepresented backgrounds and communities. Some initiatives we are currently working to introduce include:
Re-architecting candidate assessment and feedback systems.
Implementing company-wide interview training.
Including someone with an underrepresented background in the interview loops.
ERGs & Transformative Partnerships
In June, we introduced Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and we encourage all employees of diverse backgrounds to join an ERG to amplify one another's voice, empower new employees, and create a more equitable relationship between newer hires and tenured employees. ERGs for women, LGBTQ+, Accessibility, and Black and Latinx employees have formed. Next, we are starting Pantheon’s Diversity Action Committee to further the plans of ERGs within the scope and context of the company’s business objectives.
Outside of Pantheon, we are building strong partnerships with organizations to promote diversity in tech, including: SV Academy, Lesbians Who Tech (see above), Black Girls Code, the National Association of Women Sales Professionals (NAWSP), Techtonica, and Women in Product.
Releasing an Inclusive Language Guide
The use of inclusive language is critical in creating a workplace that doesn’t alienate marginalized groups and people of different backgrounds. We're releasing an Inclusive Language Guide in November to help writers identify discriminatory and violent language, and avoid certain expressions, words, and phrases that might exclude or diminish particular groups of people. This Guide will inform internal communications; product messaging; and it will be shared externally with those who contribute to our Blogs, Docs pages, and on our forum.
I joined Pantheon because of the values and the mission. Our company is committed to passion, teamwork, trust, and customers first. We have a bias for action, a growth mindset, and a sense of responsibility to make a difference in the world. All that begins with a strong, diverse, and equitable community.
I am proud of the progress we have made, and I want to share this work publicly because it remains at the top of my agenda at Pantheon. We believe it's important that we keep learning and improving, and we genuinely welcome input from our community, customers, and partners who have experiences and insights that can help us all. I welcome your feedback firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might also like: