Talent acquisition teams can’t control for the diversity in their pipelines when it comes to applicants; and it’s easy to replicate whatever homogeneity there is in an organization with referrals. But one of the biggest challenges in creating a culture where everyone can thrive is ensuring there’s adequate diversity in a company’s leadership bench, where underrepresented groups are typically represented even less.
At Gem, we start most searches going 100% outbound for diverse candidates. By proactively sourcing underrepresented talent, we can help offset referrals and inbound candidates and ensure that we’re building a diverse top-of-funnel. In 2020, Gem launched a Leadership Nurture program in which members of our leadership team have three coffee chats with underrepresented professionals each quarter, with the aim of diversifying their own professional networks and laying the groundwork for future hiring.
Our goal at Gem when it comes to representation is to meet the demographics of San Francisco—where we’re headquartered—and then exceed them. In 2021, Gem is 40% woman-identified. The percentage of Gems that identify as Black (7%) and of two or more races (12%) exceed San Francisco’s demographics (which in 2021 are 5.21% and 5.57%, respectively). The Leadership Nurture Program is a long play; but in its first year, we’ve already made one opportunistic hire into a high-profile executive position through this program.
As a recruiting technology platform focused on helping our customers track diversity and uncover bias in their hiring processes, DEI has necessarily been a priority at Gem from the beginning. Our ethos when it comes to our Gems is consistency, equity, and fairness. I know the work is never done; which is why I’m publicly committing to staying awake and attentive to what our Gems need; what makes them feel most celebrated; and how we can offer them a culture and a career path that feels like it honors them entirely for who they are, and for what they bring to our team.