As Pipeworks Studios continues to grow our teams and engage new clients, we must continue to understand the needs and values of our diverse workforce. Our challenge was to identify and understand the makeup of our workforce, in order to better mobilize support, conduct strategic workforce planning, and identify appropriate talent attraction and development goals based on these demographics.
In 2020, Pipeworks announced the initiation of our annual self-identification survey for all employees. Noting industry best practices from the 2020 Corporate Equality Index, the self-identification survey allows Pipeworks to “better understand the composition of our workforce so we can provide relevant support, benefits and programming.”
The survey also provides vital data to measure successes for the DEI program such as representation in leadership, promotions, and new hires. Employees are asked to anonymously identify their race/ethnicity, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, primary caretaker status, age range, and more.
In our first year, we saw a significant percentage of our employee population decline to participate. Approximately 25% of employees did not provide their identifying information due to a combination of factors including lack of trust in the survey’s anonymity, lack of understanding of the survey’s significance, and/or personal objections to providing such information.
However, we were still able to identify large areas of opportunity, especially in the representation of women in the group.
In year two, due to continuous DEI education, socialization of the survey’s significance, and further measures to ensure total data anonymity, our outcome was wildly successful. We saw 90% participation, with only 3% percent of participants declining to self-identify across the board, and significant gains in almost every diversity dimension measured.
Moving forward, we will continue optimizing and conducting the survey year-on-year and using the survey as a basis for diversity recruiting, talent planning, and ongoing employee support. Publishing this information on our website has created a culture of transparency both internally and externally, and helped up to increase recruitment of diverse and underrepresented candidates by 10% in just one year.
At Pipeworks, our people are our most valuable resource, and we are committed to creating a culture where they can thrive. As a result, we stay closely connected to the diversity of our employee population and their needs. This awareness helps us provide what each of them deserves: a place where they belong.