Summary of “Atlassian Boosted Its Female Technical Hires By 80%”

Atlassian took this tack, and deprogramming people from calling its hiring culture a meritocracy has shifted the company’s mentality to really scrutinize potential biases – in every candidate touchpoint, in performance evaluations, in project assignments, and throughout.
“If these people have a very similar set of perspectives and life experiences, you may be unintentionally building a culture that’s saying, ‘We only want people like us. We don’t want you here. We’re not going to support you,'” she says.
I’ve seen people post everything from what it’s like to work with mental health issues to interesting observations about what makes our culture unique,” says Blanche.
“We thought really specifically about what images we put on our website. Were we showing a diversity of employees in situations that demonstrated a multidimensional environment? Would most people coming to the site feel like they recognized not only themselves, but the type of activities, social occasions, work settings they like to work in? We didn’t want to show pictures of only happy hours or intense heads-down work,” Blanche says.
“Startups should create a broad picture of who they are and who they support. Showcase benefits that you provide for people across different backgrounds and stages of life. It’s important that people feel represented and that their needs have been thought of. If you’re emphasizing that the perks of your company are your ping pong table and the keg, then there’s a very specific set of people who are going to be interested in that kind of a culture.”
“We also choose interviewers who we think are great ambassadors of our culture and values. There’s a nomination process where Atlassians choose peers who they think best embody the company values to interview candidates for Values Fit. For instance, one of Atlassian’s values is ‘Play, as a team.’ So, a chosen interviewer might be someone who goes out of their way to help others learn, tasked with looking for that quality in prospective candidates. Atlassian then gives nominees training on structural behavioral interviewing and unconscious bias, and we make sure these people have a lot of support,” she says.
“If you want to increase your conversions, identical pitches may only end up working on a small subset of people because everyone has a different set of preferences,” says Blanche.
“A lot of people have habits with implications they don’t understand because they haven’t worked with the most diverse set of folks in the past. There’s a big learning curve for a lot of people. To be understanding and empathetic of that learning curve is also a crucial part of inclusion. We have to include people who we’re asking to develop new habits. The key will always be dedication and persistence. Always ask what perspectives you don’t have. Just carrying that question with you can create powerful change. Make your efforts public to your company.”And remember, startups are uniquely suited to this task.

The orginal article.