At SendGrid, we believe investing in a diverse workforce creates a strong and innovative community and gives us a competitive advantage. We strive to strengthen awareness of diversity and inclusion challenges and provide guidance to make changes within the organization so that we can enhance diversity and inclusion both internally at SendGrid and throughout the industry as a whole.

For the past three years, we’ve released our diversity numbers, joining the growing number of tech companies who are driving diversity and inclusion efforts within the industry. We believe that sharing our statistics contributes to the transparency we need to continue to grow and to make a difference in our community of tech companies.

By the Numbers

SendGrid hired over 150 employees in 2016, and we’re happy to show that we continue to grow in the right direction:

Since we began sharing these numbers, we’ve improved in every area of focus. Women now make up 33% of SendGrid’s 338 total employees, up from 24% in 2015 and 22% in 2014. Women also hold 32% of all leadership jobs, up from 27% in 2015 and 19% in 2014. And the number of women in technical positions has increased from 12% to 17% over the last year. While our data only reflects binary gender distinctions, we recognize that gender isn’t binary. We understand that part of our community identifies as gender non-binary, and we will continue to identify ways to be inclusive in this area as well.

Reporting our numbers is only the first step of our continuing strategy. Acting on that information keeps us focused on our goal to ensure an inclusive community at SendGrid.

Ongoing Strategy and Newly Introduced Benefits

Improving inclusivity at a company takes more than just the efforts of one department. Last year we created a diversity and inclusion working group called Prism. The group consists of individuals across the organization, from CEO to individual contributor, that learn and collaborate with each other while ensuring we make progress on our strategic areas.

Culture

Our values: happy, hungry, honest, and humble are at the core of everything we do, and when we apply these to inclusion, they define our culture. Our efforts in making sure all our employees feel that they are a part of our culture include conducting a first-ever inclusion survey from CultureAmp so that we can hear the stories of our employees as data, and start the hard work of measuring our effectiveness.

We know how important it is to have a happy work life and home life, and how much of a change it is to become new parents. As a result, we now offer five weeks’ parental leave when a Gridder adds a new member to their family–whether by birth or adoption–to all new parents.

Transparency

Part of our honest-H culture is to ensure we remain accountable for moving the needle on diversity and inclusion. Publishing our annual statistics is part of that accountability.

Community

We understand that no company (or person) can achieve these goals alone. We are proud to continue our partnership with National Center for Women In Technology (NCWIT) as a member of the Pacesetters group and Entrepreneurial Alliance. SendGrid also supports numerous efforts across the Front Range, from hosting meet-ups and sponsoring events, to expanding our knowledge by participating in community events, both as learners and as thought leaders.

Innovation

We continue to invest in building inclusive job descriptions via our partnership with Textio, and we’re exploring other tools to conquer day-to-day biases. We recently began exploring a partnership with an exciting new technology called Joonko that uncovers bias (and suggests solutions to mitigate) using Artifical Intelligence within a company’s recruiting and hiring process. Read more about how we use this technology. 

Talent Acquisition

In 2016, we set a goal of dedicating 150 recruiting hours through the year to source qualified, underrepresented (non-caucasian males) professionals. While we didn’t hit our goal 100% (we measured approximately 130 hours), we felt great about the hours we did achieve. In order to attract and hire underrepresented candidates, we were very active in the community via diversity-focused recruiting events. Of the hires that were sourced via this effort, 60% can be categorized as underrepresented.

Another goal we set in the beginning of 2016 was a conscious effort/requirement of a diverse candidate pool from our executive searches. We were fortunate to hire two immensely qualified female executives, which we fundamentally believe will create a better overall leadership vision for the company.

Looking Ahead

We’ve set some significant goals for 2017 to make sure we continue to learn, drive change within SendGrid, and influence the industry. We have formed employee resource groups (ERGs) that will help us hear, and respond, to the stories of our employees. We’ll also be elevating our training on unconscious bias, and we’ll be looking at tools and technologies to better understand where unconscious bias happens.

This year, we’re also bolstering our internal and external communication about diversity and inclusion efforts, including continuing to release our diversity statistics, creating internal communication tools (blog, calendars, resource lists), and publicly sharing our mission for diversity and inclusion.

We plan on continuing to foster our relationships with organizations who support underrepresented groups, expand our reach and support for these organizations in California, and expand the number of our employees who are involved in these communities around the world. We have a goal to expand on our sourcing qualified, underrepresented individuals, and to continue to be active in diversity-focused recruiting events across the country.

Our goals for 2017 for inclusion are a few ways we continue to embody the 4H culture here at SendGrid. We know how important it is for everyone’s voice to be heard and valued. If you’re interested in learning more about our culture or are curious about our open positions, check out our career page.



Sue Pomeroy
Susan Allspaw Pomeroy is the Program Manager for Information Services at SendGrid, where she manages–among other things–SendGrid's regulatory compliance program. She’s worked in the information security industry for 15 years, and she helps lead SendGrid's diversity and inclusion efforts.