Diversity and inclusion are top of mind for tech companies these days and it’s about time. As an industry, we have failed to provide opportunities and empowerment for all people. We can’t let our past mistakes dictate our future.
I’m encouraged by the conversations that are happening by leaders like WealthSimple and LinkedIn. It’s important to further the dialogue, not because we’ve got it all figured out, but because we don’t, and we recognize that.
Rangle will be 6 years old in May and in those 6 years, we’ve grown from a team of 2 to a team of 285. I’m proud of the ways we’ve changed over the past 6 years, but I’m most proud of the ways we’ve stayed the same. Let me qualify that - I am proud that when I started this company, it was incredibly important that everyone in our organization have a voice, feels represented, and that we stay committed to transparency and open communication. We’ve remained committed to building a company where diversity is celebrated, both in our organization and in the tech community as a whole. We also know that there is work to be done to make sure we get where we need to be.
There’s a difference between offering lip service and participating in the dialogue to action change. We’re not interested in our reputation, we’re interested in the right thing. We believe the right thing is a workplace and an industry where everyone receives opportunities.
Are we perfect? Far from it. But we are committed to furthering the conversation around diversity in tech and taking a good hard look at ourselves. By publishing our survey results and committing to improvement, we hope to inspire more conversations at Rangle and in the community. An inclusive workplace is a non-negotiable for Rangle and we want to be open about how we are making that a reality.
We believe that everyone should be free to be their authentic self at work. We also feel strongly that a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and lenses creates a better employee experience and enables us to deliver better products.
Rangle’s Diversity and Inclusion Guild
One of the ways we keep diversity and inclusion top of mind at Rangle is through our Diversity and Inclusion Guild. The guild is a group of Ranglers committed to improve belonging at Rangle, in Toronto, and the tech community as a whole.
Meeting bi-weekly, our guild shares ideas, plans initiatives, and furthers the conversation around belonging. I am proud of the way the guild advocates, tackles hard questions, and inspires Rangle to do better. The guild was even the impetus for Bridge School, free programs for women, agender, and non-binary professionals in technology. Bridge was founded through Rangle’s Diversity Guild and has gone on to become a federally incorporated, not-for-profit organization.
In addition to unconscious bias training, a company-wide survey was one of the primary goals for the guild in 2018 and the executive team wholeheartedly agreed. This survey will act as a benchmark so that we can statistically measure our progress in the years to come. Our Diversity and Inclusion survey had a participation rate of 90%. We’re proud to be a company where our team is invested in diversity and inclusion.
What does this mean for Rangle?
The survey results reinforced some things we knew had to improve and it also highlighted some unforeseen challenges.
The survey revealed that while 34.7% of our workforce identify as women, only 22.2% of our technology department identifies as women. This gap is not ok and we’re taking measures to hire more women in technology and in leadership roles. As founding partner of Bridge school, we are deeply committed to breaking down barriers that women face in choosing STEM careers. To this day, we are the largest employer of Bridge graduates and our Rangle team volunteered over 2,700 hours in 2018 to teach, mentor, and prepare Bridge students for a new and rewarding career in tech.
We haven’t done a good job of hiring people of color at Rangle, and our survey results reflected that. We’ve partnered with VanHack, a community of talented professionals who are interested in relocating to Canada. By working with VanHack, we are able to interview folks who are highly skilled and looking for the right opportunity in Toronto. This is one of the ways we’re working to find and hire more women and people of color.
The survey also revealed that 13.2% of our team identifies as having a mental illness. 8.2% of respondents answered that they were unsure whether they have a mental illness. This signifies a portion of our staff that would benefit from education, support, and resources both at work and externally.
We’re striving to make Rangle a safe and inclusive workplace for individuals with mental illnesses by creating a culture of acceptance for discussing these issues. To further this effort, we offer an Employee Assistance Program and wellness programs like in-office guided meditation and yoga. We’ve also welcomed speakers from Aspiria to present on topics like anxiety, depression, and the stresses of caregiving.
A significant portion of our population at Rangle identified themselves as currently experiencing economic disadvantage (5%), or having experienced economic disadvantage in the past (38%). By understanding that economic disadvantage is present in our workplace, we can provide more education and information for our employees. Rangle does offer RRSP matching and comprehensive benefits and in 2019 we will be providing more detailed financial learning sessions to help employees take control of their finances.
Where do we go from here?
I’m proud of Rangle’s Diversity and Inclusion Guild and our shared belief that everyone should be free to be themselves at work and that different perspectives make us stronger.
We know that there is work to be done and we’re committed to doing it. By partnering with leaders like VanHack, #movethedial, Bridge School, and Progress Place, we’re learning from others and participating in the dialogue.
Up next, we plan to host sessions at Rangle on allyship and what it means to be an ally. We will continue to hold bias-training sessions and take steps every day to make Rangle a place where everyone belongs and has opportunities.
Is Rangle perfect? No. But what we are is committed to change. We believe in a more inclusive tech community, at Rangle, in our city, and in our world. We hope that through transparency, open dialogue, and action, we can make a change and inspire others to do so too.
Want to join us? See the current job opportunities at Rangle.