Over the past few years, we’ve shared semi-annual updates on Gusto’s journey to create a more representative engineering team. In our March 2019 update, we shared what we hoped to accomplish in the next 6 months and a new way of working (the "accountability model”) to help scale our efforts.

In this post, you’ll hear (1) what we've accomplished since then, (2) some learnings that we’ve had along the way, and (3) what we hope to accomplish over the next 6 months.

What we accomplished over the last 6 months

In the spirit of accountability, I’ll share below the areas we hoped to focus on from our March 2019 post and how successful we were.

# of woman/non-binary directly reporting to Eddie
0 0
% of engineering candidates who get a phone screen that are from an underrepresented group (URG)
23% 30%
% of engineering managers who are from an URG
24% 34%
Percentage point difference (non-URG vs URG) in positive1 answers to the question: “I would recommend Gusto as a great place to work”
-4 percentage points2 +9 percentage points2
Compa-ratio3 across gender and ethnicity
Men: 100.6%
Women/Non-binary: 100.5%
Ethnicity: 101%
Men: 100.4% Women/Non-binary: 100.2%
Ethnicity: 99.45%
% of senior engineers who are from an URG 18% 19%

1 Answered “agree” or “strongly agree”. Other possible answers are “strongly disagree”, “disagree” and “neutral”.
2 Negative percentage points indicate that non-URG were more likely to answer the question favorably. Positive percentage points indicate that URGs were more likely to answer the question favorably.
3 Compa-ratio measures the group’s average salary in relation to the midpoint of Gusto’s salary range

32% of our overall engineering team comes from one or more underrepresented group. Overall, we’re very proud of the progress we’ve made in the past 6 months, especially in creating a more diverse engineering management team and increasing representation in our candidate pool for our recruiting efforts.

A couple learnings we had along the way

One of the things that changed over the last six months is that we moved from a workstream model to an accountability model. That is, instead of our committee doing much of the work themselves, they hold individuals and teams accountable through check-ins and project management.

A major learning for us was that the accountability model works best for metrics where the accountable team has ownership of the levers that can drive change. For example, holding the Recruiting team accountable to the goal of a more diverse candidate pool was effective, because they control the way that we source. Our sourcing team committed to spending 40% of their time sourcing engineers from underrepresented groups, which enabled them to move the needle on our metrics.

Gusto is a very metrics-driven culture and our tendency is to use lots of data to fully understand the problems we’re trying to solve. But when it comes to creating a more inclusive place to work, we learned that it’s important to supplement our data with a qualitative understanding of how people experience their time at Gusto. As obvious as it sounds, just asking someone how they feel could give you the best insights. We’ll continue to track progress through data where they matter, but we also will lean into activities that will be more qualitative and subjective in nature.

What we hope to accomplish next

We’re very excited to continue to make more progress on making our engineering team a more representative and inclusive place to be a part of. Over the next six months, we intend to focus on creating a deeper sense of belonging within our teams. We hope to accomplish the following:

  • Understand and improve how Gusto is experienced by different underrepresented groups by organizing a series of internal roundtable lunch chats with different groups of engineers. We’ll gather qualitative feedback and create an action plan to address as much of the feedback as we can.
  • Better support the “onlys" in an engineering team. The onlys are individuals from an underrepresented background who don’t have someone else from a similar background in their team to support them. Being in this situation can oftentimes feel very isolating. We want to understand where the onlys exist in our engineering team and find ways to better support them. We’re very excited to be experimenting with Atlassian’s Balanced Teams Diversity Assessment tool to help us here.
  • Better recognize and reward diversity and belonging work. Time we spend to create a better community at work should not be extra-curricular. Rather, we see it as a core part of one’s role as a Gusto engineer. As a result, we want to update our Engineering Attributes to ensure we are rewarding work that individuals do to create a better community and engagement at Gusto.

We’re excited for what the next 6 months will look like for us and we’ll continue to provide more updates as we learn more.

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