Stanford moonshot promises near-term profitability with no-code magical mushrooms, ft. Plaid of X

Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. As you can tell by the headline of this episode, this is a bonus episode all about Y Combinator Demo Day (and the terms we heard most often during the two-day affair).

Natasha and Alex jumped on Twitter Spaces to talk through our favorites of the batch, geography changes, and diversity shake-up that included less women getting funded batch over batch. Below are some of the posts we pulled from:

Y Combinator week is busy, but we made it through! Talk Monday!

Equity drops every Monday at 7 a.m. PDT and Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.

Stanford moonshot promises near-term profitability with no-code magical mushrooms, ft. Plaid of X by Natasha Mascarenhas originally published on TechCrunch

Netflix releases latest diversity numbers

Netflix has released its first-ever diversity and inclusion report. Though, it’s not the first time Netflix has shared this type of data. Netflix has shared representation numbers since 2013, but the company had not put a bow on it until now.

Worldwide, women make up 47.1% of Netflix’s workforce. Since 2017, representation of white and Asian employees has been on a slow decline, while representation of Hispanic or Latinx, Black, mixed race and folks from native populations has been on the rise. In the U.S., Netflix is 8.1% Hispanic or Latinx, 8% Black, and 5.1% of its employees are mixed race, while 1.3% of employees are either Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and/or from the Middle East or North Africa.


Netflix’s representation of people of color at the leadership level is not perfect but it’s certainly better than that of its counterparts in the tech industry. The company’s leadership team is 15.7% Asian, 9.5% Black, 4.9% Hispanic and 4.1% of Netflix’s higher-ups are mixed race.

Netflix has not laid out any concrete goals, but says it’s generally wanting to increase representation by hiring more inclusively and building out its recruiting networks, its VP of inclusion and diversity, Vernā Myers, said in the report. Additionally, Netflix says it wants to focus more on increasing inclusion and representation of folks outside of the U.S., as well as find a way to measure what the company called “inclusion health.”

Airbnb sets new diversity goals

Airbnb, which recently went public and became a $100 billion company, has set two goals to try to improve diversity at the home-sharing and experiences company because it “is nowhere near satisfied with the status quo,” the company wrote in a blog post.

By the end of 2025, Airbnb is aiming for 20% of its U.S. workforce to be underrepresented minorities, which includes folks who self-identify as American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Currently, underrepresented minorities make up just 12% of the company’s employee base.

The second goal is to increase the representation of women to 50% by the end of 2025. Currently, Airbnb says it is 46.9% female worldwide, but it’s worth noting Airbnb has not released a full diversity report since 2019 when it disclosed its 2018 numbers.

These goals come after Airbnb committed in June to making its Board of Directors and executive team 20% people of color by the end of 2021. Currently, Airbnb has one Black director on its board, Kenneth Chenault and one Black person on its executive team, Melissa Thomas-Hunt, who is head of global diversity and belonging.

This is also not the first time Airbnb has set goals. In 2016, Airbnb committed to increasing the percentage of employees from underrepresented groups from 9.64% to 11% by the end of 2017. Airbnb achieved that goal, which supports the claim that setting goals are helpful in increasing DEI.

Despite commitment to anti-racism, Uber’s Black employee base has decreased

Uber today released its latest diversity report, showing a decline in the overall representation of Black employees in the U.S. despite an increased focus on racial justice this year in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. In 2019, Uber was 9.3% Black while this year, only 7.5% of its employees are Black.

Uber attributes the decline in Black employees to its layoffs earlier this year, where about 40% of its employees in community operations were laid off, Uber Chief Diversity Officer Bo Young Lee told TechCrunch.

“As a company that has so publicly stated its stance on anti-racism, that’s not acceptable,” she said.

That unintentional decline in the Black population at Uber “led to a lot of soul searching,” she said. “Dara was certainly upset by it. Every leader was. It reinforced how easy it is to lose some ground after all the work you’ve done.”

Lee said her diversity, equity and inclusion team was consulted prior to the layoffs in an attempt to ensure there was no disparate impact on any one group.

“The unfortunate thing that wasn’t understood at the time was our customer service org in particular was hit pretty hard,” she said. “The overall rate of layoffs was 25-26% in most parts.”

But in the customer service organization, about 40% of employees were affected. And that part of the company had a higher representation of Black and Latinx folks than in other areas.

While Uber saw a decline in its overall Black population, it saw an overall net increase in women of color. And in order to get even more granular, Uber plans to start disaggregating the Asian community and Latinx community.

Uber first set diversity goals just last year. Those goals entailed increasing the percentage of women at levels L5 (manager level) and higher to 35% and increasing the percentage of underrepresented employees at levels L4 (senior associate) and higher to 14% by 2022.

Source: Uber. Uber’s overall U.S. racial breakdown

Currently, Uber is 59.7% male, 44.8% white, 37.2% Asian, 7.5% Black, 8.4% Latinx, 1.3% multiracial, 0.3% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander and 0.5% Native American.

Uber does not break out the demographics of its gig workforce, but many studies have shown people of color make up a large portion of the gig economy.

In San Francisco, 78% of gig workers are people of color and 56% of gig workers are immigrants, according to a study conducted by San Francisco’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and led by UC Santa Cruz professor Chris Benner.

While Lee is not directly responsible for the driver and delivery population, she said they also represent a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. With that in mind, her team does advise other parts of Uber in policy setting as it relates to gig workers.

Uber has had a contentious relationship with its drivers and delivery workers for the last couple of years, especially in California. That all came to a head when California voters passed Proposition 22, a ballot measure that will keep gig workers classified as independent contractors. Uber, Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash collectively proposed and backed the measure with $206 million in funding.

On the other side of the proposition were labor groups representing gig workers. But it wasn’t just gig workers who opposed the measure. Inside Uber, engineer Kurt Nelson spoke out against the measure. In fact, he credited the measure as being the final straw that led him to seek out other job opportunities.

For Lee, deciding to support Prop 22 came down to paying attention to “who gets included and who gets excluded from policies.” When looking at AB 5, the California bill that changed the way companies could classify their workers, she “couldn’t help but notice the majority of independent contractor roles that were predominantly white were being excluded from AB 5.”

For example, California exempted fine artists, freelance writers, still photographers, copy editors, producers and other types of professions from AB 5.

“Maybe if AB 5 was applied differently, I would’ve landed somewhere else,” Lee said, being sure to clarify she was speaking for herself and not for Uber. “For me, I recognize that Prop 22 was the right thing at the end of the day.”

Meanwhile, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said the company plans to advocate for similar laws in other parts of the country and world. It’s not clear what that will specifically entail, but an Uber spokesperson said the company plans to discuss this type of framework with stakeholders in other states and countries.


Uber finally sets diversity, inclusion and equity goals

Within the sphere of diversity, inclusion and equity, it’s common knowledge that companies are unlikely to achieve meaningful progress unless they put goals in place. Uber has finally gotten the memo. Today, as part of its third diversity report, Uber committed to two three-year goals, as well as broke out the stats around intersectionality.

Today, Uber is still predominantly white and Asian, the company has made notable headway in the representation of black and Latinx people among its employees. Uber is now 9.3% black and 8.3% Latinx compared to just 8.1% black and 6.1% Latinx last year.

Screen Shot 2019 07 12 at 3.15.10 PM

While these numbers are an improvement, they are not where they need to be. Project Include’s Ellen Pao has previously said the numbers need to be at 13% black and 17% Latinx in order to reflect the demographics of the U.S. population.

“I think one area where we are improving but continue to need to improve is to increase the percentage of people of color at Uber,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told TechCrunch. “In general, both black and Latinx employees. But not only increasing representation but also really understanding the experience of a POC at Uber — their engagement and their satisfaction.”

Another caveat is that when it comes to the representation of black and brown people in tech roles, also known as the higher-paying roles, the percentages decrease. Uber’s tech team is just 3.6% black, 4.4% Latinx and 2.7% multi-racial.

Even more alarming is the fact that black people make up 32.4% of Uber’s support staff. Latinx folks make up 22.8% of support staff, which includes community support representatives, people at Uber’s driver support Greenlight hubs, leasing specialists and self-driving operators.

Screen Shot 2019 07 12 at 3.18.13 PM

These roles are generally lower-paying ones, but Lee stressed that there has been positive growth across all the levels. Also, in order to further facilitate the growth of underrepresented people in the higher levels, Uber needs to make investments in the levels below.

“In order to make that change happen, we have to get people through the pipeline at levels below,” Uber Chief Diversity Officer Bo Young Lee told TechCrunch.

But it’s not easy, nor should it be, to advance in the ranks at Uber, Khosrowshahi said.

“I never want it to be easy because I want movement at Uber to be challenging and rewarding, but that challenge and reward should be available for everyone regardless of gender, color or beliefs,” he said. “We still have work to do as a company to make sure that challenge and reward is equally available to everyone.”

Unsurprisingly, there’s also little representation of black and brown people in leadership roles. While Khosrowshahi said he’s proud the promotion rates for women have improved over the last couple of years, he said, “I can’t yet say the same for promotions for people of color.”

Screen Shot 2019 07 12 at 3.19.14 PM

He added, representation of black and brown people at Uber in both tech and leadership positions “has to get better and it is getting better but we are early in this process.”

Uber is also in the early days of looking at intersectionality, having just started looking at the data in the last six months or so.

“I’m a strong believer that in order for true inclusion to be created, you have to look at how people in the organization who have the most intersectional identities are thriving,” Lee said. “Most of the gains, historically, when women have thrived are gained by white women. Black and brown women often gain the least.”

Here are some things I found notable:

  • There are more white men (30.1%) than there are black and Latinx people (17.6%) at Uber
  • Uber employs more black women (5.3%) than black men (4%)
  • White men make up 42.8% of the leadership team

It’s problematic that there are more white men than there are black and Latinx people at Uber. However, given what we all know about the tech industry, it’s not necessarily surprising.

“I certainly wasn’t pleased by it,” Lee said about the statistics. “But I wouldn’t say I was disappointed because I wasn’t surprised. It just gave me a really good starting place around what we were actually facing.”

Within the next three years, Uber aims to:

  1. Increase the percentage of women at levels L5 and higher (manager and above) to 35%
  2. Increase percentage of underrepresented employees at levels L4 and higher to 14%

Last week, Facebook laid out some new goals. The most notable one is to double the number of female and POC employees within the next five years. While Uber does not have that same goal in place, Uber expects to see the representation of women and POC double within the next few years on a year-over-year growth basis, Lee said. It’s important, however, to note that is different than on basis percentage point improvements.

While Uber has put some goals in place, Lee said it’s too early for the company to set goals around intersectionality. The first step seems to be to help people within Uber understand what intersectionality means and see how it shows up, or doesn’t show up, within its workforce.

“It doesn’t help us to hide this data,” Lee said of the company’s intersectional data. “If you don’t face the reality, you can’t make progress…While I’m not necessarily happy about the results or data as it stands, it is progress as long as we face it without excusing it.”

Facebook’s diversity efforts show little progress after five years

Facebook has released its fifth diversity report, and it’s fine. Unless companies fire everyone and start over, we’re not going to see drastic improvements anytime soon.

“A critical lesson we’ve learned is that recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse, inclusive workforce should be a priority from day one,” Facebook Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams wrote in a blog post. “The later you start taking deliberate action to increase diversity, the harder it becomes.”

Anyway, worldwide, Facebook is 36 percent female, up from 31 percent in 2014. In the U.S., Facebook is 3.5 percent black, compared to just 2 percent in 2014, and 4.9 percent Latinx compared to 4 percent in 2014. White people, unsurprisingly, still makes up the single largest population of employees (46.4 percent today versus 57 percent in 2014). The upside to this is that white people no longer make up the majority at Facebook.

At the leadership and technical levels, change has not occurred for black employees. Black employees still make up just two percent of people in leadership roles and one percent of employees in technical roles. For Latinx people, employees make up three percent of the technical team and three percent of the leadership team, down from four percent in 2014.

In her blog post, Williams noted that “diversity is critical to our success as a company.”

It’s true and the data is there to back it up. Companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity at the executive level are 33 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile, according to McKinsey’s report, “Delivering through Diversity.

When the Cambridge Analytica scandal went down, some pointed to Facebook’s overall lack of diversity as part of the problem. That’s because homogenous cultures lead to limited perspectives and potential lack of awareness of things that may be more obvious to diverse groups of people. Perhaps if Facebook had been more diverse, that all fiasco could’ve been prevented.

You can check out Facebook’s full report here.

Google releases first diversity report since the infamous anti-diversity memo

Google has released its first diversity report since the infamous James Damore memo and the fallout that resulted from it. Those are both long stories but the TL;DR is that Damore said some sexist things in a memo that went viral. He got fired and then sued Google for firing him. That lawsuit, however, was shot down by the National Labor Relations Board in February. Then, it turned out another employee, Tim Chevalier, alleges he was fired for advocating for diversity, as reported by Gizmodo later that month. Now, Chevalier is suing Google.

“I was retaliated against for pointing out white privilege and sexism as they exist in the workplace at Google and I think that’s wrong,” Chevalier told TechCrunch few months ago about why he decided to sue. “I wanted to be public about it so that the public would know about what’s going on with treatment of minorities at Google.”

In court, Google is trying to move the case into arbitration. Earlier this month, Google’s attorney said Chevalier previously “agreed in writing to arbitrate the claims asserted” in his original complaint, according to court documents filed June 11, 2018.

Now that I’ve briefly laid out the state of diversity and inclusion at Google, here’s the actual report, which is Google’s fifth diversity report to date and by far the most comprehensive. For the first time, Google has provided information around employee retention and intersectionality.

First, here are some high-level numbers:

  • 30.9 percent female globally
  • 2.5 percent black in U.S.
  • 3.6 percent Latinx In U.S.
  • 0.3 percent Native American in U.S.
  • 4.2 percent two or more races in U.S.

Google also recognizes its gender reporting is “not inclusive of our non-binary population” and is looking for the best way to measure gender moving forward. As Google itself notes, representation for women, black and Latinx people has barely increased. Last year, Google was 30.8 percent female, 2.4 percent black and 3.5 percent Latinx.

At the leadership level, Google has made some progress year over year, but the company’s higher ranks are still 74.5 percent male and 66.9 percent white. So, congrats on the progress but please do better next time because this is not good enough.

Moving forward, Google says its goal is to reach or exceed the available talent pool in terms of underrepresented talent. But what that would actually look like is not clear. In an interview with TechCrunch, Google VP of Diversity and Inclusion Danielle Brown told me Google looks at skills, jobs and census data around underrepresented groups graduating with relevant degrees. Still, she said she’s not sure what the representation numbers would look like if Google achieved that. In response to what a job well done would look like, Brown said:

You know as well as we do that it’s a long game. Do we ever get to good? I don’t know. I’m optimistic we’ll continue to make progress. It’s not a challenge we’ll solve over night. It’s quite systemic. Despite doing it for a long time, my team and I remain really optimistic that this is possible.

As noted above, Google has also provided data around attrition for the first time. It’s no surprise — to me, at least — that attrition rates for black and Latinx employees were the highest in 2017. To be clear, attrition rates are an indicator of how many people leave a company. When one works at a company that has so few black and brown people in leadership positions, and at the company as a whole, the unfortunate opportunity to be the unwelcome recipient of othering, micro-aggressions, discrimination and so forth are plentiful.

“A clear low light, obviously, in the data is the attrition for black and Latinx men and women in the U.S.,” Brown told TechCrunch. “That’s an area where we’re going to be laser-focused.”

She added that some of Google’s internal survey data shows employees are more likely to leave when they report feeling like they’re not included. That’s why Google is doing some work around ally training and “what it means to be a good ally,” Brown told me.

“One thing we’ve all learned is that if you stop with unconscious bias training and don’t get to conscious action, you’re not going to get the type of action you need,” she said.

From an attrition stand point, where Google is doing well is around the retention of women versus men. It turns out women are staying at Google at higher rates than men, across both technical and non-technical areas. Meanwhile, Brown has provided bi-weekly attrition numbers to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his leadership team since January in an attempt to intervene in potential issues before they become bigger problems, she said.

via Google: Attrition figures have been weighted to account for seniority differences across demographic groups to ensure a consistent baseline for comparison.

As noted above, Google for the first time broke out information around intersectionality. According to the company’s data, women of all races are less represented than men of the same race. That’s, again, not surprising. While Google is 3 percent black, just 1.2 percent of its black population is female. And Latinx women make up just 1.7 percent of Google’s 5.3 percent Latinx employee base. That means, as Google notes, the company’s gains in representation of women has “largely been driven by” white and Asian women.

Since joining Google last June from Intel, Brown has had a full plate. Shortly after the Damore memo went viral in August — just a couple of months after Brown joined — Brown said “part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.”

Brown also said the document is “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”

Today, Brown told me the whole anti-diversity memo was “an interesting learning opportunity for me to understand the culture and how some Googlers view this work.”

“I hope what this report underscores is our commitment to this work,” Brown told me. “That we know we have a systemic and persistent challenge to solve at Google and in the tech industry.”

Brown said she learned “not every employee is going to agree with Google’s viewpoint.” Still, she does want employees to feel empowered to discuss either positive or negative views. But “just like any workplace, that does not mean anything goes.”

When someone doesn’t follow Google’s code of conduct, she said, “we have to take it very seriously” and “try to make those decisions without regard to political views.”

Megan Rose Dickey’s PGP fingerprint for email is: 2FA7 6E54 4652 781A B365 BE2E FBD7 9C5F 3DAE 56BD

Uber’s first diversity report under new CEO shows slight progress

Under the leadership of Travis Kalanick, Uber was late to the game in producing its first diversity report. Now, under the leadership of new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, things are starting to look a bit different at Uber.

Uber has not only brought on a chief diversity officer but also continues to make progress in terms of representation of black and brown people in leadership roles in the U.S., as well as the overall number of women in its workforce. But regarding black and brown people in tech leadership roles, Uber has none.

Here’s a quick overview of what Uber’s workforce looks like today:

Compared to last year, Uber has increased the percentage of women from 36.1 to 38 percent. While Uber’s black representation has gone down a bit, Latinx representation increased from 5.6 to 6.1 percent.

Uber’s data is based on an in-house survey, rather than an EEO-1 report. Instead, Uber pulled the gender and race numbers from Workday, where employees are able to self-identify. Uber says the gender data has about 99 percent participation while the race/ethnicity data represents more than 75 percent of the company.

Regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer representation, Uber reported 15 percent of those who opted into that survey identified as such. In total, only a little over a third of Uber employees participated in the survey worldwide.

In perusing Uber’s December 2017 EEO-1 report, 13 percent of women at Uber are black, 9 percent are Latina and 5 percent are of two or more races in the U.S.

Uber has also created a workshop program called “Why Diversity Matters,” in order to educate employees about diversity and inclusion. To date, about 4,000 employees worldwide have participated in the workshop.

Additionally, Uber overhauled its recruiting and hiring process, and trained engineering interviewers on how to mitigate bias. Meanwhile, Uber also evaluated pay equity and has since “made changes to ensure aggregate race and gender pay equity across Uber,” Uber Chief People Officer Liane Hornsey wrote.

Citing legal reasons, Uber said it’s unable to disclose the exact amount just yet. It’s not clear exactly what those legal reasons entail, but it’s worth noting three Latina software engineers sued Uber in October, alleging they were compensated less because of their gender and race. Last month, Uber paid $10 million to settle the lawsuit.

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield details approach to sustaining an inclusive workforce

In light of the tech industry’s last year of one sexual harassment scandal after another, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield says the company has had active conversations about the issues. However, Slack has not made any specific policy changes at the company. While no overt cultural issues at Slack have hit the mainstream, Butterfield says he recognizes that Slack is not immune from them.

“As we get bigger and we exist for longer, the greater the likelihood that the actual problems of the world will be present in Slack too,” Butterfield told TechCrunch.

He added that he’s proud of what Slack has accomplished but that he also wants to be careful not have Slack put up on a pedestal.

“We exist in the actual world — if we all agree that this world has some systemic issues, and it’s sexist and it’s racist — that’s not going to stop when people walk into our office,” Butterfield told me. “I don’t mean there’s nothing we can do about it. There are things we can do about it but people are coming in here with their own life experiences.”

Part of that action is around continuing to release diversity reports, which Slack is doing for the third time today. Slack is still a predominantly white workplace, but the company has made some progress in the areas of global employment of women, women in technical and leadership roles, and representation of black and Latinx people.

[gallery ids="1623321,1623323,1623318,1623319,1623322,1623320"]

Slack’s workforce is now:

  • 44.7 percent female, up from 43.5 percent last year
  • 12.5 percent underrepresented minorities, up from 11.5 percent last year
  • 6 percent underrepresented employees in leadership positions
  • 8.3 percent LGBTQ
  • 1.4 percent identify as having a disability
  • .85 percent identify as veterans.

While Slack doesn’t break out intersectionality itself, a closer look at the EEO-1 report makes that possible. Slack says it didn’t break this out on its own due to the lack of statistically significant results. I, however, find it socially significant.

For example:

  • Slack employs just 19 black women, 21 Latina women and 16 women who identify as two or more races
  • White women make up 54.6 percent of Slack’s female employee base
  • Black and Latina women each make up just .03 percent of Slack’s overall employee base.

Notably, Slack does not have a chief diversity officer nor anyone specifically tasked with overseeing diversity and inclusion. The company has considered bringing one on board, but Butterfield says he wants diversity and inclusion to be a “companywide responsibility that everyone is engaged in,” he said. Still, Butterfield said that could change in the future.

Meanwhile, Slack has been home to a number of outspoken diversity and inclusion advocates, so it’s notable that some of the more prominent ones are no longer there. The likes of Leslie Miley, Erica Baker and Leigh Honeywell — three people from underrepresented groups in technology — have gone their separate ways. They all said they were moving on as a progression of their careers, but it’s worth pointing out that Slack is not immune to some of the problems that exist in the wider world and the tech industry (as Butterfield mentioned to me). In Baker’s farewell Medium post, she hinted that upward mobility was a challenge at the company.

With that in mind, Butterfield says his job is to inspire people and reiterate that diversity and inclusion is important to him and “deeply baked into how we want to operate,” Butterfield said.

Slack tracks its attrition rates, and as a whole, Slack has an attrition rate of about 8.5 percent annualized, Slack VP of People Robby Kwok told me. Miley left last January, followed by Honeywell in April and Baker in June, but Slack says it does “not see anything that is out of the ordinary based on any one of those categories” (country, job level, job function), Kwok said.

“I think, more broadly, treating each other well, treating our customers and our contractors well, but basically setting the standard of behavior overall, that ideally will have a positive influence on businesses across the board to the extent that we’re successful,” Butterfield said. “Because when people see success, they copy what they think the ingredients are.”

Some of Slack’s more proactive measures include partnerships with Code2040 and the Transgender Law Center. Slack has partnered with Code2040 for the last few years around hiring, but this year it’s taking the partnership some steps further. Slack will continue to serve as an employment partner of Code2040 while also helping to create a curriculum to help their engineers be more successful once they get hired at any tech company. With Transgender Law Center, the idea is to create and deploy ally training specific to the transgender community.

“I think we’re a generation behind on policy and legal issues with respect to trans people versus where we are with the first couple of letters of LGBTQ in the U.S.,” Butterfield said. “There’s a lot of open policy questions.”

Transgender Law Center, Butterfield said, has the expertise while Slack is able to offer some of its employees to contribute to the curriculum’s development. Once the curriculum is developed, the idea is to share it with companies all over the world, Butterfield said.

“Because that was one of the conversations we had really early on with Ina Fried, that there wasn’t a playbook,” he said. “If you were a business owner or executive and you wanted to do a better job supporting trans people, there wasn’t any kind of resource to turn to to learn how to do that, so I think that will be a really impactful effort.”

Slack has also confirmed equal pay and promotion rates across gender and race. Based on Slack’s analysis, Kwon said the company did not have to make any changes to compensation or promotions.

Since its inception, Slack’s goal has always been to not be “one of the places where people fall out of the industry,” Butterfield said. “This is not a complaint about the pipeline, but there are fewer experienced black software engineers in the hiring pool than there are black people in the population. The only way that’s going to change is if people land in environments where they can thrive and they can be successful and can bring people in from their networks — they can act as mentors.”