Anti-racism at Recurrent
Recurrent Company Value #2: We want to actively move the tech industry to a more diverse and equitable place. That means we will actively recruit, develop, and promote people who are underrepresented today in the tech industry. And it means that we will not tolerate behaviors that undermine that goal, whether on purpose or unconsciously.
This is one of our eight core company values that specifically addresses diversity in the workplace. There are a lot of companies that pledge to foster diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) but then don’t back that up with effective action. Here’s what we are doing about it today.
What is racism and anti-racism in tech?
Racism in the tech industry clearly exists - you can look at the industry workforce statistics and listen to the personal experiences of people of color within the industry to know that. And those in a cultural position of privilege can look at our own career stories to see all the small ways that our careers benefited from quiet racism. It may look less obvious than it does in other parts of society, but it has an enormous personal and financial impact.
Anti-racism in technology, and at Recurrent in particular, means changing formal and informal systems to establish equitable long-term outcomes for underrepresented groups in the tech industry, including recruiting, retention, promotion to leadership and long-term mentoring for future career development.
As tech industry co-founders who are both white men, we know that we need to be proactive and intentional about sharing our aspirations and efforts even as we iterate on the most effective ways to get to equitable results. We hope this blog post contributes to a continuing discourse about best practices, and we remain open to feedback on an ongoing basis.
What are we doing at Recurrent?
As a small and growing company, our first major focus is doing recruitment right. We aspire to build our team with an eye towards both representation and culture. We will broaden our efforts in other practices over time.
- Job Postings: When we post jobs, we’ll check them for common bias-perpetuating language. If you see something that we missed, let us know.
- Candidate Sourcing: We’ll actively recruit and invite qualified diverse candidates to apply for open roles and ensure that the candidate pool, from screening to full interview loops, reflect the diversity that we want to achieve in our workforce over the long-term.
- Screening: When take-home tests (e.g. coding or design exercises) are used, whenever possible, they will be graded “blind” by someone on the team that does not know anything about the candidate.
- Interviews: We’ll ask everyone about their observations and experiences with race and gender dynamics in the workplace. We want to make sure that all our employees, not just employees who are historically underrepresented in tech, share our company values.
- Offers: Our offers and raises are based on market data for the specific role, not what the candidate has made historically. We do this to avoid perpetuating previous systematic salary bias.
Internal Beyond Recruiting: Our long-term goal is to reach a point where our workforce, including each level (board, leadership and all employees) reflects the diversity of the US population. We’ll work to establish formal and informal mentoring specifically for employees from backgrounds that have not historically benefitted from these systems in the tech industry, with a focus on equitable retention and promotion. And we’ll work with each other on education and awareness, using awesome published resources like this and this to be intentional students on the complexities of racism in society and in tech.
External Business Practices: We’re starting small externally, by sharing our company values and this action plan publicly so that we can be held accountable for making progress. We’ll be screening in diversity from our suppliers and vendors so that we’re supporting other businesses that are minority- and women-owned and/or share our values.
As we grow and make progress, we’ll commit publicly to additional actions, so look for an update here going into 2023.