How Glassdoor Walks our Talk on DEI | Glassdoor for Employers
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How Glassdoor Walks our Talk on DEI

A message from Jacob Little, Head of People Experience and DEI

In my previous post, I wrote about how we galvanized our company into action in the summer of 2020 and started a cultural transformation that had ripple effects across our organization, including our product. Since then, Glassdoor has continued to walk the walk and made meaningful, structural changes to our company to demonstrate our commitment to making a positive impact on society. 

Glassdoor's five DEI principles

We've learned a lot over the past two years, and we've distilled some of what we've learned into key principles that guide our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) philosophy. We apply these principles across every part of our employee experience.

  1. Elevate unheard voices: We center the most marginalized voices in our organization. We dismantle and rebuild systems that have perpetuated inequities, such as the recruiting process, the performance evaluation, and calibration process, and the promotion process to ensure that everyone is given a fair shake. We believe when the most marginalized groups are centered, everyone gets treated equitably.
  1. Change behaviors and systems: We believe that structural inequity cannot be solved if 'everyone would just be nice.' We also believe that changing process alone won't change outcomes. In order to create meaningful, sustainable change, we must change mindsets and behaviors as well as dismantle and rebuild processes, policies, and programs.
  1. Promote equity through data-driven decisions: We acknowledge that too often, talent decisions around hiring, development, growth, and promotion have been made on subjective criteria such as likeability, educational pedigree, or favoritism. Glassdoor is committed to using objective criteria to make decisions to avoid bias. We focus on skills-based hiring and outcomes-based talent management decisions.
  1. Create a new reality: What we are used to as "normal," isn't. We strive to create a new normal that disrupts old mindsets, patterns, and approaches - grounded in equity, wellness, and humanity. We acknowledge that efforts to create equity face resistance from those who have a vested interest in the status quo.
  1. Lift all boats: We believe that everyone wins in a diverse, equitable, and inclusive, environment. DEI leads to better decision-making, a dynamic and vibrant organizational culture, greater empathy with users/customers, and improved product offerings that serve a broader customer base. DEI is a business imperative that lifts all boats.

Words to actions

Over the past year, we've applied these principles across our candidate and employee lifecycle to disrupt the status quo, dismantle and rebuild processes, and create lasting cultural transformation. Some of the key initiatives we've implemented over the past year include:

  • Created a DEI sourcing team:  Our sourcing team completes at least one week of sourcing of women and underrepresented candidates for our open roles. This frontloads our recruiting pipeline with talented underrepresented candidates.
  • Transformed our recruiting process: We implemented The "Candidate Pool Rule" that stipulates for all senior managers and above roles, there must be at least one non-cisgender male and at least one non-white identifying candidate on the final interview panel before extending a job offer. We track conversion metrics for underrepresented groups at every stage of our recruiting funnel and address any inequities. Over the past 2 years, we've increased our hire rate of underrepresented groups to over 65%, to one-quarter of all hires. 
  • Eliminated backfill promotions: Backfill promotions have a high potential for bias and favoritism. We define a backfill promotion as when a position is created due to an employee's departure from the business and there is a business need to fill the vacant role at the same level and scope.n  Unless there is a pre-identified "ready-now" successor defined through a succession planning process, all new roles, and backfill roles are now open to internal and external candidates, with the Candidate Pool Rule applied. 
  • Created executive DEI OKRs:  We developed a rubric for executives to set and hold each other accountable for leading our culture of DEI. It consists of four performance metrics such as learning and development, participating in a community, hiring, and promotions, and integrating DEI into business decisions and processes. Our leaders set quarterly goals and score their OKRs regularly.
  • Cultivated DEI change leaders: We designed a world-class program called "Journey Leads" that recruits allies and DEI champions, and trains them to facilitate dialogue about sensitive matters pertaining to gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and identity with their teams and departments. More than  30 employees have signed up to magnify the impact of our DEI initiatives across the business.
  • Integrated DEI into all learning programs: From microaggression training in onboarding to inclusive leadership behaviors in our Leading@Glassdoor development program to mitigating bias as part of our talent management processes. We believe the ability to have sensitive, nuanced conversations about race, gender, privilege, and identity is a core managerial skill set, and we hold our leaders accountable for their own development.
  • Revitalizing our employer value proposition:   Our company has transformed, and so should the way we represent ourselves to the talent marketplace. Our new employer value proposition will boldly and bravely tell the truth about who we are today - an organization committed to radical transparency with DEI at the core of our culture. We know we're not for everyone, and that's ok.

It's exciting to see how the application of our DEI principles at Glassdoor is yielding real results. We've already hit our goal for black representation two years ahead of schedule, and are making steady progress on our goals around Latinx and Pacific Islanders, women in tech, and women in leadership goals. Our commitment to DEI attracts high-caliber talent, and our employees frequently tell me that Glassdoor has one of the most vibrant and inclusive cultures they've experienced in a corporate setting. 

While we have seen success, we know there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. Structural inequity runs deep, not just in organizations, but in all aspects of society. Modeling what it means to be an inclusive organization takes constant focus, effort, and intention, and we don't plan on slowing down any time soon.

The Road Ahead

As we move into year three of our DEI program, we're focused on our unique opportunity to develop a social impact framework, with the acknowledgment that our platforms (Glassdoor and Fishbowl) have an outsized impact on society. We'll dive into difficult conversations mitigating the negative impact anonymous online discourse can sometimes encourage, while continuing to celebrate the role that our products play in creating transparency, equity, and community.

We believe in radical transparency and in holding organizations accountable for the workplaces they create. That's what we do. We will continue to boldly and bravely share the truth of who we are. 

We're on a mission to become the leading platform for workplace conversations, and we invite you to join the community in service of creating a more inclusive, equitable, and transparent world.