About a year ago, we formed the first real iteration of the Diversity & Inclusion Team at Amplitude. Since then, we’ve made a public commitment to embracing individual differences and making Amplitude an inclusive workplace for everyone. We’ve also shared our growth, learnings, and strategies related to this on the Amplitude blog.
With 2016 coming to an end, the D&I team has spent some time thinking about how we can evolve in order to be even more effective and results-driven. For that purpose, we recently did a visioning exercise, led by our Chief Revenue Officer (and D&I liaison to the executive team) in order to more explicitly define the overall goal and operating principles of the team.
We’re refocusing the D&I Team at Amplitude by asking ourselves 1) why we exist, 2) how we’ll behave, and 3) how we’ll succeed.
In parallel to our efforts toward improving Amplitude’s diversity and inclusion, we’re always looking to educate ourselves on how to make real, impactful change in the workplace. That’s why this year we were excited to attend Tech Inclusion 2016 in San Francisco.
“Talent is distributed equally among society, but opportunity is not.” ―Cassius Johnson, Sr. Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs at Year Up
The D&I team has spent the past several months trying to understand what it means to have an inclusive culture, why diversity is important for a business, and introspecting on the state of our own company’s diversity. As we continue to do that, we’re also learning how to take action — however small — to move the needle in the right direction. From Tech Inclusion, we took away three broad themes that make up successful D&I initiatives and how to take action for each.
Workplace inclusion is an ongoing priority for Amplitude. We know that talking about diversity and hiring diverse talent aren’t the only things that sustain diversity of thought. Being mindful of people who don’t fit into your workplace’s mainstream culture and finding different channels of representation, even on the micro-level, is important for creating an inclusive culture and retaining diversity.
We’ve made a lot of small, but significant changes at Amplitude to strive for better representation in the workplace. Here are 10 microinclusions (our special word for daily acts of inclusion) that we’ve put into place at Amplitude so far. We hope our list can help spark ideas for microinclusions that you can introduce at your company.
Last month, we wrote about our search for the right kind of diversity and inclusion training for Amplitude. We knew that cultivating an inclusive workplace was going to take a lot of effort on the behalf of everyone at Amplitude, so we were really looking for a training that would meet our needs and help us put in place best practices for managing unconscious bias. That’s how we came to work with Danielle DeRuiter-Williams and the amazing team over at The Justice Collective.
To round out our three-part training (you can read more about that here), we recently completed our second workshop and a town hall meeting. One thing really hit home at the end of these sessions. The D&I team doesn’t have to put in large-scale, expensive diversity initiatives or recruiting strategies in place in order to move the needle.
Instead, every individual has to make a mental shift towards inclusion in order for the workplace as a whole to be inclusive.
One way we’re cultivating a more inclusive workplace is by figuring out how we can support the marginalized individuals within our own company, and how we can keep each other accountable for doing so.
Last month, our CEO Spenser Skates revealed what diversity meant to us at Amplitude and stated the diversity team’s mission statement. Since then, we’ve been working hard to look internally and bring about incremental, meaningful changes to make Amplitude a more inclusive workplace.
As a big step in that direction, last week, Amplitude had its first diversity and inclusion workshop, organized and led by The Justice Collective.
We know a lot of companies are probably looking into trainings themselves. Since we put in a lot of time and effort into choosing the right kind of training for us (and learned a lot in the process!), we thought it might be useful to outline how we did our research on diversity and inclusion training, what was important to us as a company, and our overall thoughts and feelings after the first workshop.
As an analytics company, we’re always thinking about growth. We ask ourselves constantly how we can help our customers leverage data to grow their product and their business. That’s one of the reasons we’ve made growth mindset one of the three cultural values we want every Ampliteer to exhibit.
For Amplitude as a whole, growth mindset doesn’t only pertain to adding more features to the product or getting more customers. It means growing our ideas. We can’t grow as a company if we remain static, fixed in our ways. We can’t grow as a company if the ideas we come up with are unchallenged. That’s why having diversity of thought in the workplace is essential to our company’s success.
Diverse thoughts come from diverse individuals. Diverse teams help to build better products and better companies.
Back in March, with the formation of the diversity team, Amplitude started taking its first steps towards addressing diversity in the workplace.
Today, I want to talk about what diversity is at Amplitude and share our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Amplitude is in the middle of a major growth spurt.
Since 2015, we’ve grown more than 4x in number of employees. (And we’re finally moving to a bigger space later this month.) Every single person here has a hand in recruiting the next generation of ‘Ampliteers’ who will help us take Amplitude to the next level. At the breakneck pace at which we’re growing, we simply haven’t had the time to formally establish an HR department or hire a recruiter.
With all this happening, you might not think we’re at the ‘right’ stage to think about diversity. Maybe we should be focusing on getting the manpower we need to build a good product, securing our next round of funding, or generating more revenue. The fundamental presumption that motivates that mentality is that diversity is an afterthought; it’s “nice” to have when you have the time for it. But the fact is, workplace diversity needs to be a priority from day one. Diversity is an essential prerequisite for successfully accomplishing business goals.
At Amplitude, we’ve already witnessed the consequences of not addressing diversity. In our early days, we lost out on a stellar potential hire due to the lack of gender diversity on the engineering team. At that point, we realized we were already far too late in acknowledging the lack of diversity at Amplitude. Now we’re taking our first steps to address the problem.