What we’re learning as we build a more inclusive company
January 16, 2020 Jo Dennis @joeydennis
Our mission at Pinterest is to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love. All over the world, people are preparing for moments big and small, from buying a new car to planning weeknight meals. Hundreds of millions of them come to us with the expectation that they may stumble across a spark they weren’t even looking for.
It's hard to feel inspired when you don't feel represented -- online or in your workplace -- and research shows that diverse teams make us more creative, diligent and hard working. When we are building products, a team of people with different backgrounds enables us to think through products, policies, and safety from all angles (for instance, how products could be abused or how they could unintentionally impact a community).
In our 6th annual report, we’re hitting a new first: we’ve exceeded all three of our external hiring goals with respect to diversity:
- We wanted to increase hiring rates for full-time women engineers to 25% and surpassed it with a new high of 27%.
- We wanted to increase hiring rates to 8% underrepresented** minority engineers and exceeded it at 9%.
- We wanted to increase hiring rates for underrepresented minority employees across the company (business and product) to 12% and exceeded it at 14%.
As one of the first companies to set annual public hiring goals in 2015, we want to hold ourselves accountable as we tackle this societal issue. Meaningful and sustainable progress takes time, and while we are far from where we’d like, we can see considerable change in our workforce since we started.
- Women are now 25% of engineers overall (up from 24% last year, and from 19% in 2015.)
- Underrepresented minorities make up 10% of employees (up from 9% last year, and 3% in 2015) and 7% of engineers (up from 6% last year, <1% in 2015).
We can feel the impact of a more representative workforce, not just across our teams but also in product and policy decisions. Inclusivity is becoming ingrained into our culture. Here are some of the ways in which that came to life in the past year:
While we’ve made several changes we’re proud of, there are areas we are focused on improving and making more progress in. We recognize leadership diversity is our biggest area for opportunity and focus. We will also continue to focus on overall representation of underrepresented talent.
So what are we going to commit to going forward? There are three lessons that stand above all else.
- Ensure business leader ownership of inclusion and diversity outcomes. Diversity at Pinterest is not an HR initiative, it’s something we all own. This year, the Leadership and Inclusion and Diversity teams partnered closely in co-creating a multi-year strategy to guide us through the next several years. We also designated business representatives to champion I&D in every business unit.
- Build a laser focus on specific efforts to diversify Pinterest leadership. Our executive team is partnering on leadership diversity through a variety of tactics. This starts by building relationships with internal and external talent proactively, including "reverse mentorship" relationships. We also require at least two underrepresented candidates at the final onsite stage for any leadership role with our diverse slate approach. In addition, we internally track specific leadership hiring aspirations and metrics, rather than simply an aggregated hiring goal.
- Don’t neglect retention. We learned that if we want to create a working environment where people can do their best work, we need to invest further in understanding what drives retention. We’ve expanded accountability metrics for inclusion and diversity to include retention and engagement parity, alongside hiring. These are reviewed with the executive team, as well as each business unit, on a quarterly basis at a minimum.
Inclusion and diversity is not only a value; it’s foundational to making the best decisions and building the strongest teams over time, and we recognize we still have work to do. We are committed to building, developing and nurturing a balanced team for Pinterest, evolving our strategies as we learn and holding ourselves accountable to driving the changes we all want to see. In 2020, we will continue to infuse inclusion and diversity into Pinterest recognition, values, and expectations - and we will continue to hold ourselves accountable publicly with all of you.
**Underrepresented minorities are defined as employees of Native American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, and Black descent.
*Tech includes engineering, product design and product management organizations. Engineering includes full-time employees that report into the engineering organization excluding executive assistants.
Pinterest's most recently filed EEO-1 Report, which represents employees as of December 2018, is available here. Please note that due to the way the U.S. government tracks EEO-1 data, this report reflects job groupings and categories that do not align with the way Pinterest groups our roles and employees internally. While we are making this report publicly available, we believe that the information presented in our Diversity Report is a more accurate reflection of the progress we've made toward diversity and work we're continuing to do.