What Working D&I Initiatives Look Like at 3 Colorado Tech Companies

by Quinten Dol
September 30, 2019

A homogenous group of employees is not just a hindrance for business — we’d argue it also makes for a somewhat boring workplace. And while many Colorado tech companies have long recognized the value in elevating diverse voices within their ranks, the wider industry still struggles to practice what it preaches.

We wanted to see what a working diversity and inclusion initiative looks like, and asked three Colorado tech companies — including a Denver startup and an international giant — how they create workforces that mirror the wider community. 

 

lunch at netapp
netapp

Silicon Valley data storage giant NetApp landed in Boulder in 2016 with its acquisition of SolidFire, an all-flash hardware startup. Since the acquisition, NetApp has expanded the team and doubled down on SolidFire’s technology to create a storage solution focused on speed and reliability.

Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Program Manager Chinwe Abara said that NetApp’s inclusive culture permeates all the way up to the C-suite. 

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

NetApp’s stance on diversity and inclusion goes well beyond hiring practices. A diverse, inclusive workforce with a culture of belonging are pillars embedded into the fabric of NetApp’s DNA. We rely on our culture, our customers and about the innovation we develop for the world. Each day, we bring this culture to life in the ways we collaborate and deliver meaningful work. Our “inclusive leadership learnings” are designed to drive engagement, innovation and collaboration for business success while enabling employees to be authentic in their work and maximize their contribution to NetApp’s success. All management levels are driving this leader-led initiative.

 

We continue to seek diverse partnerships and alliances from industry experts that contribute to bridging the gap for women, underrepresented minorities, veterans, persons with disabilities and other diverse talent...”

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives?

We continue to seek diverse partnerships and alliances from industry experts that contribute to bridging the gap for women, underrepresented minorities, veterans, persons with disabilities and other diverse talent. We also put on sessions for all employees covering unconscious bias. This effort demonstrates the impact of unconscious bias and how it can blind us to new information or prevent us from considering a broader range of options and opinions. This session includes how to recognize and mitigate bias within our decision-making, teams, culture, performance and business. Participants are provided intentional strategies, tactics, useful nudges and job aids to help them fully engage.

 

funding circle colorado tech company
funding circle

Funding Circle’s digital marketplace connects investors — including banks, governments and individuals — with small businesses. By filling out an online application, some 72,000 businesses have accessed $10.2 billion in loans since it started up in 2010.

Talent Acquisition Partner Samantha Martin is a member of Funding Circle’s diversity and inclusion committee, and one if its dedicated diversity trainers. She spoke with Built In Colorado about the company’s diversity-centered recruitment process, among other initiatives. 

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

One of our highest priorities is building an inclusive environment where staff and prospective employees of all backgrounds can thrive. Education is an essential component, including unconscious bias and building diverse teams trainings, as well as external lectures from our community partners. Our diversity and inclusion committee also brings the topic to the forefront for our company growth, strategy and leadership. We are so incredibly proud of our employees for making Funding Circle a more inclusive place by creating and leading diversity-focused clubs. We recently had a club-sponsored potluck where the whole company brought in family recipes, resulting in a delicious spread from all over the world.

 

As Funding Circle continues to build its presence in Denver, we have commitment to direct and conscious engagement around diversity...”

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

As Funding Circle continues to build its presence in Denver, we have commitment to direct and conscious engagement around diversity with a focus on inclusive recruitment and retention. We are currently working on innovative new trainings and expanding our culture survey and listening sessions, where staff share feedback on a variety of topics. We are also in the process of refreshing our “allies club,” as well as increasing charitable and volunteer efforts. As our office expands, we are also offering professional and personal development in our employee “ecliptic 360” review process and mentorship opportunities.

 

gigsmart colorado tech company diversity intiatives
gigsmart

Businesses with an urgent need for workers turn to GigSmart to source skilled workers. The Denver company also helps nonprofit organizations find volunteers, using a range of complex technologies to build user interfaces designed for speedy sourcing and sign-ups.

Marketing Coordinator Maddie Tabor is proud of GigSmart’s diverse workforce, which spans many cultural backgrounds, ages and genders. 

 

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you have at your company? What tangible effects have those initiatives had on the business so far?

Our team is proudly one-third women, including one of our founders and co-CEOs. According to a study by Small Business Trends, women only make up 20 percent of the workforce in tech, and GigSmart is looking to change this by hiring the best of the best — which includes many women.

We are a global company. We not only have team members from all over the United States, but also from different countries including Italy, Ghana, Brazil, India, Kenya, Canada, the Philippines and Nigeria! This not only brings different mindsets of how we work, but also makes for an awesome environment with all the different experiences we can share.

GigSmart is age inclusive, with a team comprised of a variety of different ages. This has allowed us the opportunity to have experienced team members who bring extensive knowledge to their field and greener workers who bring a fresh perspective to the table.

Our team is proudly one-third women, including one of our founders and co-CEOs.”

How will your company continue strengthening its diversity and inclusion initiatives?

We will continue to partner with third parties across the globe and focus internal recruiting efforts on hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds to help bring new ideas and talent we wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

 

Jobs from companies in this blog51 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
Internships
Marketing
Operations
Product
Project Mgmt
Sales
Content
Sales
new
GigSmart
Denver
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Marketing
new
NetApp
Boulder
Sales
new
GigSmart
Denver
Internships
new
GigSmart
Denver
Developer
new
GigSmart
Denver
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Content
new
NetApp
Boulder
Operations
new
NetApp
Boulder
Product
new
GigSmart
Denver
Internships
new
GigSmart
Denver
Internships
new
GigSmart
Denver
Data + Analytics
new
NetApp
Boulder
Sales
new
NetApp
Boulder
Sales
new
NetApp
Boulder
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Operations
new
Funding Circle
Denver
Operations
new
NetApp
Boulder
Product
new
NetApp
Boulder
Project Mgmt
new
Funding Circle
Denver
Sales
new
Funding Circle
Denver
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Marketing
new
NetApp
Boulder
Project Mgmt
new
Funding Circle
Denver
Finance
new
Funding Circle
Denver
Operations
new
Funding Circle
Denver
Operations
new
Funding Circle
Denver
Sales
new
Funding Circle
Denver
Product
new
NetApp
Boulder
Product
new
NetApp
Denver
Marketing
new
NetApp
Denver
Internships
new
NetApp
Denver
Internships
new
NetApp
Denver
Marketing
new
NetApp
Denver
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Design + UX
new
NetApp
Boulder
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Operations
new
NetApp
Boulder
Sales
new
NetApp
Boulder
Operations
new
NetApp
Boulder
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Internships
new
NetApp
Boulder
Marketing
new
NetApp
Boulder
Developer
new
NetApp
Boulder
Developer
new
GigSmart
Denver
Project Mgmt
new
NetApp
Boulder

Colorado startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Denver & Boulder
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Colorado Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Marketing Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Your Guide to Healthtech in Denver & Boulder
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Design Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech