How Top Tech Companies Approach Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Stephen StewartBy Stephen Stewart
March 1st, 2022 • 3 Minutes

Since Stephen Stewart joined the company, RingCentral been awarded a 100% ranking and designated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ equality by the Human Rights Campaign. They’ve earned an A+ for diversity on Comparably. And their CEO has been honored as Best CEO for Women and Best CEO For Diversity in Comparably’s annual rankings. 
With that much broad expertise, we knew Stephen was the right person to ask about diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Why do your Talent Acquisition efforts focus on DE&I? 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are really important at RingCentral. The more diverse and inclusive the workforce, the more productive, innovative, and creative it is, and the happier people are to come to work. 

How have you helped support DE&I at RingCentral? 

Before I joined the company, there was a desire to create a more diverse workforce but few formal programs in place to make it happen. We were tactical but not strategic with our outreach. Attracting diverse talent is our mandate now. We have specific goals and clearly defined steps for achieving them. 

Any tips for building a DE&I program? 

Yes! First, engage leadership. Your leaders must support the cause. We’re really fortunate because Anand Eswaran, our President and COO, is deeply committed to DE&I and has championed it from the first day he joined RingCentral. His commitment has created a cultural shift at the executive level. He’s helped engage the whole workforce and put a real focus on authenticity and transparency. 

Next, look at where you are now. Survey your current workforce and determine where you’re strong and where there are challenges. If you don’t know where you’re starting from it’s hard to measure success. 

Another important tip is to develop from the inside out. Before putting any external campaigns in place, get boots on the ground. If you don’t have employee resource groups, start them. If they’re unengaged, activate them. Foster inclusion within your company—once that’s in place, you can move on to my next tip. 

Promote externally. When you have something authentic to promote, get the news out. Talk to organizations who will write articles about you. Earned media is important—you can say all you want about your DE&I, but what others say has more impact. 

How do you measure success? 

We look at both talent attraction and talent retention to see if we’re achieving our goals. It’s not enough to bring in great people. If you haven’t created a space where they can be happy and productive, they’ll leave. 

How can DE&I and recruitment marketing help each other? 

Fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce means you can tell authentic stories about your people. When a candidate reads about someone doing fantastic work at the company, someone who looks like them or has similar experiences, it’s much easier to imagine themselves working there. And once they’re there, you’ll have more great stories to share. The two practices feed each other. 

What pitfalls would you warn against? 

Don’t message about your diversity and inclusion until it truly reflects your organization. Do the necessary groundwork to create an inclusive culture—then go to market with your external campaigns because they’ll be based on genuine experience. 

How do you think your DE&I program will evolve? 

In some areas, especially tech, we need more candidates from underrepresented minorities in the workforce. To build a stronger pipeline, it’s a good idea to find the best and brightest students and cultivate their interest in your company’s mission. So, we plan to keep expanding university, intern, and recent college graduate hiring.

Honestly, though, we’re still at the beginning. The journey never ends—it shouldn’t end. These ideas and programs need to keep evolving and growing. I’m constantly reminding myself that this is a journey and not a destination. There’s always more we can do.

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