When I joined Quickbase in August, I talked about how excited I was for the chance to take an dual-track approach to diversity and inclusion. With the inherent inclusive nature of the Quickbase product, the connection between our work and the potential for impactful diversity and inclusion strategy, including our social impact efforts, was quickly evident to me.
This month, we took an exciting, meaningful step by fulfilling the Board Challenge, with Arthur ‘AJ’ Johnson joining the Quickbase board. But this is only part of our efforts to achieving our vision of becoming the most inclusive company in software.
As we move forward into 2021 and continue to strive towards our DEI goals, now is a great time to take stock of our work and see what the future holds for our DEI and social impact programs.
Continuing to make progress
Since I joined Quickbase, we have begun to implement a multi-stage diversity and inclusion program. Phase I of our DEI efforts has been focused primarily on our Black employees, for a few reasons. First, according to both quantitative and qualitative data, Black employees face obstacles to advancement that other minorities don’t. They are less likely than their white peers to be hired, developed, and promoted, and their lived experience at work is demonstrably worse even than that of other people of color.
And second, as Harvard Business Review recently found, Black workers feel less supported, engaged and committed to their jobs than their non-Black peers:
- Black employees are less likely than white or Latinx employees to say that their company’s mission or purpose makes them feel their job is important, that their coworkers will do quality work, and that they have opportunities to learn and grow.
- Black leaders are more likely than white ones to leave their organizations.
- Cultural norms and defaults of leadership create inhospitable environments that leave even those Black employees who have advanced feeling like outsiders.
When we look at Quickbase specifically, we recognize that we have a long way to go in attracting, retaining and developing diverse talent across the board, but feel that our most at risk group at this moment are our Black employees. Some of the key objectives of this program include:
- Evaluating equity in pay, performance reviews, career development and opportunities for advancement
- Achieving proportionate representation for Black employees across the organization well above tech standards
- Creating a plan for increased accountability, transparency and continued learning
- Closing the tech opportunity gap for minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits
As we move into 2021, we are continuing to make progress on our Phase I objectives and expand our work to include other dimensions of diversity. By laying out these concrete steps, Quickbase is putting forth a clear path towards becoming more inclusive and hitting our high diversity standards. And all of this is trackable – by using a Quickbase application to report monthly on our goals and share the results publicly across the company, we can keep ourselves honest and make constant improvement.
In service to that final objective, Quickbase is launching Quickbase Bridges, a new program that is specifically designed to help close the tech opportunity gap for minority– owned business or founded/run nonprofit organization and/or supporting under-resourced communities. This initiative will provide qualifying organizations with access to the Quickbase Platform for 12 months.
Quickbase Bridges also comes with support from the customer success orientation team and customer care team, as well as support from Quickbase employees who are volunteering their time to help these organizations achieve success. This work is in service to creating an entry point to technology to remove some of the barriers that have kept under-represented communities out of careers in STEM.
This program builds off of the work Quickbase started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the work was focused on supporting frontline workers and organizations, it became clear that the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on communities of color.
Quickbase Bridges will leverage Quickbase’s platform and services to bridge the digital divide and better position organizations to rebuild and thrive. This initiative is yet another small step in our company’s journey to help foster a more equitable society.
When I joined Quickbase, I knew that this work would be a marathon, not a sprint. It is going to take incremental progress to achieve our vision of becoming the most inclusive company in software, but I am excited about the progress we have been able to make, and for the future of our diversity and inclusion efforts. While we will learn as we go, we are committed to getting it right and making an impact.