Comparably awards GitLab top culture and diversity awards but there is still work to do

Carol Teskey ·
Jan 29, 2020 · 7 min read · Leave a comment

GitLab is proud to have earned an A+ on the recent Comparably employee survey, coming home with the top awards for Best Company for Diversity, Best Company for Culture, and Best Company for Women in 2019. Diversity and inclusion (DIB) is a core value at GitLab and fundamental to our success. Over the last year we've made great progress in our commitment to create a transparent environment where all team members feel included — a commitment that is reflected in our company objectives at the highest level. This month, we enlisted as a DIB partner, launched a Global Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging advisory group, and implemented inclusion training.

In spite of this sweep of recognition by Comparably and our progress over the last year, we feel there is even more work to be done to advance our commitment to DIB in hiring, retention of current team members, and leadership growth opportunities at GitLab.

Transparency is also a core value at GitLab. We believe that by discussing things publicly others can benefit from the conversation. In the spirit of transparency, we've dug into the Comparably results and share our successes, our shortcomings, and how we plan to improve.

Inside the Comparably results

The Comparably survey was conducted through third party collection, and current and former GitLab employees were not obligated to respond to the survey. All participation was voluntary. All respondents were anonymous, and had the option to self-report their genders or choose not to, meaning all gender-specific breakdowns are based on self-reporting. Based on the number of self-reported women that responded, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback recorded from these respondents, Comparably awarded us as the best company for diversity, women, and culture. 🙌

The truth is in the data

There is a lot of reporting that shows sometimes a company's work culture will privilege one gender over the other. At GitLab, we are proud to say that is not the case, and the truth is in the numbers.

In the Comparably survey, both men and women graded our company's all-remote work culture with an A, 91% and 92% respectively.

"I'm allowed and in charge of making my day and my physical working environment as productive and comfortable as I want. Nobody has to conform to what makes other people comfortable or productive, we can tweak it to our own tastes. Truly focusing on results makes me extremely happy as a professional," says one anonymous survey respondent.

Our executive team was also given A's by GitLab team members of both genders as well.

"GitLab has an incredibly low-ego culture, and executives are open to feedback and discussion. There's a good amount of autonomy, and executives are highly skilled," says one anonymous survey respondent.

Here is a summary of some of the key takeaways from the survey:

The Comparably survey compared the results of the anonymous survey data to other companies that are similar to GitLab. GitLab was given an overall score of 86 among the women who took our survey, giving us a #1 score for our company's overall performance.

Ranking #1 on the Comparably survey is great, but we believe there is more opportunity to build more DIB into company policies and culture.

Where we are today

GitLab is slightly above average for our industry in terms of the number of women working for our company, and the number of women in leadership roles. But we are not satisfied with "above average". We aim to overachieve when it comes to DIB – and not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it delivers better results.

Globally, the number of women in tech roles is at 21.4%, according to CNET.

Today, GitLab has more than 1,100 employees with a retention rate of more than 85%. At this moment, about 29% of our total workforce is women. This stacks up with some of the technology giants, for comparison, 27.6% of Microsoft's workforce are women, 31.6% of employees are women at Google, and 33% at Apple.

At GitLab, 23% of our workforce has women in leadership roles, compared to 20% at Microsoft, 24% at Google, 26.8% at Amazon, and 28% at Facebook.

When it comes to having more women and nonbinary individuals in leadership roles, GitLab can do better. The motivation for increasing gender parity in leadership really is simple: Women leaders deliver results. In fact, the companies that have 30% or more women in leadership roles saw a 15% increase in company revenue, according to the Women Tech Council (WTC) Inclusion Report.

We aim to increase the number of women and nonbinary individuals in technical roles at GitLab. Today, our technical staff comprises about 17% women. Comparatively, 19% of Google's technical staff are women, 19% at Facebook, 23% at Apple, and 28% at Netflix.

We pledge to do more and here's how

We want to do more to create a more inclusive workplace for women – and we have built-in a performance indicator to keep us accountable to our mission. By 2022, we aim to increase the number of women in leadership roles at GitLab to 30%.

We have created new company policies and programming to help create a more hospitable workplace for all team members. Summarized below are a few examples of how we plan to retain and cultivate more inclusiveness at GitLab.

Inclusion training

One of our strategies is to focus more on the inclusion element of our DIB value. Our People group established an objective and key result (OKR) to drive DIB training last quarter and this quarter. Last quarter we hosted an inclusion and ally training, and this quarter we will be hosting an unconscious bias training.

Employee resource groups

In 2020, we are launching four employee resource groups which are designed to build community, increase engagement, and create leadership opportunities for GitLab employees that represent many different domains. Women+ is one of these TMRGs, and is inclusive of all self-identified women and nonbinary folks.

Working parents

We felt our 12-week parent leave policy was insufficient, and so we added an extra four weeks to give new families 16 weeks of uninterrupted time to bond with their new addition.

Military veterans and spouses

We recognize the value of military veterans and are committed to recruiting and hiring military veterans and families. We are proud that some of our team members who are also military spouses have shared with us how beneficial our all-remote setup is to their careers. Our all-remote company culture and the emphasis on flexibility and asynchronous workflows allows military spouses to have careers that can flourish in spite of the frequent moves military service demands.

CEO shadow

GitLab has a CEO shadow program, which allows GitLab team members at the manager level to come out to San Francisco (where Sid is based) to learn how the ins and outs of executive leadership. Since the impetus of the program back in March 2019, 29.2% of team members who participated in the program have been women. Since the program has started we have listened to ways to make it more inclusive, iterating on the program by including childcare and creating a rotation schedule which is helpful to those who can not be away from home for a long period of time.

Anita Borg sponsorship

Through our Anita Borg sponsorship, we are opening opportunities to grow women leaders through networking and mentorship with others in the industry. GitLab plans to send its women leaders to the partnership meetings, Grace Hopper events and its technical executive forum.

We want to thank our team members and the wider GitLab community for always pushing us to work harder to build a more inclusive and representative company and community.

We look forward to reporting back on our progress and plan to release our first DIB report after the 2020 fiscal year.

“Comparably awards @GitLab top culture and diversity awards” – Carol Teskey

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