Even when only focusing on the workplace, there are a multitude of considerations to take into account in order to effectively implement and maintain a diverse and inclusive working culture. There is the initial hiring process, and ensuring that unconscious biases are removed. There is also the maintenance, ensuring that benefits are inclusive, that leadership reflects the diversified hires, and that the culture fostered does not alienate newcomers. There are so many factors that it is no wonder that it is a conversation that still dominates and remains of concern to many companies who are trying to override old legacy systems that perpetuate the opposite.
It is important to note here, that although it is something that companies (including DeepStream) are increasingly looking to remedy - it is not, nor should it be, an exercise to tick a box. There are tangible benefits to having a diverse workforce which have been well documented by various entities including the World Economic Forum, Ability Options, and Forbes. Some of those benefits are; increased productivity, economic performance and innovative thinking. Beyond that, a more diverse workforce helps to breed a more inclusive working environment, encouraging individuals to speak their minds and share their ideas openly and without fear of stigma.
As we continue to grow, DeepStream is committed to building and maintaining this type of working culture.
Jack Macfarlane, CEO at DeepStream said:
We are in the business of disrupting the status quo. Bringing on board the most diverse talents and minds we can find and working together in achieving a common goal is critical to this endeavour: for the potion to be magic, the ingredients cannot be homogenous. Whilst DeepStream is still at the beginning of its journey, we have made a conscious effort not only to create a culture that supports diversity but also makes it a core part of our hiring process.
Partnering with Alva Labs
A crucial part of this is our hiring process. This year, we partnered with Alva Labs to incorporate objective and less biased hiring processes that will enable us to build a foundation of a working environment that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusivity. Alva Labs was founded by Malcom Burenstam as a result of his observation during his experience working with different companies, particularly start-ups, that a key part of their success was the people in the companies. Further, the more diverse the people in companies; whether that be cultural, age, background or gender drove the best results both in working culture, but also in the overall success of the company.
Malcolm Burenstam, CEO at Alva Labs said:
Diversity isn’t separate from an organisation, I wanted to build diversity into the root of the model, impacting what and who goes into an organisation. Learning about the Big 5 and logical ability showed the way to make evidence-based decisions that can give people the tools to make great decisions.
It is important to differentiate when talking about diversity and inclusivity, between acknowledging differences and celebrating them, and seeking differences for the sake of it. Every individual of course is different and has different skills, experiences and interests, but there are crucial aspects that certain individuals can offer because of their difference in experience that research has shown benefits companies. For instance, Pew Research Centre conducted a study as early as 2015, that showed that women were 34% better at working out compromises, 30% more likely to provide fair pay and benefits, and 25% better at mentoring. This is not to say that there are no situations in which men may surpass women, but as the status quo has previously been to assume men surpass women in crucial parts of business, it is important to recognise where statistics have proven otherwise.
The interesting part of Alva Labs Personality test is that these potential differences are accounted for, by using the Big Five Personality Theory, which has been found to be consistent across cultures and genders. This means that, regardless of gender, culture or background - all factors that can generate bias, the test aims to capture personality factors that are suitable for the job role you are hiring for. To decrease the opportunity for human subjectivity, Alva Labs has created 10 job profiles based on research on what characteristics drive the highest rate of success in those roles. This allows for potential hires to be assessed objectively on their suitability for a role, based on their personality traits, decreasing the risk of employer bias.
Similarly the Alva Labs Logic test is also adaptive, like the Personality Test, but, as Hira Wasif (a Customer Success Manager at Alva Labs) pointed out, it is structured in its timing to actually test the candidates logical abilities, rather than something else like their stress levels or speed. Unlike the majority of recruitment tests which have a set time for the whole test, Alva labs sets the time per question - meaning that candidates will have the opportunity to give every question their undivided attention. This approach is candidate focused, and is one that DeepStream firmly believes in - as it gives every candidate the opportunity to perform to the best of their ability. As the test is non-verbal, it does not disadvantage candidates for whom English is not their first language, and similarly does not discriminate against culture or gender.
At DeepStream we understand the importance of having continuity in inclusivity and diversity of thought once candidates have passed the hiring process and entered the workplace. This is why we’re committed to an open and transparent work culture that embraces a flat hierarchy to encourage discussions throughout the company. As HR Digest has highlighted, the workplace culture places a crucial part in employee experience and overall company success. The “open door” policy that DeepStream has cultivated has been celebrated in this article as one that benefits transparency, cuts down on workplace favouritism and improves communication. The latter in particular is important because it helps drive quicker and better solutions, which in an agile team is a crucial part of what enables us to deliver to clients.
DeepStream is currently in a high phase of growth, and that makes the importance of implementing the right policies to ensure we grow in line with our commitment cultivating an inclusive culture a priority. Understanding the different perspectives and needs of our current and future employees, and incorporating those into our policies to ensure a fair, equal, happy and supportive workplace is our intention. In order to make it a reality, just as we ask our users, we ask our employees for feedback and seek individuals to join our team that will further cultivate this culture and contribute to its development. By the nature of diversity, there is no one solution that fits all, but open communication channels and a willingness to take action brings us that one step closer to it.