Building Inclusive Teams

TAB
By TAB under Insights 02 September 2019

Our goal at TAB is to create products that make the world work better. Behind these amazing products, is our team of talented engineers, designers, strategists and product delivery experts. For us, it’s important our team represents the diversity of our customers to ensure the products we create cater to a diverse range of needs. Which is why we strive to attract the best talent in the world and create a supportive, diverse and inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable to help shape TAB today and tomorrow.

In the last year, our team has worked hard to focus on gender as part of our ongoing diversity plan. We have launched and taken part in various initiatives such as:

As part of our effort to work closely with organisations and events support and celebrating diversity in the wider community, we were proud to host last months Triangirls event. Founded in 2018, Triangirls is a femme-friendly community for women and non-binary folks working in tech. The community exists to empower women and minorities in design and tech to achieve their full potential in both their professional and personal lives. Triangirls events reach a broad audience and talk about important issues from the gender pay gap to mental health.

At the event, we hosted three great speakers - Meri Williams, CTO of Monzo, Daniel Irvine, Co-founder of Queer Code and our own Anna Fletcher Moris, Head of Delivery Operations at TAB. 

Meri Williams kicked off the evening with her talk on crafting inclusive environments. She provided amazing insights into not only how to increase diversity in your company but also from a personal perspective, how to qualify workplaces and understand their diversity priorities to know if they are right for you. As so many studies have shown, she highlighted how diverse teams win by crafting more creative and better financially performing solutions than their counterpart. As a company, employing a diverse team is only half the job, the second half is really creating an inclusive environment where people can work within that team and thrive. She highlighted the questions everyone should ask to assess if their company is truly diverse: 

Answering these questions and acknowledging red flags is crucial to creating an inclusive working environment that caters to a diverse range of employee needs. Seemingly obvious things like company benefits can be surprisingly gendered and prevent diverse candidates from applying. Factoring important benefits like flexible working for parents, prayer rooms or clearly displaying your accessibility information helps ensure you are catering for all demographics and fostering a diverse environment. 

The second speaker was Daniel Irvine, Co-founder at Queer Code sharing his perspective on building inclusion from the bottom up. He started by talking about how the traditional ideas of professional are wrong and outdated; the concept of not talking about your personal life creates unnecessary boundaries and makes it harder to bond with your colleagues. He stated how crucial it is to be yourself at work and how difficult it is when you experience imposter syndrome in the office and feel like you aren’t like anyone else there and don’t fit in. The key takeaways from his talk highlighted that changing culture really requires you to win trust from people around you, regardless of their position. He recommended running retros and workshops, listening more and being a modern professional which requires more of a balance between personal and work life, with your personality and identity integral to both. 

Finally our Head of Delivery Operations Anna, did a lightning talk about the importance of using pronouns. She discussed how pronouns make up a part of our identity and therefore using the correct pronoun is key to our individuality. Gendered language, when possible, should be used as little as often. Interestingly, a point that Meri also mentioned, is the term “guys” being used in the workplace. It is a gendered term that although used in lots of different contexts, originates from an alternative to the word men and by commonly using it, it makes male the default gender and women and non-binary as the other. Anna’s key takeaways from the session highlighted the following: 

 Overall, the event prompted some great discussions around the wider topic of diversity within an organisation but also the small changes that can be made that will create an automatic difference.