LAURA MCQUILLAN, HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR CANADA (SEPT 7, 2017)
In an effort to shake up the male-dominated tech world, a Toronto start-up launched a survey to measure its own diversity – with remarkable findings.
Hubba, an online product information company, launched its inaugural diversity study in July, asking its 60 staff a series of questions about themselves and their backgrounds. And in a groundbreaking move, it’s sharing both its findings and its survey, so other companies can give themselves a diversity check-up.
Hubba’s diversity findings include:
- About two thirds of its employees are male, with men dominating its leadership (75 percent) and product and development roles (79 percent), while 80 percent of its people and operations staff are women
- 25 percent of employees were not born in Canada
- Its staff speak 19 different languages
- 13 percent identify as gay, bisexual, asexual or questioning, but all identify as cisgender
- 28.5 percent do not have a university degree, and 50 percent believe their education played no part in their job, or said they were self-taught
In an effort to get to know its staff better, Hubba also asked what they get up to outside of work, finding:
- 50 percent practice meditation
- 22 percent have a tattoo
- 60 percent practice a craft, like music
- Just 12 percent are doing what they planned to do for a job
Hubba’s chief marketing officer Danielle Brown says the biggest surprise was that 42 percent of employees had founded or run their own business, while 33 percent wanted to do so in the future.
“It was also interesting to learn the number of people who are not doing what they thought they’d be doing, and those whose work is not related to what they studied in school.”
While the company is already cognizant of its gender mix, and educates its hiring teams about unconscious bias, the survey also turned up other areas where work can be done.
“Although many have said they find our event, both internal and external, to be accessible, there are nuances that we learned through the survey and will use to make future events more accessible to a wider group.”
Brown says there’s been “quite a bit of interest” from other companies in running their own version of the survey, with about 10 reaching out to Hubba directly to learn how to take advantage of the resource.