Shelley Pursell
Director of Marketing for Latin America and Iberia
Expert Contributor

When Diversity, Inclusion Go Beyond the Logo’s Rainbow

By Shelley Pursell | Wed, 06/22/2022 - 09:00

Being part of a community means understanding that there will be individuals with very diverse traits, characteristics, preferences and personalities. Companies are part of this community and their main commitment is to the people who make it up.

At HubSpot, we believe that our people are our best perk. Their diverse personalities, backgrounds, and experiences help shape our company culture. They are key ingredients in building the products and services that help us achieve our mission of helping millions of organizations grow better.

It is true that at HubSpot we help companies on their way but that would not be possible if we were not able to support the most important element first: the people who work in our own company.

Now that we are in LGBTQ+ pride month, it is important to talk about diversity and inclusion. Talking about real actions that happen throughout the whole year goes further than changing the company logo and turning it into a rainbow. It is the opportunity to talk about what needs to be done to really develop actions for inclusion.

It is necessary to listen and give a voice to all the people who, in some way, are considered a minority but who together make up equally productive and relevant cells in society. It is also imperative to create an environment where employees feel comfortable being themselves, regardless of their age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, or perspective. A key ingredient in building a diverse and inclusive workplace is Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs.

These groups are employee-run and they are always accompanied by a C-level executive who helps to both spread awareness throughout the company as well as create community among employees, identified as members of these groups or their allies. At HubSpot, we have five main employee-run resource groups: Women@HubSpot, Families@HubSpot, People of Color at HubSpot, BLACKhub, and LGBTQ+ Alliance.

Any person within HubSpot who is interested or in need can join these groups at any time and speak freely about issues that affect them, that they are interested in or that are of concern to them, always in relation to the purpose of each one of the groups. It is through listening that actions can be taken as a result of gathering in these groups.

We are not just focused on increasing representation but on creating a state of equity and harnessing the power that comes from diversity of perspective. We create equity when our employees feel a sense of community and belonging; when our systems and practices are fair and unbiased; when we ensure equal access and opportunities that meet individual growth needs; and when we give back.

At HubSpot, we have the vision to build a company that reflects the diversity of our customers. A company where inclusion and equity are embedded into everything we do. Over the past year, we have made progress on this journey and we started 2022 ready to keep pushing forward. We know that to help our people grow, we need to know them: what they want, where they come from, who they are. That is why we have our 2022 Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Report. We hope it can provide a glimpse into the steps we have taken to build a more equitable company and into the work ahead of us to drive real, lasting change.

This research gives us a guide to the diversity of the groups of people who work at HubSpot but it also shows us how to get to know each of these groups and what they expect from the company as an employer brand.

Through this study, we can visualize the groups, sometimes referred to as minorities, that make up our workforce and that are as diverse as the world at large.

Undoubtedly, it is a very complex study and with highly relevant data but here are some relevant highlights:

  • At HubSpot, 52% of the workforce are men
  • 46.9% are women
  • 13,3% identify themselves as members of the LGBTIQ+ community
  • 1% are transgender
  • 0.2% are non-binary
  • 27% are parents

We also recognize that age, gender, and ethnicity are imperfect categories. So, we have programs, initiatives and investments we have made over the past year to help build more diverse and inclusive communities for the future:

  • Yamini Rangan became our CEO, making HubSpot a female-led company with four women on our executive leadership team and four women on our board.
  • We introduced the 5Rs initiative, including a global Week of Rest and No Internal Meeting Fridays to help employees battle burnout and prioritize mental health.
  • To invest in the growth and career development of our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) employees, HubSpot introduced mentorship programs, including the Uplift Initiative and RISE.
  • As part of our US$20 million commitment to social impact investing, HubSpot invested US$7.5 million in support of Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) to help close the racial wealth, health, and opportunity gap.

Employees are not looking for perfection but rather a community where their voices can be heard and to meet people with similar backgrounds and experiences; a place where they can feel seen and understood. 

Speaking specifically of LGBTQ+ pride month, and as a way to build a strong sense of belonging for everyone, we created the Growing with Pride Challenge, which is a fun opportunity to foster community and healthy competition and share in HubSpot's commitment to advance equality for the LGBTQ+ community across the globe.

For Pride 2021, we raised over US$20,000 for global LGBTQ+ nonprofits. This year, we are going bigger and better than ever before. This Growing with Pride Challenge is globally inclusive, ability-diverse, covers all time zones, and is a two-week long program filled with celebration and learning.

This challenge encourages employees from across the globe to engage in daily challenges to celebrate and educate during Pride 2022. 

So, it is probably a good start to change the corporate logo to a rainbow but it is not the only thing that matters. We must be clear that diversity and inclusion start with a deep understanding of people but, above all, they are not trends. These are daily actions that make up the DNA of companies and make the world a better place.

Photo by:   Shelley Pursell