Culture at Braze

Braze for ALL: How We’re Working to Diversify the Braze Team

Ronni Paradiso Johnson By Ronni Paradiso Johnson Apr 25, 2019

Diversity is a major focus for talent acquisition teams these days. Companies across industries are increasingly looking to source and hire a workforce made up of individuals from all demographics—including employees of different gender identities, sexual orientations, races and ethnicities, citizenship statuses, and levels of education.

We see companies invest in diversity recruitment for a multitude of reasons. It offers employees the opportunity to partner with colleagues who may have different skills, experiences, and points of view. It provides insight into various cultures, giving organizations the chance to better understand the motivations of their team members, partners, and customers. And it can result in further creativity, innovation, and productivity, and therefore, increased profitability.

But building a more diverse workforce doesn’t just happen; it takes hard work and a methodical approach. Companies typically start by identifying and marketing to diverse groups of people in order to broaden their recruiting funnel and increase the odds that they will connect with promising candidates with diverse identities. To ensure that diverse candidates can progress through the overall process, recruiting and HR teams are tasked with auditing the application and interview processes. This work is aimed at discovering, reducing, and (hopefully) eliminating any unconscious biases and unjust practices so each candidate has a fair and equal opportunity.

Prioritizing Diversity Recruitment, the Braze Way

At Braze, we’ve been laser-focused on diversity in the months following the launch of our Braze for ALL diversity and inclusion initiative. To ensure that we were tackling this priority in a thoughtful way, we first spent a lot of time working through the big questions. Is our company diverse? Are we inclusive? What’s going well that we should keep doing? What pain points do we need to address? And how should we do things differently?

To talk through all of this, we hosted two open forums for employees, conducted a survey, and held many one-on-one meetings to make sure that we were gathering the information we needed. Our big findings? Based on these conversations and relevant demographic data, we determined that the Braze team wasn’t as diverse as it could be. And that in order to become more diverse, we needed to focus on recruiting practices and technology, partnerships and events, and our employer branding.

Recruiting Practices and Technology

To improve our recruiting practices, Braze gives applicants anonymized take-home tests in order to remove unconscious bias on the part of hiring managers during the interview process. Additionally, we’ve been leveraging a tool that automatically eliminates language that is subtly “gender-coded” so that our job descriptions are neutral and gender-inclusive. We’re also in the process of developing a comprehensive interviewer training for all employees and are aiming to re-engineer our competency-based interviewing model soon.

Partnerships and Events

To help expose Braze to prospective candidates who have been underrepresented on our team, we’ve established partnerships with relevant nonprofits and other organizations over the past year. We’re working closely with Mogul and Women Who Code to attract more women to the company, and we recently established a relationship with Jopwell—a career advancement platform for Black, Latinx, and Native American job seekers—to assist us in bolstering our racial and ethnic diversity efforts.

Last fall, we attended a career fair at the all-women Wellesley College in Massachusetts, as well as the New York City Lesbians Who Tech summit, where we targeted gender identity and sexual orientation intersectionality, and were a summit sponsor. As part of our partnership with Women Who Code, we’re planning two events at our headquarters in New York City so attendees can get a firsthand glimpse into our office environment and culture.

Employer Branding

Recruiting isn’t just about sourcing candidates and facilitating a fair interview process—it’s also about finding ways to highlight the unique culture and values of the company. To that end, we’ve been partnering closely on a number of other projects with some of the smart and passionate people who make Braze Braze!

For starters, we recently reworked our careers site to better showcase life at Braze and make it easier for us to express our employer brand. Braze for ALL has also worked with our marketing team to spotlight Braze team members and their contributions to the company in fun, visual ways via our Brazeball Cards series. As well, we’re utilizing social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to publicize our activity. Take a look at our “day in the life” content on our Instagram Story—it’s a nice compliment to our Brazeball Cards! Similarly, we’re planning a series of Perspectives articles like this one to detail the work we’re doing on diversity and inclusion as part of our efforts to make Braze for ALL. (Spoiler alert: Our next story will be released this summer and it will be all about inclusion!)

Final Thoughts

As you can tell, we’ve been pretty busy with our diversity recruitment efforts! While it’s been a lot of work, we’re happy with the progress we’ve made and the early results we’re seeing. If you’re interested in potentially pursuing career opportunities at Braze, check out our current openings!

Ronni Paradiso Johnson

Ronni Paradiso Johnson

Ronni is a Senior Recruiter here at Braze hiring for our Go-to-Market teams. When she’s not finding the next best Braze employee, she’s spending time with her cat Macy, dog Eva or discovering a hidden gem amongst the smaller cities of Europe.

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