As we look to the future - in our industries, in our communities, and even globally - the prioritization of diversity, equity, and inclusion are necessary to truly reach our full potential. This sounds like a pretty hefty undertaking, but as it has been proven in numerous studies, there is still much work to do surrounding representation across the board. It is really just the beginning. The good news? The success that is ahead may prove bigger than we can imagine.
In recruiting, talent acquisition, and the business of overall talent capital, we have a duty to set the example and kickstart the process at the beginning - starting with hiring. As recruiters, Blue Signal recognizes its role in championing workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion - for our clients, candidates, and internally for our colleagues. We pledge to work diligently to ensure the hiring experience is free from discrimination and unconscious bias - and here is how.
Where We Have Been
"Blue Signal refers all candidates on the basis of qualifications rather than age, sex, creed, color, nationality, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or ability." Our policy can be found directly on our website and it is the guideline by which we seek to approach the future. From the top down, we are looking to continuously improve our organization - and in turn, the organizations we support.
We strive to support our core value of excellence, and our commitment to innovation - especially when it comes to our own hiring practices. Since our inception in 2016, we have hovered around a nearly 50% female workforce. This is much higher than the industry average of 25%.
Additionally, we founded our very own Blue Signal Women of the Workplace (BSS WOW) initiative in 2019 with the purpose of promoting education, connection, and empowerment for women (and those who support strong women) and their contributions to the broader goals of Blue Signal - and beyond! The BSS WOW group has supported equity and inclusion advocacy within Blue Signal itself, and also within our greater Arizona community. BSS WOW partnered with Live and Learn AZ in 2020 to provide women who are victims of generational poverty in our local community with resume writing support and job application tools to help them in their own goals of breaking out of the cycle of poverty. Today, we meet regularly to discuss ideas and strategize ways to improve our own organization, and support women both internally and externally when it comes to professional development and representation within the workforce.
As a starting point, we continue to seek resolution to the gender disparity we see throughout the tech industry. It is in our roots and it is a major theme in our future plans. We want to set an example within our own organization, practice what we preach, and then arm our clients and candidates with tools of their own to further develop more mindful gender equity practices in their own organizations. However, gender disparity is only one small portion of the work we have ahead.
Where We Are Going
Blue Signal has never shied away from a challenge, so we started by having the uncomfortable conversations and tackling our own unconscious biases when it comes to several other faucets of DEI. As CEO, Matt Walsh put so fervently in his Letter on Diversity, “diversity drives innovation, and we believe a truly diverse and inclusive workplace requires an ongoing process backed by action to stay at the forefront of progression. To do so, calls for a meeting of many minds that collaborate across identities and cultures.” And that is exactly what we did.
Last month, Blue Signal launched its first ever DEI Committee to discuss feelings, experiences, ideas, and action plans for further supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization. We discussed what we have seen other companies doing, and what we can do starting today. We planned company-wide DEI trainings and found certifications surrounding equitable hiring practices that we plan to implement as a mandatory part of our own onboarding. We circulated educational materials, like this informative glossary of terms, to expand our knowledge base and open the door to pose new questions, and formulate new solutions.
The DEI Committee looked back on past placements, examined the data, and determined where we had room to improve as far as who we represent. We found that in all our past searches, we represented what we estimate to be an average of 35% diverse candidates. Alarmingly, the average percentage of diverse candidates in tech roles today is around that same ratio (about 28%). We want to be well above industry averages in all that we do.
Ultimately, we are seeking to educate ourselves and in turn, empower our clients and candidates so that we can make the biggest impact possible for DEI within hiring. We want to become a resource when it comes to DEI practices - whether that is educating hiring managers on unconscious bias in the interview process, or promoting diverse candidates as equitably as we promote our white, heteronormative/cisnormative candidates. With the right tools, we have the power to change the course of our industry and we take that challenge very seriously.
Matt said it best, “Blue Signal’s commitment is to innovation. Our commitment is to diversifying our relationships and promoting equality. And our commitment is to empower our employees to be excellent, within the recruiting industry, our communities, and beyond.” As we continue to grow, learn, and change as an organization, we want to make an intentional path forward. We will focus on what we can do - whether that is on our individual desks, with our own candidates and clients, or within the industry overall - by endorsing education throughout.
We encourage you to reach out and collaborate with us on this mission. Tell us about what your organization is doing to champion workplace diversity, to encourage equity, and truly foster inclusion. Or rather, tell us what they are not doing so we can learn from that, too. Follow along with us on this journey as we create a better professional world for ourselves, our organizations, our communities, and most importantly - those colleagues who are underrepresented.