Developing and Sustaining Diversity Within a Company

Shweta Saraf

Director of Platform Networking at Netflix



When you hire a diverse team it should not just be to checkmark that your company has the correct numbers and to prove they care about diversity. The true aim should be that within the diversity your company carries, you establish diverse ideas, create better products, and achieve better outcomes.

Actions taken

  • Begin by having a diverse representation in your interview panel including women and several identifiable cultures.
  • When you talk about diversity do not say things like "diverse candidates" or "creating quotas for diverse candidates". Rather, make a swift effort to organize a pipeline for reviewing many types of resumes while still maintaining the same type of hiring criteria.
  • Another thing I do to outsource diversity is to use my own social network to reach out to people and I ask every person on my team to do the same.
  • Once you have hired people, keep investing in their attention. This means attending conferences with a focus on diversity that also plays into their individual interests.
  • I especially made sure that every team had a woman on it. I developed a huge pipeline of intelligent women applying for roles because I went to universities and conferences to seek them out.
  • Establish something grassroots like an employee resource organization where as a manager, you can encourage people to connect outside of the routine role.
  • An important thing we did company-wide as new employees would join is created a nice template with their picture and a few words from the employee about why they were excited to be on the team. The manager would then boost this by touching on how they were proud to have that person in the company.

Lessons learned

  • A diverse interview panel will allow other candidates to feel like they can enter an environment where they can feel supported.
  • Using diversity terms to label someone or making them feel different may make the candidate feel like they are only getting the job because they represent diversity for the company.
  • The foundation for creating a grassroots organization is to support diverse talent.
  • Making each individual team diverse becomes more difficult when you are searching for niche roles.
  • Using social networks as a hiring resource can create a nice message to candidates and they come through respected references.
  • Having a template that represents real voices from within the company about what they look forward to in terms of their future with the company creates a welcoming impact of 'hey, I want to be on this team'.

Be notified about next articles from Shweta Saraf

Shweta Saraf

Director of Platform Networking at Netflix

Mentorship ProgramsInclusion in TechWomen in TechDiversity and Inclusion InitiativesDiversity ImpactDiversity HiringOvercoming BiasIndividual Contributor RolesLeadership RolesEngineering Manager

Connect and Learn with the Best Eng Leaders

We will send you a weekly newsletter with new mentors, circles, peer groups, content, webinars,bounties and free events.


HomeCircles1-on-1 MentorshipBountiesBecome a mentor

© 2024 Plato. All rights reserved

LoginSign up