Coding and computer engineering began as a boys club, and for decades that’s how it remained. Thankfully, the field has evolved to include more women – but it still has room to grow in the area of equity. At TackleAI, we’re actively working to cultivate inclusive work environments, and make the space somewhere that’s open and amenable to all.
It starts with thinking about what diversity and inclusivity mean at each stage of the employee journey. We know that some folks need different accommodations based on any number of needs and experiences. People work differently under pressure, for example, and some respond better to certain types of motivation than others. This may even apply to work tools: At TackleAI, some of our employees work with C#, while others use Python. We accommodate both preferences and train up our employees where they’re deficient. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, we prefer to meet our people wherever they’re at.
That means creating inclusive work environments, focusing more on the work at hand than on those doing the work. We give our workers an opportunity to join projects that may seem outside their scope or area of expertise. Giving folks a chance to take on unfamiliar work and collaborate with colleagues in different parts of the company helps our employees grow and makes us a more versatile and connected group.
At TackleAI, we also like to incorporate that spirit of inclusivity into other aspects of office life. Yes, we’re talking snacks. Providing food options that take into account all dietary needs and restrictions – from allergies to religious beliefs – may seem like a small thing, but it has gone a long way toward demonstrating how much we value our people. It’s not so different than our commitment to using inclusive language whenever possible – like avoiding gendered terms when addressing a group, assuming pronouns in individual conversations or using terms like “spouse” in HR documents.
Inclusivity isn’t difficult to understand or implement as a company. It comes down to connecting with your people and creating a work setting where each of them, regardless of their background or beliefs, feels comfortable and valued. Check in with your employees often, reaching out to people from across the workforce, and ensure that their unique needs are being met. Foster an environment of open communication so workers know they can approach a supervisor, HR or, frankly, anyone if the company or colleagues are falling short.
We’re learning and re-learning what inclusivity means all the time, because every individual is different. But perfection isn’t the point. Understanding, respecting and embracing our differences is the goal – and a worthy one at that.
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