by Sameer Dholakia
Originally published: January 22, 2017
The Leadership Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question, “How can you play a role in advancing workplace equality?” is written by Sameer Dholakia, CEO of SendGrid.
Silicon Valley leaders often say they want to advance workplace equality, but behind closed doors many executives—both male and female—admit they’re not exactly sure how to go about doing it. There is general confusion around what works, what doesn’t, and where to start. Leading a team that’s shown tangible results on diversity over the last few years has given me some insights that are worth sharing:
Release your numbers
Beginning in 2014, SendGrid joined tech heavyweights like Google and Apple in sharing our diversity numbers. Deciding to take this step wasn’t easy, since these reports have tended to stir up controversy. We weren’t sure if our numbers were good enough, but we decided we had to have a benchmark to start with, otherwise we would never be able to show improvement. We also felt that honesty would be empowering, and that releasing the numbers would help us hold ourselves accountable.