Diversity and inclusion at Fat Llama

Welcome to our first post on diversity and inclusion at Fat Llama. It will lay the groundwork for a new series of quarterly reports on our progress in building a world-class, inclusive herd here at Fat Llama HQ.

First off, here’s why we take diversity and inclusion seriously:

We’re on a mission to change ownership for everyone, everywhere.

That’s a pretty huge mission, and it needs a team that reflects the diversity of the community we serve. We know that the unique experiences, culture and background that every team member brings has a huge impact on our product development. The more diverse our team, the more holistic and rich our product will become. We want to build a team which represents everyone, everywhere.

So, what are our targets?

GenderWe’re aiming at a gender balance of 50% women across the company

Ethnicity: We’re aiming at an ethnicity breakdown which represents London demographics*

Retention: The company targets a 0% difference goal in churn between overall retention rate and retention rate of female and minority ethnic team members

*Whilst we have offices in London and New York, we’re working towards matching London’s demographic split because our New York team is comparatively small. As it grows, we’ll also account for New York’s demographic split when we set targets.

We’re also going to be reporting on sexuality, religion, educational background, nationality and age, but for now, we’re not going to be setting targets in these areas. This is so that we can really focus on hitting the targets we have set. That said, we’re working on fostering a work environment which is welcoming to marginalised groups in all of these areas.

How are we planning to hit these targets?

Reporting: Every quarter, we’re going to collate and publish our progress on gender, ethnicity and retention targets reported on by team, location and seniority.

Setting targets: If a team isn’t likely to hit our company-wide targets, they’ll work to tailored interim targets, set quarterly.

Being accountable: Just like any other metric, team leads and overall leadership will be accountable for their team’s performance.

More plans for 2019

  • We plan to bring in the ‘Rooney Rule’, whereby at-least one woman and one under-represented minority will be considered for every open position
  • We plan to screen every single job description for gender neutrality and other unintentional bias
  • We plan to have all hiring managers take the Harvard implicit association test quarterly, to help us hire without unintentional bias
  • We will maintain equal pay for all genders in equivalent roles

How are we doing?

The results below came from our first ever internal diversity and inclusion audit. Whilst they’re positive in places, they show that we’re falling short on our key gender and ethnicity targets. The team at Fat Llama is currently 62% male to 38% female and 67% white. The full ethnicity breakdown is shown in the graphics below.

Because our internal teams are still pretty small, we’re not publishing our data at a team level. That said, in several places the picture’s really positive. Our Operations team, the largest of the three internal teams by headcount, is 58% female, with an ethnicity breakdown which exceeds our targets in every vertical. In other functions, including Engineering, we need to do better in both gender split and ethnicity. To do this, we’re looking closely at our whole recruitment pipeline and really trying to increase our outreach to diverse candidates – we recently hosted a Codebar workshop at our London office. We hope to be able to report on progress in these areas for the next quarter.

When it comes to retention, we’re seeing a slightly higher churn rate amongst female and minority groups. Whilst this is concerning and will need close monitoring into the next quarter, it’s amplified by an extremely low churn rate overall. In other areas, whilst we’re a very young team with very few team members with caring responsibilities, we’re actively exploring ways to make our workplace policies as accommodating as possible for those individuals.

For example, we give our Engineering and Growth teams the flexibility to work from home for a certain percentage of their month and offer those in Operations flexible schedules which are built around their other commitments. In terms of education, whilst the majority of the team is educated to degree level, this isn’t universal and we’re exploring ways to attract candidates with a range of educational backgrounds to all open positions. Finally, as you’ll see below, our team adheres to a range of different belief systems and we actively ensure that, whether in the food we serve at lunchtimes to the nature of our monthly socials, we accommodate this diverse set of faiths.

All of these statistics are self-reported and every question, with the exception of gender and ethnicity, offered respondents the option to ‘skip’ if they didn’t want to provide an answer.

We’d really love to hear your thoughts and comments on our diversity initiatives. Please reach out to me at jamie@fatllama.com.

Jamie Snedden, UK Operations Lead

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