Loopio’s Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report (2020-2021)
Table of Contents
Why We Created An Annual Employee DEI Survey
At Loopio, our goal is to build a world-class workplace—and we can’t accomplish that without an inclusive culture that creates space for everyone to grow, equally and fairly.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) have always been important to Loopio. In 2018, we began rolling out more formal initiatives by introducing DEI training for managers (via Challenge Accepted). And, over the years, we participated in an increasing number of events that promoted diversity in tech hiring, including Venture Out, WomenHack, and Black Professionals In Tech Network.
In the fall of 2020, we decided to measure how our DEI initiatives were impacting the employee experience with a formal survey. We wanted to understand how diverse our workforce was and track how it changed each year. We also wanted to know what it felt like to work at Loopio, for Loopers of all backgrounds.
In that spirit, we’re publicly sharing key learnings from our annual DEI surveys, which we conducted in 2020 and 2021. The reasons for this are to:
- Be transparent. We want to share the full picture of our workplace demographics and DEI efforts, so everyone knows what we’ve learned, where we’ve made progress, and where we still need to grow.
- Stay accountable—to Loopers, our customers, and our community of Canadian technology employers. We want you to know what our values are and the actions we’re taking to live up to them every day.
Methodology: How We Surveyed Employees
We ran our first internal DEI survey in December of 2020. This was to set a baseline for our workplace demographics, which we could measure our progress against in the future.
We partnered with CultureAmp for this survey. CultureAmp has helped companies like Slack, Etsy, and SoulCycle run research-based DEI surveys. The survey is designed in an “unattributed” way—meaning we can’t link it back to an employee’s HR profile. This is important to us because answering questions about demographics is very personal, and we wanted employees to know their responses are anonymous.
Measuring Representation in the Workplace
Improving representation in the workforce is as much about retention as it is about hiring. It’s as important to keep the Loopers that we have in our workforce engaged, growing, and thriving, as it is to hire from a diverse pool of candidates.
2020 Survey Learnings
Our number one learning after running Loopio’s first DEI survey in 2020 was that representation impacts experience.
Broadly speaking, we learned that groups that were more represented at Loopio had a more positive experience than the groups that were less represented. This played out across race, sexual orientation, gender, and, to a lesser degree, age. As an example, those who were a part of underrepresented groups were less likely to agree with the statement “I feel like I belong at Loopio”.
Knowing that underrepresented people had a less positive experience didn’t sit well with us at all. So we were resolved to do better moving forward.
Ownership of DEI Initiatives
Who “owns” DEI at Loopio? Everyone has a role to play. Our CEO and VP of People champion our DEI strategies. Leaders and people managers create an inclusive experience for their teams. Our People team helps implement specific initiatives—like our annual survey. We also ask for input from our ERG group leaders (if/when they have capacity).
The Action We Took in 2021
After our 2020 survey, we set goals to increase representation across three key groups we felt we could move the dial on in 2021:
- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
- Women and non-binary people
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) people
Our 2021 DEI action plan to improve representation consisted of the five pillars below.
Loopio’s 5 DEI Pillars for 2021
- Formalize our career growth frameworks. These frameworks lay out clear paths for growth for all employees in our larger teams. This helps Loopers advance their career in a more transparent, fair, and equitable way across teams.
- Build more community partnerships. We partnered with more organizations that support DEI—like Palette Skills, and Venture for Canada—in order to recruit from more diverse sources and expand our networks. We also created an Emerging Software Developer Internship Program, which promotes hiring young developers who are self-taught and/or boot camp trained vs. those educated in traditional institutions (which is where most technology companies recruit from).
- Launch Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These groups (focused on mental health, race, gender, and sexual orientation) help employees connect in a safe space, amplify underrepresented voices internally, and share educational resources with each other and the company at large. In 2021, our ERGs planned events for Pride month and Mental Health Awareness Week, and partnered with outside organizations (including Google’s #IamRemarkable, Raven Reads, and Inkblot Therapy) to educate Loopers on important, DEI-related topics.
- Implement more DEI learning opportunities. We implemented new behaviours of inclusion training for all Loopers via LifeLabs Learning. We also hosted talks on anti-racism and inclusion (from groups like QueerTech) so employees could learn about inherent bias and equity in the workplace.
- Improve the hiring experience. We made changes to our hiring process to make it more fair and equitable. We modified our interviews by removing questions that were too personal and re-focused them on more role-based questions. We added scorecards with specific assessment criteria to all our interviews and implemented a blind feedback process to minimize the potential for bias. We also created a guide for writing inclusive job descriptions. Plus, we expanded our roster of interviewers to ensure there is diverse representation from across the company helping us assess candidates.
Our 2021 DEI Survey Results
89% of Loopio employees participated in Loopio’s 2021 DEI survey (results displayed below).
Race and Ethnicity
As of 2021, a little over half of our workforce identifies as white. Close to 40% identify as BIPOC or other.
Compared to 2020, the number of BIPOC people represented in Loopio’s workforce increased 8% in a year. We attribute this to consciously expanding our recruiting efforts and diversifying our candidate pool and networks.
It’s worth noting that we did not have the “Other” or “Not specified” options in our 2020 survey, and thus cannot compare them to 2021 numbers. The inclusion of the “Other” and “Not specified” categories in our survey in 2021 was intended to give participants more options and make them feel comfortable answering questions—and we did see an increase in participation overall in this year’s survey.
In 2021, we saw a 50-50 split between those who identified as either male or female amongst employees.
While we do have a small group of employees who identify as non-binary, this group did not meet the reporting minimum, which we have to protect confidentiality. So, it cannot be displayed as a group on its own in our results.
In our most recent survey, we’re proud to see that we have equal representation of men and women in the workplace. In the future, we’ll continue to monitor overall gender representation, but we also plan to focus where in the business that representation exists. As an example, we’ll be looking at gender representation in technical roles, which are historically male-dominated.
Nearly three quarters of Loopio employees identify as heterosexual. Close to a fifth identify as part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and nearly 10% didn’t specify.
Compared to 2020, we saw a 3% increase in LGBTQ2S+ employee representation and a 6% increase in “Not Specified” answers. We acknowledge that people may choose not to answer this and other demographic questions for a variety of reasons, including not being out in the workplace or feeling comfortable disclosing certain aspects of their identity. This is something we will continue to keep an eye on, as it can be an indicator, to a certain degree, of trust.
A Note on Intersectionality
The graphs above cover a single facet of an employee’s identity. Some employees belong to multiple groups, and these intersecting identities mean they face more biases and obstacles in the workplace. Due to the survey structure and reporting threshold, we don’t know how Loopers with intersecting identities are faring. In the future, we hope to have a better picture of this as our workforce grows.
In 2021, diversity amongst our people managers has increased across our three core groups: there was a 5% increase in women managers, a 12% increase in BIPOC managers, and a 4% increase in LGBTQ2S+ managers.
However, diversity ratios in this group still lag behind the overall company averages from a race/ethnicity and sexual orientation perspective. We’ve learned through our surveys that representation in our leadership team has a big influence on the employee experience. In light of this, we’ll continue to put a concerted effort into increasing diversity within our people management team in these two groups specifically.
Key Result: Building Diverse Teams
One notable result, which validated the impact of our 2021 DEI initiatives, was for the statement: “Loopio builds diverse teams.” In 2020, 61% of Loopers agreed with that statement. In 2021, 81% agreed with it—a 20% increase in one year.
2022 and Beyond: Loopio’s Ongoing Commitment to DEI
Here are some of the key growth areas we’ve identified for our team, moving into 2022.
Loopio’s 2022 DEI Focus Areas
- Increase representation among our Leaders. Diversity can’t only happen in lower-level roles—or else we aren’t succeeding in building a truly equitable workforce. We want to give our people leaders the tools and training they need to increase their ownership over DEI among their teams.
- Learn more from our ERGs. These groups have amazing ideas for how to improve Loopio as a workplace, and we want to lean into learning from them even more. We’ve established partners on the People team to support and enable our ERGs to build their plans. (Note: ERGs are not responsible for achieving our DEI goals. They set their own agendas and initiatives, and are encouraged to share their insights with leaders. It’s our leadership’s job to listen to them.)
- Continuing to build community partnerships. We’ve learned so much from the community partners that we’ve worked with over the years. In 2022, we’ll double down on these efforts by looking for more partners that will help us hire and engage traditionally underrepresented groups in tech.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. We’re committed to continual improvement in every aspect of our business, from our product and customer experience, to the inclusivity of our team. As Loopio continues to grow and expand, we will continue to evaluate our progress from a diversity, equity, and inclusion perspective through this annual survey and feedback from our team.
Our goal will always be to build a world-class workplace where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. If you have questions about anything in this report, please contact email@example.com.
Do you believe Loopio’s vision and mission for a fair and equitable workplace? Check out the open roles on our team.