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Nexosis @ Work & Play

Our Commitment to Employee Mental Wellness, Diversity, and Inclusion

November 2, 2017 @ 10:44 AM | Musings, Announcements


Our CEO shares why and how he is committed to fostering a culture of employee mental wellness, diversity, and inclusion.


I’ve been traveling a lot to San Francisco recently and it wasn't until my last trip that I finally asked someone that lived there what the appeal was. They thought for a while and then answered with simply one word: “openness”.

Tim Falls, our new VP of Social Impact and Community, and I discussed a variety of things that are currently taking place in San Francisco. The two main ones being:

  • How to create diversity, tips, and learning.
  • Promoting mental health.

Fostering diversity and inclusion

Recently, we updated our core culture values and added ‘inclusion’ to the list. Inclusivity and diversity are directly related in my view, and as a company we’ve been wondering how to go about creating a more diverse workplace. It’s no secret—to anyone who glances at our team pagethat most employees at Nexosis are white people. So, with this self-awareness in mind, we started to dig into this.

First, we found out that on average only white people are applying to our jobs. This is a problem, and it’s one we are committed to fixing. We used external recruiters in the past, and even their submissions included 100% white male applications. In our eyes, these aren't acceptable results from professional recruiters; if yours are only bringing in white male candidates, we encourage you to challenge them to do better.

First, we found out that on average only white people are applying to our jobs. This is a problem, and it’s one we are committed to fixing. 

Second, for our first 12 months of hiring we struggled in attracting female applicants. We addressed this by getting involved in local female-centric events, such as Girl Develop It. We didn’t simply sponsor the event, we actually participated and engaged with attendees. We will continue to do this. The takeaway: you cannot simply pay money to sponsor these things, you must be there in real life and create opportunities for meaningful interpersonal interactions.

Second, we struggled for our first 12 months in attracting female applicants. We fixed this by getting involved in local female centric events, such as Girl Develop It. We didn’t simply sponsor the event, we actually participated and engaged with attendees.

We have also implemented a new hiring policy which states no decision on hiring will be made without having at least 2 female and 2 male candidates to consider. At Techstars Foundercon last week in Oakland, David Cohen and David Brown discussed the importance behind this (and cited the Rooney Rule as its inspiration), and how often times companies will have 3 or 4 male candidates and only 1 female candidate at the end of an interview process. This often leads to discussion in which people refer to the male candidates by name and to the female candidate as 'the woman.' Everyone deserves to be viewed as who they are, not what they are.

We are going to stop using titles like Jr, Sr, etc in job descriptions. We’ve learned that this can potentially discourage minorities from applying to positions for which they are totally qualified, because systemic oppression has led them to feel that they're always junior, despite their senior capabilities.

We are going to stop using titles like Jr, Sr, etc in job descriptions. We’ve learned that this can potentially discourage minorities from applying to positions for which they are totally qualified, because systemic oppression has led them to feel that they're always junior, despite their senior capabilities.

Finally, we’re looking into creating a learning program – which will encourage anyone who has a passion for the role to apply. If you have always felt a love for technology or programming, this program will be designed specifically for you.


Promoting mental health

Tim and I have discussed at length a coaching program that Keen IO implemented, which has resulted in tremendous employee satisfaction and, ultimately, retention. We plan to implement this program at Nexosis, and hopefully contribute to an industry-specific framework that can be followed, modified, and improved upon by others who recognize how imperative this kind of stuff really is.


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Ryan Sevey

Ryan is the Co-founder and CEO of Nexosis. He keeps the team focused on what matters most; keeping customers and investors happy.