Diversity and Inclusion at Monzo


(Rika Raybould) #16

This is really key. :thumbsup:

On a similar note, I think many people (including in this thread) go down the wrong path thinking that diversity is the thing to chase. It is my opinion that diversity (and everything great that follows) is the thing you get by being inclusive.

A similar opinion is shared by the director of possibly my most played game of the last year, Overwatch. Jeff Kaplan talks about it in his DICE keynote talk and I highly recommend watching it as there are some really great points that I think can be translated outside games and the gaming industry.


(Maria) #17

Just checked age stats, median is 29. A fifth of us have kids or other caring responsibilities. The 26-30 age range is the most common.


(Naji Esiri) #18

For reference, you can find an abridged transcript of yesterday’s periscope Q+A here.


(Tara) #19

As @simonb pointed out, we have discussed this at length on Slack and it is an ongoing conversation, especially due to the exploding loo problem at our current office.

When we first picked the new office we did want to have unisex bathrooms and included this option in our tender documents for the fit out for this very reason. Ultimately, the cost of doing this and the time needed to complete this project meant that we were not able to do it for the new office when this was not going to be our forever home. This was disappointing, but as anyone who has been to our office knows, we need to move to somewhere new quickly as we have outgrown the current space.

As we were not able to install the superloos we will continue to have gendered bathrooms, but people are free to use the bathroom that they feel is the right one for them, or use the disabled bathrooms if they feel uncomfortable choosing a bathroom.

This is not a perfect solution and we know this, but in order to have safe spaces for women, enough bathrooms for everyone and to be able to move within a timescale that suits us this was the solution for now.

If you have thoughts/opinions on this we would be happy to hear them :+1:


(Rika Raybould) #20

Given the constraints you described, that sounds like the best policy to have. :slight_smile:


(Rika Raybould) split this topic #21

3 posts were split to a new topic: Missed telephone interviews [Hiring]

“I’ve split these off after brief discussion as the issue should be addressed separately from the diversity and inclusion blog discussion.”


(Alex Sherwood) #22

It’s great to see that Monzo are now signatories for the Women in Finance Charter.

Since launch, 77 financial services firms have committed to have at least 30% women in senior roles by 2021 and 23 firms have committed to a 50/50 gender split in senior roles by 2021.

Today’s new signatories will announce their targets in June.

http://www.thememo.com/2017/03/23/starling-monzo-azimo-funding-circle-women-in-finance-charter-fintech/


(Gaukhar Aya) #23

The problem is who is making that decision of the person to be hired being right. What makes that elusive right? If the person thinks that women have no technical skills and has experience working successfully only with men, he/she might be biased towards males as chosen colleagues. Full disclosure, I am a software developer, female. People often tell me: We want to hire more women but there just aren’t any good ones. We can’t hire bad females just because they are females. I believe a contributing fact to this could be that many female entrants are discouraged to carry on careers in IT from the beginning. Like all beginners, male or females we don’t get good at something overnight it takes time, motivation and support from peers. With females, they enter into not-so-supportive, at times even hostile environment where people are outright telling them they have low expectations of them BECAUSE they are girls, encouraging them to be project managers/business analysts instead. With no peers to relate to or approach and they end up exiting before getting any good. When I train a new developer it doesn’t matter to me whether they are male or female I try to be kind to all. This is not the case for some of the male staff I’ve worked with in the past. They don’t realise their bias and act dismissive towards female juniors, who then end up exiting believing this kind of environment is not worth the distress. This brings about the problem of not having sufficient sample of good female developers, further reinforcing the ideas that female developers that are good are a hassle to find. Let’s just get just as good of a male developer hassle-free. This is not to say, let’s start hiring dummies for the sake of D&I and PC. It is difficult issue to solve. All I am asking fellow male colleagues please be patient and understanding. When I entered male-dominated working environment I had to learn the craft itself, AS WELL AS learn how to fit in, understand you, your humour, your world views and all that by myself no one to talk to because as you might agree, you guys are not good at that sort of thing :smiley: So can we please get a little bit of patience and understanding too. Please :slight_smile:


#24

This ^^

I’ve not seen/nor worked with a single female developer in my short development career. When companies try and find some they run into the issues you have suggested. Thats when they often try things like quotas or female specific internships simply because they want to help and encourage more women but those methods can often backfire. I wish more female developers were as open about the issues they face as you, we need to completely remove the idea that developers/IT professionals are men sitting in their parents basement still


(Tommy Long) #25

Although you didn’t specifically say that the hostile environments you were talking about were in the workplace, I’d suggest we need to look much earlier than that. I did a Computer Science degree in the mid-noughties as a mid-level Uni and there were 3 women on my course (out of about 100 people).

As someone involved in the recruitment of developers, the comment “there aren’t any good female developers” isn’t so much a critique of female developers but merely a combination of the fact that there are very few good developers full stop and that is then combined with there being very few female CVs in the first place.


#27

Yes unfortunately gender stereotyping starts a lot earlier. And is still going on. For example:

Source: https://twitter.com/hattibelle/status/831089802523074560

Source: https://twitter.com/Raphaelite_Girl/status/844145430468444162

Groan :frowning2:


#28

A big part of the problem here is that “female developers” are all lumped into one group which leads to sweeping stereotypical statements - while there are certainly less of us we are as diverse a group in our experience and abilities as any other.

When we generalise we fall into the trap of extrapolating from one engineer across the entire group - so when an individual male developer does something it is attributed to him as an indivial, but when a female does something it’s because that’s what female developers do.

Same applies to all underrepresented groups.

As usual xkcd have it covered https://xkcd.com/385/ :slight_smile:


(Jolin) #29

I’ve been listening to the very interesting interview with Tom on the OnDesign podcast. In response to a question about how new staff are inducted into the Monzo approach and way of thinking, he said that basically all new staff so far have been existing Monzo users. Given that we also know (from this interview and others) that Monzo has primarily expanded through word-of-mouth, and that it started with “white middle-class 30-something men in central London” (again, some variant of this phrasing was stated by Tom), I was wondering how much these factors hinder the diversity and inclusion hiring efforts.

I understand that Tom wasn’t saying that being an existing user is a pre-requisite for being hired, or even something that Monzo is looking for – it’s just how it’s turned out so far. But if Monzo customers are the most likely to apply for jobs at the company, this could make it difficult to break through to other, more diverse, groups (not just race/gender, but financial situation, etc.). I guess one approach is to be more pro-active at signing up a diverse range of customers, but this requires second-factor effects to result in a more diverse workforce. Anyway, I was just curious if Monzo staff have any insights into these tensions and how to address them.


#30

I want to see more women in technology, but feel we’re going about it the wrong way.

Like @annette, I feel “Women in Tech” betrays the diversity within the community of female technologists.

It strikes me as a movement that’s sometimes driven by the media, and by activists, and thus it fails to represent actual women in technology - or, at least, fails to represent all of them. Saw a great blog post on this subject yesterday:


(Naji Esiri) #31

Great article thanks for posting this! @ChrisBeach


(Maria) #32

On pretty much all staff being existing users - I do a fair few initial phone interviews & one of the questions we often ask at the start is whether someone has a Monzo card yet. That gives us some context on what they already know about us & what research they’ve done (it isn’t at all a screening criterion! but it shapes what intro to the company we give on the call).

Personally I’d want to try the product if possible before working at a company. And I often speak to people who signed up after applying for a job with us, or decide to during the course of that first interview. I sent out two golden tickets last week to interviewees!


(Jolin) #33

You could give extra points to interviewees who hadn’t heard of :monzo: before applying, but found and used the Golden Ticket give/request thread by the time of the first phone interview. :wink: :laughing:

Seriously, though, thanks for the answer. Makes sense.


#34

Thanks @ChrisBeach however I feel that you have attributed to me something that I did not say.

My comment was in relation to the generalization of “female developers” as it was discussed earlier in the thread and not to my views on Women in Tech or the groups that are formed around/by/for us.

I disagree with your statement that it’s a movement driven by the media and activists, any group of this nature and size cannot possibly represent everyone individually or represent “all of them”, and they do not claim to.

The generalization of “female developers”, and the activities of Women in Tech are not the same thing and cannot be conflated.

Thank you for sharing Maria’s blog post, it was a very interesting read.


(Eve) #35

Thought this was a nice article to highlight the need for men to speak up against sexism in the workplace if they see it happening. He’s writing from the POV of a man in effort to reach out to other men who might not outwardly harass women, but might not do anything to stop such incidents of casual sexism from happening for whatever reason. Not everything has to be instilled as a policy or a deliberate 50-50 gender split for an inclusive workplace.


(Justin) #36

I read this article a few months ago, about one of the founders of Nest and co-designer of the iPhone, which describes why he feels diversity is important in companies involved in tech design. It’s interesting and well worth reading.