Being Black in Tech By Elo Ratliff,* MPH To honor Black History Month, we decided not to look backward this year but instead to look inward at 23andMe, asking Black professionals here for their perspective on working in biotechnology where...Read more
Creating accountability through action.
At 23andMe, we embody respect and transparency to provide opportunity for all: our employees, our community, and our customers.
Why Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Matter
Everyone deserves the right to a safe, healthy, productive life.
Our company is based on the foundation that all of us are linked by a shared thread, our DNA. We are all 99.5% genetically alike; our similarities are so much greater than any differences. It is a scientific fact. And yet, many people disproportionately experience injustices and prejudice that can put their lives on completely different trajectories.
When each of us feel empowered to be our authentic self, we create a highly energised work environment which leverages diverse perspectives to create innovative solutions. Diverse perspectives and an inclusive culture produce a highly energised work environment and solutions driven community. We are committed to living this ideal in our workplace.
Our Workforce Diversity
Transparency in our workforce data is just the beginning.
A New Foundation for Change
We created four key pillars to hold our leadership, employees and collaborators accountable.
Hiring with diversity goals in mind.
We ensure our candidate pipeline and new hires are from communities where we traditionally lack representation.
- We expanded our candidate network by partnering with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Indigenous Americans in Science (SACNAS), SEED Scholars Program, Meyerhoff Program, Black Professionals in STEM and AfroTech.
- We implemented an enhanced employee referral program for candidates who identify as Black, LatinX, two or more races, Pacific Islander or Indigenous American.
- We created a goal and process to include at least one candidate that identifies as female and at least one candidate that identifies as Black, LatinX, two or more races, Pacific Islander or Indigenous American for onsite interviews.
- We implemented Inclusive Interview Training for all hiring teams and it will be an ongoing requirement for new interviewers.
Building an inclusive culture so employees can bring their whole selves to work.
We create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where employees can bring their whole self to work and activate their full potential.
- We leveraged data from our internal diversity, equity and inclusion survey to inform our DEI strategy, goals and initiatives. We will use survey metrics and feedback to guide our focus on the right work.
- We formed seven new employee resource groups including Blacks@, Femgineers, LGBTQ+, Neurodiversity, Parents@, 23andHear and 23andWhole.
- To empower employee education, understanding, and awareness, we launched trainings on Unconscious Bias, Microaggressions and Allyship. In addition we hold multiple DEI Lunch & Learns, Speaker Series and Book Clubs.
- We will continue to conduct annual pay parity analyses and participate in annual compensation surveys to ensure fair and equitable compensation for all employees.
Creating a product experience that is more equitable and inclusive.
We increase the intrinsic value of our health and ancestry product for underrepresented populations and create product experiences that are more inclusive by design.
- We conducted an initial audit of our product, customer experience, research participation and database characteristics to identify disparities that could be addressed to improve the customer experience and engagement. We will continue to conduct audits every 6 months.
- We are building accessibility into our product development process, including: defining requirements, product testing, design review, measuring performance, and compliance.
- We are developing internal guidelines for products, content and experiences that are inclusive of our customers' diverse identities and needs.
- We will have a specific focus on making the customer experience more sex and gender inclusive, and on increasing the value that our product delivers to customers from non European backgrounds.
Community Impact & Collaborations
Expanding collaborator representation and impacting communities where we work and live.
We positively impact communities affected by where we work and the work we do.
- In 2020, 23andMe and our employees donated to organisations working for social justice and equity, including the ACLU, Black Girls Code, Black Lives Matter Support Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative.
- We developed comprehensive Engagement Guidelines and a rubric for evaluating community organisations as we look to support more partnerships and events in the future.
- We launched a supplier coalition survey to understand our suppliers’ diversity representation and practices.
- During our January 2021 research submission cycle, we received 51 research collaboration applications; 20 proposals include research related to Black, LatinX, two or more races, Pacific Islander, Asian or Indigenous American groups. Proposal evaluation and selection is currently underway.
Genetics, Race and Research
Blogs and historical research help guide our understanding.