Breaking Down Diversity and Inclusion

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How many of us have stopped to think about what Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) actually means? In this article, my goal is to provide very basic definitions for these two topics and spark the conversation of what does D&I means to you and your organization. I also want to give you a small glimpse into what DockYard is doing to help promote D&I.

Diversity vs Inclusion

DockYard sees diversity as bringing together individuals from different backgrounds, perspectives, identities, and more to create a collaborative environment. The ultimate goal is to ensure we are building and fostering a healthy workspace where all DockYarders feel empowered to do their best work.

Since DockYard hires diverse talent, we continue to have open discussions about how we as a team can promote an environment where everyone feels included. For us this means everyone at DockYard (regardless of background) feels they are respected as team members and have the ability to contribute to the overall growth/success of the company.

So to tie everything up in a bow, diversity is ultimately the collection of traits we can observe in each person (race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc). Inclusion refers to the unwritten rules that help everyone feel like they are part of the tribe. BuiltIn has a great break down of both definitions, as well as further comparisons of Diversity vs Inclusion.

Essentially the goal is to ensure our team members, regardless of the characteristics they possess, truly feel welcome in the DockYard’s distributed environment, and they have the opportunity (and are encouraged) to share the story that makes them unique as an individual.

We do this by breaking down the barriers or “social norms” that many times create homogeneous environments. As a DockYarder logs into our remote office each day, one of our pillars we ask ourselves is, am I being kind and genuine? We hope these team qualities and our abilities to celebrate others for their differences will help the company continue to put Diversity & Inclusion at the forefront of our team’s future.

DockYard’s Views on Diversity

Our leadership team has identified Diversity & Inclusion in the company’s North Star guiding principles as a key component to DockYard’s future success. Setting Diversity & Inclusion as a necessary area of growth over the next three to five years from a leadership perspective is an important milestone for our team as we continue to define what success looks like in this area.

At DockYard, we currently host monthly meetings to discuss updates on initiatives, review roadblocks, and have an open forum for Diversity & Inclusion discussion topics. We also recently polled our team on ways to be more inclusive and have a plan to create a diversity calendar of events/celebrations to allow DockYarders to get more involved.

Another initiative we have coming soon is a Culture Buddy program. This will be a pairing system for new hires and tenured DockYard employees based on communication style, how they identify, and many other factors. The goal will be to provide enrichment to both the current DockYarder and new hire as they are matched in an unconventional partnership. The new hire will receive a relationship that will be different from a traditional mentor or manager who can help guide them through their first six months as a new employee. The current DockYarder will gain additional skills to improve as a leader.

We are still at the beginning stages of redefining our D&I strategy, and we’re excited to see what the future will bring at DockYard!

DockYard is a digital product agency offering custom software, mobile, and web application development consulting. We provide exceptional professional services in strategy, user experience, design, and full stack engineering using Ember.js, React.js, Ruby, and Elixir. With a nationwide staff, we’ve got consultants in key markets across the United States, including Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Austin, New York, and Boston.