When I moved from Google (approximately 70,000 employees) to become CEO of Quizlet (about 30 employees when I started) and started learning more about the small-but-mighty team building our learning platform, there were a number of things that surprised me in my first few weeks.
One was that despite our differences in size, the overall makeup of our respective employee bases looked pretty similar. Women and minorities were underrepresented at both companies in similar ratios; it didn’t matter if the denominator was a few dozen people or thousands of times that.
However, I don’t believe it’s a conscious decision to exclude any demographic — women, minorities, or even white males.
The fact is that Silicon Valley companies, Quizlet included, have many open roles that are difficult to find qualified candidates for. When trying to fill these roles, it comes down to a balance — achieving a more diverse and inclusive workforce without sacrificing the right fit. It’s far too complicated for blanket statements about reverse discrimination; it’s about giving all qualified candidates a fair shot. It’s often hard, vigilant work to find the ones that might not look like you or have the same background as you, which is why a strategic and focused hiring plan is required.
By Mathew Glotzbach
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