I’ve long believed that teams which draw relatively equally from different gender, ethnic, age, and social backgrounds often have a performance advantage over more homogenous groups, especially where the task requires creativity, empathy, and teamwork. As we’ve hired over the past 9 months, Organizer grown to have a balanced workforce.
Fundamentally, Organizer is in a people business. Our customers and the communities they interact with span the entire spectrum of society, and it’s important that as a company we understand that in delivering our product and services. Having people with diverse backgrounds helps bring different perspectives and experience into every conversation, leading to more nuanced discussions and solutions.
There are additional benefits as a tech company. With half the team being women, it’s been easier to hire talented women. Older heads combine experience with youthful energy and fresh skills.
International experience, whether from birth or through travel, adds useful context when dealing with customers overseas. Mixes of gender and age tend to moderate interpersonal interaction, creating an inclusive working environment.
Homogenous teams have their place, in particular when seeking a consistent level of performance where both the objectives and typical (or ideal) member can be closely defined.
The military is most often cited as an example, although that’s not really the case - I received much of my early management training in the Army, including many of the principles I still apply. The dangers of homogenous teams include groupthink, intolerance, and inflexibility in adapting to change.
Similarly, there are challenges in building balanced teams as well. While overall the company gender balance is relatively even, sales & marketing and customer success skew female while engineering is more male dominated (although the head of product is a woman, as are 2 out of 7 of the team).
There is still a need to be aware of cognitive and selection biases for positions. It’s key to assess each potential new team member for culture fit, and ongoing team management requires an understanding of a wide range of social and personal dynamics and how to handle them.
Having a balanced workforce is part of our objective to be a company that delivers a product and services that delights our customers, and equally that people enjoy working for. I’m glad that we’re achieving this goal and look forward to continuing to lead such a talented, diverse group of people.