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Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility Q1 2022: Our Global Approach

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Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Our sights remain on the horizon. Since we announced our five-year Tweepforce representation goals at the top of 2020, we have made great strides in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA). We’ve accelerated in the United States and are purposefully investing more IDEA resources globally because this work isn’t bound to one region or country. Simply put, we can’t serve a global public conversation without a globally inclusive approach.

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In our recent 2021 Annual Report, “Lift as we rise” we shared more diversity data, which included three new global populations (military veterans, Tweeps with disabilities and those who identify as LGBTQIA+) and for the first time retention rates among Global Women Tweeps, US Black Tweeps, and US Latinx Tweeps.

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Three months later, I’m pleased to share that we’ve continued to make good progress–– although not as evenly as we would like. We are particularly conscious of the need to do even more to diversify our leadership, invest in Women talent globally, and close the gap for representation of US Latinx talent. View our latest numbers on our Careers site.

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One thing is clear from these numbers: we are on track to achieve our 2025 vision for representation of talent from underrepresented US populations–– a full two years early.  As we approach that milestone, we are mindful that we’ll need a new vision for Tweepforce representation, and it must be globally inclusive. With that, here’s a deeper look at the global work that will inform our approach:

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Expanding Global Self-ID

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Our path always starts with cultivating a company that reflects the diversity of the amazing people who use our service every day. Until 2021, Tweeps had the opportunity to voluntarily self-report race and ethnicity (in the US) and gender (globally). We knew we needed to go further if we were to build out a globally inclusive approach, so we redesigned our Self-ID program. Here’s an overview:

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  • What is Self-ID? Self-ID refers to the process by which employers invite employees to voluntarily share certain personal information with their employer to inform inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility efforts. At Twitter, we expanded Self-ID to include more categories for all Tweeps around the world. Categories on our new Self-ID questionnaire include disability, gender identity, military service, race, and sexual orientation. We also ask about caregiver status, education, language, religion, and socio-economic background. We’re taking these bold steps to propel our company and industry forward. Check out our Self-ID questionnaire below.
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How did we approach expanding Self-ID? Our new Global Self-ID system was built from the ground up with input from a number of cross-functional stakeholders, including:

  • Global Business Resource Group (BRG) Leaders: Knowing we cannot accurately capture 100% of all identities that make up our Tweepforce, our first step was to align with our BRG communities. The cultural insights and competencies they brought to the work from the very outset ensured the questions we asked were relevant and as inclusive as can be. They also played a key role as champions and advocates to drive participation across Twitter.
  • Systems & Testing: Our People Systems team reviewed a number of survey tools and systems, assessing each for accessibility, capability and suitability to achieve optimum user experience and data analysis. We ultimately decided on a bespoke Workday/AEM (Adobe Experience Manager) platform that allowed for key functionality, including the ability to multi-select answers and next level drop down options based on what a Tweep selected.
  • Accessibility: Our Center Of Excellence for Accessibility and IT teams worked to ensure compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines “AA” standards so that Self-ID is free from barriers which could prevent access for assistive technology users. While this represents a significant step forward, we have more work to do to ensure we are accessible to all— at Twitter, and on Twitter.
  • Legal: Our Legal teams led efforts to adhere to local laws enabling us to invite 97% of all Tweeps to voluntarily share who they are. Acknowledging there are some markets where it is not advisable/legally permissible to ask for certain sensitive personal information, we provided an anonymous survey.
  • Privacy: Our Privacy team ensured we adhered to complex data privacy issues globally. In offices with a very small number of employees and where Self-ID disclosures would be potentially identifiable, raising data privacy concerns, we were unable to expand the Self-ID program. Additionally, we aligned with our Privacy team on data access, storage and deletion to ensure we build trust in the Self-ID program.
  • Communications: Our internal communications team partnered on a multi-channel socialization strategy that our HRBPs and BRGs evangelized for maximum Tweep awareness and participation, including: how-to videos, data privacy and consent messaging, extensive FAQs, dedicated intranet landing site, executive champions & messaging, and a campaign video.
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Global Diversity Framework

As a global company, we’re mindful that the diversity of our Tweeps across regions is vast. Against this backdrop, it is not always easy to even define diversity categories at a global level. So, to complement what we learned about our Tweeps through our expanded Self-ID, we conducted research to learn about the global markets where Twitter has a presence and developed a Global Diversity Framework to help us define diversity and inform how we approach this work across regions. Two key findings inform our Global Diversity Framework:

  1. There are a number of categories and underrepresented populations that all international regions have in common, including Gender, Ethnicity & Race, Disability, and LGBTQ+, which we are adapting as priority focus areas. 
  2. There is also a range of country-specific underrepresented and historically-excluded communities related to language, religion, and socio-economic status in International regions.
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    So what’s ahead?

    Self-ID and our Global Diversity Framework are just the beginning and have already provided us a lens to ensure our IDEA programming is regionally relevant–– especially for historically-excluded communities.

    In short, these two programs are designed to consciously include. They will help us evaluate the equity of our policies, procedures, and programs like professional development, mentorship, and sponsorship, as well as promotions and performance management. Critically, the combination of Self-ID and the Global Diversity Framework helps us identify representation gaps in every part, level, and region of Twitter — along with the evidence base to set goals and targets for global inclusion into the future.

    As we prepare to introduce a new globally-inclusive Tweepforce representation five-year vision at the end of this year, we’re not waiting around. This year, we will pilot targeted hiring programs in each of the international regions focusing on Women in engineering and tech in Ireland, India, Singapore and the UK, as well as Black talent in Brazil.

    We know increasing representation is as much about talent retention as it is about talent acquisition so we will continue to focus on our inclusion programming and leadership development globally. Building on what we’ve detailed in our Cultivating Inclusion blog from July 2021, here’s some recent work we’ve done and what we’re looking forward to next:

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  • Global BRG Leadership: We’ve made great progress in expanding our global BRG leadership in international regions. In 2019 we set a goal to have at least 25% of our BRG Global Leadership team outside the US. Today, 30% of our Global Chairs/leadership now hail from International regions including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, UAE, and the UK.
  • #UntilWeAllBelong Toolkit: We’re expanding our IDEA-focused Learning & Development courses designed to cultivate inclusive Tweeps and leaders. The self-paced e-learnings will include Words Matter, Allyship 101, Working Across Cultures, Inclusive Leadership, Anti-Racism 101, Breaking Down Bias, and Accessibility 101. To further enhance international region-specific learning, we also provide tailored IDEA Training to allow for exploration and workshopping of live issues in a particular country or team.
  • Expanding Global Mentorship: Mentorship is crucial for professional development and career advancement, and yet we know that access to mentorship is historically inequitable. [email protected] was created to be intentionally inclusive and globally accessible. Initially piloted across our BRG communities and welcoming 1,000 participants in the first round, we’ve just launched the second round and will expand company-wide this year.
  • Sponsorship: We’re excited to introduce a Sponsorship program for mid-level talent in 2022. Building on [email protected], this program will pair executives as sponsors with talent from historically-excluded backgrounds and senior Women Tweeps, and will facilitate expedited career advancement opportunities.
  • Executive development: To complement our existing suite of development programs, we introduced a new executive development program for women at the highest levels to expand their influence. We also have a personalized leadership development initiative to increase and accelerate the impact of high performers and critical talent from under-represented populations.
  • #UntilWeAllBelong Summit: Following the sun, the 2021 summit kicked off in Singapore and featured live programming across JAPAC, EMEA, LATAM, and the US. We tackled timely regional topics and normalized important discussions about culture, diversity, accessibility, equity, and social justice. We also celebrated the progress and had frank conversations about the work that’s left to do. Planning for the 2022 summit is underway. In the meantime, we have kicked off a Twitter Together speaker series for Tweeps in International regions which will run throughout 2022.
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We know we need to be both intentional and tenacious to ensure we are truly globally inclusive. With the company continuing to grow at pace, we are determined to ensure our IDEA work has the same positive impact wherever our Tweeps are in the world.

Globally integrated, locally experienced. #UntilWeAllBelong

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