We are extremely proud to announce that Rapid7 has been included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which recognizes organizations for being transparent in their commitment to gender equality. We are thrilled by this, as the GEI’s scoring method celebrates both our best-in-class elements, as well as our willingness to disclose our efforts toward creating a gender-neutral organization. It also helps us to understand our performance and identify opportunities to continue to learn and evolve.

Here’s how our diversity efforts got started, along with some of our wins and learnings along the way:

Dedicating ourselves to diversity

Last spring, Rapid7 decided to get serious about our efforts to create the most diverse and inclusive company we could. We had always prided ourselves on doing our best to provide a platform for people to have the career experience of their lifetime, but we realized this would become a more complex challenge to navigate as we scaled. Like many tech companies, we wanted to understand where we stood, then proactively tackle a solution head-on.

As we do with many hard problems, we started by exploring why this was such an important area of focus for our company. At its core, we realized aside from just fundamentally believing every person deserves the opportunity to build an exceptional career, we believe diversity of mindset is imperative to keep our rapidly scaling company on the forefront of innovation. And guess what? Having diversity of mindset requires having different perspectives, experiences, and ideas challenging each other to create the best possible solutions for our customers. No surprise, those typically come packaged in a variety of people.

Getting started

We began by connecting with and seeking to learn from other companies in our community and attempting to understand how they were addressing this work. We then ultimately decided to separate diversity and inclusion and address them in different ways.

On the diversity front, the goal became fostering an environment that would attract varying types of people to the company, then creating opportunities for everyone once they joined. This included developing a deep understanding of where each of our teams stood from a diversity metrics perspective and exploring why some teams presented as exceptionally diverse while others were less balanced. We put goals in place to measure our progress and set to work addressing our recruiting efforts to ensure we weren’t just reaching a broader population, but also being both authentic and unbiased in our messaging.

Addressing our company culture

Even more important to us than setting metrics and implementing strategies to achieve them is creating and embodying a culture that allows every single person to work here—regardless of gender, skin color, sexual orientation, etc.—and feel like they have the opportunity to thrive. Last year had us focusing on a variety of routes toward this goal, such as unconscious bias training, investing more in our hiring, management, and leadership programs, and treating anyone in the company to grab coffee with each other (including with our executive team). All of this is done in the name of breaking down barriers and making connections.

Over the course of the year, we made great strides forward. And while we still have so much more to do, one of our biggest learnings came from realizing we share a set of respected values and a common desire to succeed, all while celebrating our differences.

To ensure we hold ourselves accountable to stay focused on this important work, we began to explore participating in external measures of performance, too. For example, we signed the Parity Pledge, which challenges companies to interview at least one woman for every open role VP-level and above. We decided to take that one step further and challenge our talent acquisition team interview at least one woman and/or person of color for every role we hire for.

Looking toward the future

We’re off to a strong start. This work isn’t an initiative to us; it’s a way of life. We are thrilled that our global company has people all over the world contributing to the effort, doing everything from teaching cybersecurity skills to volunteering to teach business skills to at-risk youth. We’ve created programs that allow people to share their unique stories with each other in a fun, casual setting and have opened up a dialogue about the importance of this focus—which are often not the easiest conversations to navigate throughout the company.

It’s not perfect, and we still have a long way to go before we achieve our overarching goal of creating true diversity and inclusion for all. However, we are committed, engaged, and making progress quarter by quarter. We value visibility and being included in surveys such as the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, as it allows us to measure the progress on our journey. We look forward to continued learning and partnership with other like-minded companies as we all seek to create the best possible environments to allow careers to thrive.