At WP Engine, it’s our people and our culture that make us a great company; and a major part of what makes our culture special is our diversity. We embrace and celebrate differences among our team members.
I was honored to talk about our diversity recently during New Co. Austin, an event that invites attendees to visit innovative companies throughout the city to hear from their leaders.
I chose to speak on diversity because I firmly believe it makes a company better–WP Engine’s strong business performance can be directly tied to the diversity we foster.
At WP Engine we currently have 280 employees across our four offices. We have deep multi-cultural and ethnic diversity in our team. Twenty-one percent of our employees are female—women comprise 40 percent of our executive team and 22 percent of our non-executive management. Every department in our company has at least one woman at a director level or above.
Additionally, we have opened ourselves up to encourage opportunities for team members who have the capability and the passion to build great technology and serve our customers, but who didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. Currently, 35 percent of our team does not have a college degree. That’s practically unheard of in the technology industry.
I believe that diversity attracts diversity, and that’s evident here. We never set out with hiring quotas like, “we need to hire X number of women this quarter.” When people see others like them working and flourishing with a company, they become curious to see what’s going on there and explore being a part of it. When people work somewhere that they can be honored for who they are and treated like equals, it inspires folks to come in each day and volunteer their very best. It’s why 60 percent of our employees are referrals from other WP Engine team members. Engaged and happy employees are a company’s greatest advocates.
All of this combines to create a working environment where our employees can be themselves, and it’s encouraged. It’s okay not to agree with every person on everything, and all opinions matter. I often say that our culture encourages each of our employees to be their “authentic self,” meaning that our employees are urged to be the same person in a meeting as they are in their car when their favorite song comes on and they can’t help but sing along. When people feel that they can truly be themselves, their best work emerges on behalf of our customers and each other.
I truly believe that by embracing our differences, we become stronger.
Interested in joining our diverse team? WP Engine is hiring!
A 25-year tech industry vet, Heather is passionate about building high performing global teams and businesses. When she’s not at WP Engine, Heather’s in the Bikram hot room or experiencing the world in tandem with her two amazing daughters. Follow Heather on Twitter @heatherjbrunner.