Inclusion & Diversity
This is a series discussing Inclusion & Diversity at Square. Below, we’re talking about our strategy and approach to I&D. Our first post is about promotion & compensation. Stay tuned for more.
OUR PHILOSOPHY AND APPROACH
Square’s purpose is economic empowerment.
We’re building an inclusive economy where all sellers have equal access to opportunity. It’s important that we live by these same values when building our workplace.
Last summer, we released a report discussing our approach to inclusion and diversity. Consistent with the rest of the industry, we included data on our employee population.
Our thinking—that inclusion is an often-overlooked tenet of the work, and that diversity goes far beyond race and gender—hasn’t changed. But since then, we’ve heard concerns that these annual reports feel less like a force for progress, and more that everyone’s just checking a box. They often read the same (“We can do better”) and are drafted formulaically to satisfy those few stakeholders paying attention. Reporting is important, but it doesn’t appear to be driving meaningful change or increasing our public accountability.
Even worse, what these reports do seem to accomplish is the commoditization of the communities the practice was intended to support. Many employees tell us these reports make them feel like they’re reduced to numbers. And that sucks.
How do we fix that while remaining transparent and moving the conversation forward? How do we have a more substantial and productive conversation? How do we produce meaningful change?
In last year’s report, we included analysis of how Squares self-identify, and data on employee satisfaction and retention. We felt (and still do!) that inclusion is an often-overlooked tenet of building a diverse workforce. It’s critical to evaluate our work environment itself, to ensure we’re building a company where all employees—both current and potential—feel valued, recognized, and able to succeed.
That’s the work we think is underreported: the specific, day-to-day efforts we’re making behind the scenes to make Square a great place for everyone, regardless of background. We think sharing more granular details about the processes and programs that drive progress – and just as importantly, those that don’t – will increase accountability and hopefully help us, as an industry, figure out how to actually improve instead of just saying we need to.
So for this year, instead of an annual report, we’ll release blog posts that highlight what we’ve learned. We understand external stakeholders still see value in companies’ public disclosure of people data, so we’ll include it along the way, but with the purpose of servicing real conversation about the work. We’ll be candid about what’s worked for us and what hasn’t, and we hope others will too.