Engineering at Hive: Our Commitment to Diversity

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Diversifying working teams is at the top of most company’s agendas right now. And rightly so! Ensuring equal opportunity and diverse representation—besides being the right thing to do—has a hugely positive impact to key business outcomes and HR priorities such as employee engagement, productivity, experience, and retention. 

Research from CIPD on the psychological contract also shows that people want to work for employers with good employment practices; that prioritise diversity and inclusion; and that ensure people feel valued at work.

What is the psychological contract?

Definition: The subjective expectations, beliefs and obligations, as perceived by the employer and the worker.

CIPD, The Psychological Contract Factsheet, 12 February 2019

Diversity and inclusion contribute to the psychological contract and will help to balance it out leading to better performance and a higher level of commitment to the company from workers.

Did you know?

Did you know that across European countries, the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%? And the average proportion of females undertaking Computer Science programmes at university in the UK is a meager 15% compared to 30% in India?*

The Women's Engineering Society, Useful Statistics, 16 January 2020

It will be no secret to UK residents working in software development or engineering that a great many engineering teams look rather homogenous.

In fact, engineering departments often struggle the most to attract and grow a diverse team (especially in Europe). But embedding diversity and inclusion at the team level is a crucial part of driving wider organisational culture and success.

Having a team of people with different gender identities, backgrounds, and experiences is important; but it’s also important to look closely at where those individuals are supporting and occupying leadership roles across a business. 

Our Commitment to Diversity

At the organisational level, Hive is committed to providing equal opportunity, improving diversity in the workplace, as well as creating a space and culture where everyone feels included. In other words, we’re building ‘One Hive [That] Fits All.’

One Hive fits all - Inclusive Employer

As an engineering team, we’ve worked closely with Hive’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion committee to help revise our own recruitment strategy in order to reach and attract a more diverse pool of candidates in 2020.

Where We Are Now

Six months ago Hive’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) committee was formed. The team get together every two weeks to discuss anything ED&I related and to help create the strategy for achieving our three core commitment areas.

Using Hive’s smarter surveying to gather insight from the people who work at Hive, employee feedback underpins all the team’s action-planning for 2020, and this extends to how we can improve things like personal development, progression frame-working, recruitment practices and more! Hive’s ED&I team is comprised of:

Department breakdown

  • 1 x Engineering 👩‍💻
  • 1 x Marketing 📰
  • 1 x Customer Success 🎉
  • 1 x Sales 💵
  • 1 x People Science 👩‍🔬
  • 1 x Senior Leadership Team (SLT) 👨‍💼

Gender breakdown

  • 3 x Male 👨
  • 3 x Female 👩

Our Engineering Team

Our engineering team is made up of our software engineers and quality assurance testers. Through 2018, our team was entirely comprised of caucasian, British men. Today, we’re represented by just over 10% women and non-British team members. 

our engineering team pie chart

We know we can do better—and we want to. That’s why, in partnership with Hive’s ED&I committee, we’re making a number of changes in the new year to pro-actively source our next generation of engineers and ensure our business is a place where they feel valued, fairly-treated, included, and happy.

Where We Want to Be: 2020 And Beyond 🚀

Our engineering team is set to double in 2020 as Hive delivers exciting new product developments, features, and functionalities. With more than 10 vacancies to be filled, we’re keen to hear from engineers across all different backgrounds and specialisations to join the brilliant bunch already on #TeamHive. 

More on this below ⬇️⬇️

How We Plan to Get There

Hive is happy to see team members sharing what they love about working here on their own channels; it’s this level of employee advocacy that makes it that much easier for someone to say, “Hey, I want to work there!”. Besides those natural bits of promotion, we’re doing a lot to recruit from a wider pool—and recruit as fairly and effectively as possible.

  • Improving our website

    Our website is getting a makeover—starting with Hive’s Careers page! Previously, our Careers page did a good job of communicating what vacancies were currently being recruited for and how someone could put their strongest application forward. . .but we know that a clear close date isn’t what motivates someone to apply for a role.

    Now, by becoming more benefit-led and featuring feedback from individual team members, we’re helping to showcase both what it feels like to work at Hive and why you should join us

    We’ve got big plans to revamp other areas of the site, but this felt like a critical place to start. As we progress into 2020, there will be a strong focus on making sure content is attractive and useful for all our target readers—whether you’re an aspiring job candidate, potential business partner, customer partner, or rising HR influencer.

  • Improving our application process 📝

    Previously, interviewing for an engineering role at Hive involved a challenging technical assessment. We realise not everybody has the time to spend outside of working hours to complete these.

    For example, let’s say you are a single parent working a 40-hour week. A lengthy technical assessment simply may not be viable for you in the midst of child care and other responsibilities.

    With that in mind, we’ve ditched the old-school technical assessment, and now invite candidates to demonstrate their technical skills for a brief period in an interview environment. 

  • Offering greater flexibility & support to interviewees 💻

     

    Attending an on-site interview may be challenging if you work full-time or live outside of Newcastle City Centre. With that in mind, we’re currently exploring virtual meeting spaces and ways to connect via cloud.

    Another solution we are looking at for folks living further away that are invited to an on-site interview is travel reimbursement. We haven’t crossed all the t’s or dotted all the i’s on this just yet, but we’re excited to be eliminating obstacles and making the application/interview process as easy and inclusive as possible!

  • Exploring new remote working opportunities 🌍


    As diverse individuals, we all have diverse working preferences, and workspace features can influence our productivity and wellbeing differently. With that in mind, we’re further empowering our people to work remotely; where, when, and how they do their best quality work (whether that means working remotely on a full-time basis, part-time, or taking a brief ‘sabbatical’).

    We’re open to hearing about how individuals see their preferred remote working arrangement functioning well for the whole team, and what tools we may not yet know about that will make working remotely (in a geographical sense) but closely (on projects) seamless.

    Because engineering prowess is more important than proximity to the office; and productivity is more important than presenteeism, we’re now recruiting from a wider pool than ever—which will help us to bring more talented engineers (ahem, you!) on-board to make our products, culture, and collective team even better. So, although headquartered in Newcastle, if you’re an engineer living in York, Leeds, Edinburgh, or even London, then we want to hear from you. 

  • Increasing transparency of our commitments and current progress 🔍

    Transparency is huge to us and we recognise that many people will want information on our diversity and inclusion efforts, if not before accepting a job offer, before submitting an application. 

    This blog is our first step in that direction. Stay tuned for more!

  • Broadening the scope of where our opportunities can be found 📌

    Until recently, we’ve largely relied on select recruitment agencies to help us source candidates and share job vacancies. We’ve also used the Hive careers page and social media platforms to support recruitment, but we know not everyone may be looking there. 

    That’s why we’re now exploring other mediums to help more people find opportunities at Hive and apply for them, including: Stack Overflow, University Job boards, and more.

  • Enhancing our community involvement and NE footprint 👣

    Newcastle is home to a number of universities. While Hive’s Director of People Science served as a guest lecturer in the Occupational Psychology space, we’re planning to explore additional ways we can partner with local universities and community groups to provide employment opportunities or work experience for upcoming graduates and underrepresented groups.

    The engineering team are also keen to host some of our own tech meetups in-office (we’ve got the square footage, why not?!). There’s a real lack of spaces for community events like these to be hosted in Newcastle. If we can support budding technologist groups or take the lead in this space, it would be a real win-win-win.

    We’ve sponsored Front-end North East in the past and may look to do so again in future, but we’re also excited by other sponsorship opportunities and looking for ways to further support Newcastle’s engineering and tech scene.

Join Us On The Journey

Exciting times lie ahead for Team Hive! But to achieve our goals in the coming years, we need even more talented engineers and technologists. There are loads of open roles for you to be a part of the journey. So, what are you waiting for? Apply now!

Software Test Engineer 👈

DevOps Engineer 👈

Software Engineer 👈

Product Owner 👈

Product Support Executive 👈

Hive Collage Globule

Gareth Lowrie is one of our super talented Software Engineers—supporting the look, feel, and functionality of Hive’s employee surveying platform. When he’s not sinking teeth and keystrokes into Hive’s latest features, he’s helping cultivate social buzz and an inclusive culture at Hive as part of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion committee. (He’s also recently been bitten by the travel bug! Ask about his adventures to New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and Australia.) Connect with Gareth on LinkedIn

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