Preet Grewal, Twitter JAPAC

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On its journey of #UntilWeAllBelong, social networking platform Twitter has achieved several milestones, which includes a commitment to having women represent at least half of its global workforce by 2025, and sharing with employees, the pay bands for their individual positions.

In this exclusive with Jerene AngPreet Grewal, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Twitter JAPAC, talks about the work underway to increase pay transparency, booting the talent pool by ensuring hiring managers consider at least one woman for every role, and more.

- with inputs from Aditi Sharma Kalra

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Microblogging major, Twitter, is on a journey to becoming the world’s most inclusive and diverse tech company, and leading these efforts regionally is Preet Grewal, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Twitter JAPAC.

She tells us: "We’ve set a bold vision for workforce representation by 2025 and have doubled down on inclusion and diversity programmes to accelerate progress. We’ve remained steadfast in our efforts and as of June 2021, 43.7% of our global workforce are women.

"While we’re headed in the right direction, we’ve got a lot of work to do and progress can never be fast enough."

These are among the several conscious initiatives taken at Twitter globally in just the past few years:

  • Doubling down on transparency through greater leadership accountability for diversity, shifting to quarterly public reporting on representation, and annually sharing results of promotion and pay equity data.
  • Implemented diverse slates for open roles requiring that at least one woman is considered by hiring managers for any open role.
  • Launched new initiatives to generate a diverse talent pipeline, such as the engineering apprenticeship programme.
    • This includes hiring programmes such as DevelopHER to bring in more women into tech roles. In this programme, approximately 30 women from second-year and third-year engineering or computer science students are invited to an interactive two-day workshop that focuses on building technical know-how, as well as providing relevant industry knowledge and mentoring opportunities.
    • In Asia, this was introduced in India in 2020; this year, the programme continues in India and will be launched in Singapore this month.
  • Twitter Women, its largest business resource group (BRG) in terms of membership, exists to support and bolster female leadership at Twitter.

preet grewal twitter provided

"We attribute the progress we have made to a combination of increased efforts to attract talent from diverse backgrounds and doubling down on programmes that ensure a culture where everyone can be their authentic selves and belong," Grewal affirms, on the roster of programmes established.

Twitter's focused efforts on pay transparency

One of the biggest gaps for the diversity conversation anywhere is in pay equity and transparency, and Twitter is amplifying its efforts in this space, given the possible impact this can create on the wider ecosystem. So for this conversation, let's dive deeper into understanding some of these efforts.

Each year, Twitter performs a pay equity analysis to ensure employees across the board are paid equitably. The 2021 pay equity analysis showed that on average, in equivalent roles in its offices, women earn 100% of equivalent male employees, as shared in the 2020 I&D Annual Report.

However, with the belief that pay represents more than compensation, and that it can be an important proxy for power and decision making across the company, in Q4 2020, subsequent analysis was conducted, that was fundamentally different from the methodology used in traditional pay equity studies.

As shared in the report: "We looked at the overall distribution of women at the company and compared that to the overall compensation earned by women to better understand how pay is distributed to women. In this analysis, we found that while women represented 42.6% of the global Twitter workforce, they netted 36.6% of total compensation."

What's the reason for this disparity? Well, it was likely due to fewer women in leadership and more senior technical roles, both of which can be a source of pay differences.

While fewer women in leadership and technical roles is not unique to Twitter, this uneven distribution can hinder the company's I&D efforts to cultivate a level playing field and promote inclusion.

These insights have underscored the urgency with which Twitter is accelerating efforts already underway to increase representation and retention of women in leadership and technical positions via its hiring, talent development, and promotion practices.

In its latest report, the company shared that work is underway to increase pay transparency, including salary ranges. In fact, the implementation of the next stage of pay transparency is actively being reviewed, and that is, sharing with employees the pay bands for their individual position.

"While our annual pay equity analysis provides overall insight and satisfies our legal obligations, we know we can do more. This is important work, and we will continue to examine ourselves with a critical eye and push ourselves to do more toward inclusion and diversity," cited the report.

Challenges faced — and overcome

In any organisation, implementing new initiatives comes with challenges as the priorities of multiple stakeholders need to be considered, and so was the case for Grewal and her team at Twitter.

For instance, hiring managers urgently looking to fill roles in order to manage the team’s workload may find the diverse slate hiring policy inconvenient.

"But we are here to do the right thing, not the easy thing. To address this, we made an Inclusive Hiring e-learning module mandatory so every employee understand and follow our five hiring principles," she explains. 

These five hiring principles are:

  • Always hire the most qualified candidate.
  • Start with a candidate pool that reflects our communities.
  • Ensure a fair and equitable hiring process.
  • Map candidates to core competencies and our values — hire for culture and not culture fit.
  • Lead with diversity and inclusion throughout the interview experience. 

After all, the road to diversity is not easy, but it's well worth the long haul. Grewal concludes: "At Twitter, we’re prioritising diversity because we want to build a workforce that looks like the people of all backgrounds and abilities around the world who use our service every day."

Photos / Provided

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