In 2021, DockYard recognized it wasn’t enough to keep our DE&I efforts solely internal. We realized we needed to take the work we were doing within our organization and share it externally to help drive accountability in the wider tech community.
This realization led to our first published DE&I Survey in December 2021. In that report, we outlined our DE&I path beginning with the formation of our employee-led DE&I group in 2017 and evolving to include our three current pillars of DE&I: Empower, Educate, and Engage.
In the report, we set single-year goals for ourselves to support those pillars. Those included making our data and efforts more transparent, creating external-facing resources, and evaluating our job descriptions to avoid gendered language, among others.
As we sat down to plan our 2022 goals, we realized that our belief that DE&I should be a constant driver in our culture would not be served by a specific goal or definitive start and end dates. To put that belief in motion, we set multi-year goals, emphasizing year-over-year improvements, especially in representation of diverse groups of employees.
We chose to focus on progress, not perfection in our quest to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging here at DockYard. We strive to do better in our outreach, internal engagement, empowerment, recruitment, and retention. We believe our data will show positive impacts in our representation year over year.
2022 Year In Review
As part of our dedicated efforts to grow our DE&I program in 2022, we held various events, sponsored underrepresented groups to attend the largest Elixir conference in the world, launched an open-source education resource for up-and-coming Elixir developers, and more.
DockYard has celebrated a number of DE&I Guild events throughout the year. They ranged from an employee roundtable discussion on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail, to raising funds for underprivileged children through the Kids In Need Foundation in August. Hispanic Heritage Month has also become a highly anticipated event of our DE&I Guild efforts with employees celebrating Latinx history and even quizzing the company with a crowd favorite, “Palabra del Día”.
In 2022 we presented “An Interview With Lauren Guilbeaux” to recognize Transgender Day of Visibility on April 1. Lauren is an actor, entrepreneur, and public speaker who has worked to build inclusion in companies, increase awareness and understanding of the trans community, and be a role model for trans people. She shared her experience transitioning while in the tech field, provided insights into inclusion efforts by leadership, and shared ways we can be allies to the trans community.
We also launched biannual DE&I-focused team surveys in 2022. These will be sent out to our employees in November and May of each year to track how we’re doing as an organization according to our employees. Our 2023 report will showcase our survey outcomes and actions taken as a result.
DockYard believes we have a responsibility to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion outside the organization as well. In that vein, we provided ElixirConf 2022 tickets to underrepresented individuals for the second year in a row.
One of the more exciting initiatives DockYard has undertaken is the creation of DockYard Academy. This is a bootcamp opportunity DockYard created to help individuals interested in learning Elixir go from coding beginners to fully qualified Elixir developers. In addition to offering our first cohort free of charge, we’ve also made the curriculum open-source and free to view. This means that individuals who may have otherwise been unable to afford the cost of other courses will be able to take advantage of this zero-cost opportunity.
WOMEN IN ELIXIR
We also launched our “Women in Elixir” project. We gathered data analyzing the treatment of women in tech spaces with a specific focus on Elixir. Based on this data, we are building a strategy we can incorporate internally first with the hope of external influence to create a more diverse, inclusive community for women currently in the Elixir field and those looking to enter it as well.
As you can see from the following charts, DockYard had some movement from December 2021 to November 2022 across demographic groups.
We’ve also started capturing data for R&D and our age ranges. While we have no prior basis for comparison, it is important to document the information for future analysis.
- Leadership: The proportion of women on our leadership team decreased from 46.15% in 2021 to 42.11% in 2022
- Business Development: Gender diversity on our Business Development team remained unchanged.
- Client Partners (CP): The proportion of women on our CP team decreased from 83.33% in 2021 to 57.14% in 2022.
- Design: Our Design team makeup went from 40% women and 60% men in 2021, to 75% men and in 2022 with 25% declining to answer.
- Engineering: The proportion of women on our Engineering team increased from 22.86% women in 2021 to 28.95% in 2022, and the proportion of nonbinary people decreased from 5.71% in 2021 to 2.63% in 2022.
- MarCom: The proportion of women on our MarCom team decreased from 66.67% in 2021 to 50% in 2022.
- Shared Services: The proportion of women on our Shared Services team increased from 44.44% in 2021 to 63.50% women in 2022.
- Leadership: Ethnic diversity on our leadership team increased by less than 1% from 2021 to 2022.
- Business Development: Ethnic diversity on our Business Development team remained unchanged from 2021 to 2022.
- CP: Ethnic diversity on our CP team increased by about 12% from 2021 to 2022.
- Design: Ethnic diversity on our Design team decreased by 20% from 2021 to 2022.
- Engineering: Ethnic diversity on our Engineering team increased by 3.34% from 2021 to 2022.
- MarCom: Ethnic diversity on our MarCom team remained unchanged from 2021 to 2022.
- Shared Services: Ethnic diversity on our Shared Services team remained unchanged from 2021 to 2022.
Engineering in Focus
While our long-term goal is to increase overall diversity at DockYard, in 2022 we identified our engineering team as a key area in need of improvement, and our starting point for some of our DE&I initiatives.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 19.5% of computer programmers and 19.7% of software developers in 2021. In November 2022, DockYard’s Engineering team was made up of 28.95% women, 65.79% men, and 2.63% non-binary individuals.
We’re proud that our engineering team is more diverse than industry standards, but the status quo is not what we strive for. With that in mind, we launched the Women in Elixir program mentioned above, set recruitment practices to attract more diverse candidates, and more. We realize these steps aren’t a definitive fix and plan to continue our efforts over the next several years.
At DockYard, we wholeheartedly believe that DE&I is not just an ideal to uphold, but a foundational component to our success. To that end, we’ve initiated programs that we believe will have a material impact on our company culture to make employees feel comfortable being themselves.
We also know this is the beginning stage of a long process. With a multi-year plan in place and concrete goals for ourselves within that timeline, we will continue to work to make DockYard an open and inclusive place, and encourage others in our industry to do the same.