By Paula Bernier
It’s one thing to talk about increasing diversity at your company. It’s another to both recognize there’s a need to take steps to better balance opportunity and representation for different types of people, and then put the processes, goals, and measurements in place to make that reality at your organization. That’s what TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot has been working to do since her arrival in Silicon Valley.
“Our company should represent the population, and we know we have to over-index in certain ways to get there,” Tech Crunch reported Brown-Philpot saying at the recent Virtuous Circle conference. “It’s a belief around being intentional, measuring and holding yourself accountable to real and specific results, and holding yourself accountable in a relatively short timeframe.”
TaskRabbit is a company that provides people with help from everything from major cleaning to minor home repairs.
Brown-Philpot – who previously served as COO of TaskRabbit, prior to that headed online sales and operations for Google, and is now an HP board member – is African-American. According to a November profile about Brown-Philpot in the San Francisco Chronicle, she grew up in inner-city Detroit raised by a single mother. As a kid she had a newspaper route, as a college student she attended the University of Pennsylvania, and as a graduate she spent some time working for Goldman Sachs before going to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and then on to work in Silicon Valley.
“After a couple of years, she noticed how few Googlers looked like her,” according to the Chronicle piece. “With full support from the company, she launched the Black Googler Network to recruit from traditionally black colleges, as well as from black student groups at other schools.”
Then, she told the Chronicle, she realized recruiting wasn’t enough, and that retention programs were also important for this kind of effort.
Brown-Philpot was recently identified as a person of interest by Fortune magazine, which on Dec. 7 ran a Q&A with her. In it, she spoke about culture and workplace diversity. While she said that these conversations in the tech space have become more grounded in reality, she noted that there’s still a need for more accountability.
Does your company deserve to be highlighted for its outstanding company culture, commitment to a diverse workplace, or focus on social responsibility? Apply for the TMCnet Workplace Excellence Award! Applications should be submitted by all technology organizations who have developed a positive, productive and performance-driven culture. Additionally, TMC is seeking applications from organizations who have fostered a diverse work environment whose culture and commitment to social causes drives performance and growth. Apply today.