Company

Inclusion & Diversity Q3 2021: Our multifaceted approach

By Dalana Brand
Wednesday, 13 October 2021

At this point in 2021, we know there is no going back to the way things were before the pandemic. While companies reevaluate office reopenings and new ways of working, countries continue to deal with the soaring COVID-19 cases and challenges associated with vaccine access and uptake. This year is a solid reminder that our approach to what’s ahead requires a new way of thinking.

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At Twitter, we’ve made strides. We’ve become a more distributed, more global Tweepforce, putting our Tweeps in the center and prioritizing flexibility and choice in how we work. We also recognize that it’s more complex than this, and collectively we’ve got work to do to build a truly inclusive culture.

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Looking at our 2025 vision, we’re proud of the increases in women globally and Black and Latinx U.S. representation this quarter. View our latest numbers on our Careers site.

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While attracting and retaining talent is a top priority, we know this work takes more than any one initiative or company –– it takes all of us. At Twitter, we take a multifaceted approach that embeds our Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) principles across all aspects of the business. Today, I want to share, in closer detail, three important pillars driving progress across Twitter: Diversity Partnership Strategy & Engagement, Supplier Diversity, and Diversifying Corporate Development Investments & Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A). Initially kicking off in the US, we’re excited to expand many of these initiatives around the world in the future.

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Diversity Partnership Strategy & Engagement

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Earlier this year, we introduced #TwitterIgnite, a program from our Diversity Partnership Strategy & Engagement (DPS) team to elevate diverse communities and ignite change. We started by engaging partners from civil rights organizations, Historically Black Colleges, Non-Governmental Organizations, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, with three objectives in mind:

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  • Ignite action

    We recognize harnessing the power of public conversation can create action. We’re leaning into that by empowering partners to more effectively use Twitter to elevate their work and go deeper in regional and local markets. Starting with 10 cities in the US, we are partnering with local chapters of national organizations and grassroots organizations by providing digital campaign support. We continue to identify new opportunities and support campaigns that amplify the work on the ground and empower communities and allies to participate––in person, on Twitter, and where change is likely to happen.
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  • Ignite change

    When we launched our external Intersectionality, Culture, & Diversity (ICD) Council in 2018, our focus was to anticipate, discuss, and share solutions to ongoing issues in society and the workplace. Since then, our work has evolved toward driving systemic change across our industry while answering the call to social justice and how it shows up across the workplace.  This required collaboration beyond our walls and respective organizations. With our ICD council and partners, we are identifying barriers to inclusion through research, spotlighting best practices, and identifying recommendations to move workplace solutions to industry solutions. This #IgniteChange collaboration with Forum on Workplace Inclusion focuses on six industries: Academia, Banking/Finance, Criminal Justice, Education, and Technology.
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    And while we’re proud of our initiatives in the US, we also acknowledge the need to expand our reach. This year, we’ve started with an initial focus on our EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). We are currently developing our strategy for three target markets (the UK, Ireland, and Ghana) as we continue to expand the #TwitterIgnite program globally.

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Supplier Diversity

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In 2019, Twitter established our Supplier Inclusion & Diversity (SI&D) program to leverage the power of Twitter to drive equity and inclusion in our supplier identification, selection, and purchasing processes. While we have only recently started our SI&D program, over the last two years, we have made significant progress in setting the foundation with our US Suppliers for what we eventually intend to be a global and industry-leading program.

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Some of our key milestones include enabling suppliers to self-identify diverse ownership classification as part of our onboarding process, developing spend reporting capabilities, and nurturing well-established relationships with key community organizations that support our ability to achieve our goals. We have also begun to engage our suppliers by launching an I&D Supplier Survey to understand better our suppliers’ commitment to the workplace, workforce, and supplier diversity. Each of these initiatives help us lay a foundation to increase investments across underrepresented communities, create spend-equity, increase the utilization of the Twitter platform, and practice transparency by externally sharing our progress and plans.

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Building on our foundation this year, we're proud to have implemented a number of initiatives at Twitter, such as introducing diverse spend goals by team, quarterly spend reporting, and connecting suppliers to our teams through monthly showcases. By attending these showcases, suppliers learn about our supplier needs and how to leverage Twitter’s service to benefit their business. So far, we have seen an increase in SI&D spend of over 65% compared to 2020, and our supplier sessions have connected with over 150 potential suppliers that we can consider for future opportunities.

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Looking forward, by 2025, we intend to:

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  1. Double our spend with suppliers from historically excluded communities.
  2. Expand our program to represent our global footprint.
  3. Create the ability to measure our economic impact in these communities.
  4. Share our progress and plans across the industry.
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The work will be intensive, complex, and sometimes disruptive. Still, it will give Twitter the ability to deliver an even greater impact on and benefit from the power of these communities of suppliers.

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Diversifying Corporate Development Investments & Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)

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Our Corporate Development & Strategy Team (Corp Dev) team plays an important role in helping the company reach its 2025 Tweepforce representation targets. It also acts as a force multiplier to invest in women, Black, and Latinx founders. Developing these relationships and diversifying our M&A pipeline not only helps accelerate our diverse workforce representation progress, but it also serves as a model for other companies that wish to engage in this critical work.

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In early discussions about a potential acquisition, companies and their founders share more about their strategies and practices for building and nurturing diverse talent and teams. We also incorporate diverse interview panels within Twitter (aiming for two out of three interviewers to be women, Black, and/or Latinx) as part of our vetting progress. When reviewing the opportunity, our leadership reviews the data to evaluate if the target company would further progress our Tweepforce representation goals.These practices bring explicit awareness to the impact on I&D commitments of the teams we vet and onboard as potential acquisition targets.

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This year Corp Dev invested in women, Black, and Latinx founder-led companies and funds that support historically excluded communities. Before making these investments, Corp Dev will meet with early-stage venture funds with the specific mission of investing in historically excluded communities and women founders. Ultimately, these meetings will improve the diversity of our startup pipeline and provide visibility into other communities with whom we’ve yet to engage. As of June 30, our team met with 65+ funds to help them understand our objectives, learn about how they support the communities we seek to invest in, get their feedback on our thinking, and identify areas and startups that overlap with Twitter focus areas. In May, we announced our first investments to three venture capital funds:

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  • @MacVentureCap —led by @MarlonCNichols, @adrianfenty, @IAmCharlesDKing, and @mpalank101, focuses on supporting excellent founders and early stage companies and are well positioned and passionate about shaking up the status quo in the tech industry.
  • @Uluventures, a longstanding seed stage fund built by @miriamulu1 and @ckorver, focuses on finding and funding diverse teams and has a demonstrable strategy and track record that drives outsized returns.
  • @VamosVentures is built by a Latinx investment team that emphasizes supporting technology-enabled companies led by Latinx founders. They understand how startup ecosystems are being built and fostered across diverse communities in the U.S.
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In July we announced three additional fund investments:

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  • @fcubedvc was founded by Anu Duggal and @sutiandong on the belief that investing exclusively in women is a tremendous investment opportunity to deliver outsized returns. Beyond offering capital to female founders, the fund’s vision is to create an ecosystem of resources and community for women founders and operators.
  • @HannahGreyVC, founded by @kshillo and @jessicapeltz, focuses on changes in consumer and worker behavior from overlooked populations that create outsized market opportunities. The founders have spent more than a decade supporting diverse founders at their previous funds.
  • @ChingonaVC focuses on industries that are massively changing and founders whose backgrounds uniquely position them to create businesses in growth markets that are often overlooked.
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Continuing Our Journey

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Our multifaceted approach will help us continue to hold ourselves accountable against our I&D goals while leveraging the power of Twitter to expand our impact. While there have been nonstop curveballs since announcing our bold 2025 goals back in January 2020, we continue to prioritize staying on course to make Twitter the most inclusive, diverse, and accessible tech company. This work is a journey, and thanks to our committed Tweepforce, we won’t stop #UntilWeAllBelong.

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@d_lux_brand

Dalana Brand

‎@d_lux_brand‎

Vice President, People Experience; Head of Inclusion & Diversity