How diversity pays off

Yvonne Edseth
08. mars 2019

Let's be honest. We all want to build kick-ass products and we want revenue growth to skyrocket through the ceiling. But did you know that a key to success is diversity? In the spirit of the International Women's Day we want to share with you how we work with increasing diversity in Payr, and how this has taken us to 40% women and 7 nationalities.(Nope, we are not satisfied before we hit 50%, but still not too bad for a financial tech company).

Listen to the money

But first things first; the reason why we focus on diversity (and why your company should too):

We design for human experiences and needs. And by human we mean everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation and religious/ political belief. That can't be done with a homogenous team consisting of mainly white men between 35-45 who all thinks and behaves pretty much the same. If you instead hire a diverse team you will get minds that see things from different perspectives and comes up with different ways of solving problems, and creates great products that suits a wide range of people.

And really, it makes sense business-wise. Studies have shown that your company is 21% more likely to achieve high profitability with a gender balanced management team, and 33% more likely with a multicultural management team. What's not to like?

How to hire for success

In Payr attracting and hiring a diverse team has been in focus since the start, and over the years we have tried, failed and gathered some best practices for how to hire for success. Please(!) feel free to get inspired and implement these practices in your company too:

  1. Cut the list of requirements. When hiring you probably have a long list of requirements. After all your company is destined for great things, and you need the best people on your team to succeed. But be critical. Consider if any of the requirements in the job ad can be moved to a “Nice to have” list. Statistics show that while male job seekers apply even if they only meet 60% of the requirements, their female counterparts only apply if they meet 100%. By cutting down on the required skills more women will apply and your are more likely to get some great women on your team.
  2. Tell people who you want to apply. Let people know that your company is aiming for a diverse workforce already in the job ad and on your recruitment pages. In our job ads we state that “We especially encourage women and all nationalities to apply. All ages, religions, sexual orientations and personalities are also welcome. We want a team that reflects the population of the world!”
  3. Challenge your (unconscious) bias. When going through CVs and applications, always question your motives for considering someone to be a good candidate and be critical to your gravitation towards the ones that’s similar to you. If possible remove name, picture and sex from the CVs and applications altogether.
  4. Look beyond cultural fit. Oh, I know. It is tempting to hire the people who share your values, vision and ways of thinking. Makes everything so much easier, doesn't it? But if you are serious about having a diverse workforce you need to challenge this mindset. Make diversity a part of the conversation when considering who to hire, and aim for hiring candidates that bring something new to the company culture.
  5. Make it part of your company culture. Be transparent about your diversity goals with your colleagues and employees. Educate them and make them your ambassadors for diversity.

Of course recruiting for a diverse workforce is the easy part. Keeping a diverse workforce will often be the real challenge.

The cue is to work hard to create an inclusive work environment; Do you have people on your team who doesn't speak Norwegian? Well, make it required to speak English in the office, so everyone can throw in a joke. People who doesn't drink alcohol? Bring non-alcoholic drinks to the office party. 

Is it worth it?

Can it be challenging? Yes. Is it worth focusing on? Absolutely! In Payr our very diverse team of humans and robots, men, women, Turkish, Vietnamese, Indian, Polish, Israeli, Latvian and Norwegian employees create innovative solutions that has put Payr among the most innovative fintech companies in the world. That would not have happened had Payr not been such a diverse team.

Photo by Noor Dawod Photography

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