Atlassian reveals 25% of its employees are women but the tech giant says it will do better
Wednesday, March 9, 2016/
Atlassian has become the latest tech company to publicly release its diversity figures, revealing women made up just 25% of its total workforce as of last month.
Almost a quarter of Atlassian’s leadership team are women.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming 86% of its technical roles are filled by men.
Atlassian’s current figures are slightly worse than those released by Apple and Google in 2014.
Back then, the tech behemoths revealed women made up 30% of their respective workforces.
During the same year, LinkedIn revealed women made up 39% of its staff.
However, Atlassian, which listed on the US stock exchange in December, says its current diversity levels are just a starting point and a lot more needs to be done to ensure people from all different backgrounds are represented in its workforce.
The Australian success story aims to lift the number of women in its workforce to almost 30% over the next 12 months.
Around 73% of Atlassian’s US employees are white, while 11% are gay, lesbian or bisexual. Three percent, meanwhile, are gender diverse.
Aubrey Blanche, Atlassian’s global head of diversity and inclusion, told SmartCompany while only 14% of the company’s engineers are women, two thirds of its teams have at least one woman.
“So what that tells me is those women are not working with people like them every day,” Blanche says.
“So that’s helped us in creating a strategy for creating cross-team communication. Knowing people from underrepresenting groups are spread across our team means, we are already starting to get the benefits of that diversity and people are starting to get accustomed to working with people not like them.”
Blanche says Atlassian is releasing its diversity figures in order to encourage smaller tech companies to do the same.
“One of our company values is open company, no bullshit,” she says.
“We thought we have to do diversity that way too. We have to be transparent about our successes and also how we can improve.
“We think being open about this and how we’re doing this is key for the entire industry moving forward on this.”
As for how Atlassian is attempting to boost the number of women in its workforce, Blanche says it’s all about relying on the best social science research.
For the publicly-listed tech company, this means no quotas.
Instead, Atlassian makes sure it has a diverse pool of job candidates to begin with before selecting the most talented from that block of people.
“We found that gives us a great pool of candidates and also helps us diversify our workforce at the same time,” Blanche says.
Atlassian is also partnering with researchers at the University of Adelaide to better understand how to encourage more women into tech, as well as rewriting its job descriptions to appeal to more diverse candidates.