Pride isn’t just about celebration

Pride month is a vibrant, joyous celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. But this year, when our identities and our fundamental human rights are under attack in so many places around the world, Pride month is also an urgent call to action.

As a company, HiBob proudly stands with the global LGBTQIA+ community. As a member of that community, and as HiBob’s Chief Marketing Officer, I want that support to be clear, visible, and undeniable. Changing our logo for Pride month this year is a conscious decision to show the world where we stand not just in June, but every day of the year. 

Bobbers know that Pride is about genuinely supporting our fellow humans with effective and meaningful action, not just putting up a new logo for a month and then walking away. In 2023, a year full of increasing homophobia and transphobia, it’s more important than ever for us to take a stand publicly, condemning the rising tide of hate and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community and reaffirming our support for everyone who identifies privately or publicly as LGBTQIA+.

But it is also an opportunity for us to look inward and examine how we as a company can continue the work we’ve started to ensure HiBob is a safe, welcoming, and inclusive place where everyone can bring their authentic self to work.

Inclusion is a journey, not a destination

Like many organizations around the globe, HiBob strives to make our workplace more equitable and inclusive for Bobbers of all identities and backgrounds. We believe this is part of how we do what we say when it comes to being a leader in the HR industry. And, like many organizations, we know that we have more work to do. We make it a priority to listen to our Bobbers, our customers, and our advisors from marginalized communities about how we can improve.

At HiBob, we believe that inclusivity is a journey, not a destination. So this year, it’s especially important to me that we pair our Pride month celebrations and our statements of support for the LGBTQIA+ community with a transparent look into our journey to inclusivity as a whole—in our marketing, in our product, and in our own HR practice. 

Inclusive marketing is smart marketing

At HiBob, we want the public face of our brand to be representative of the beautiful, diverse world in which we live and work. While brands like Bud Light and Target have recently walked back their support for the LGBTQIA+ community, we know that inclusive, accessible marketing is here to stay.

As a new CMO, I am so grateful for the foundational work my team has done to create a brand that reflects these beliefs. You quickly learn that the visual language of our brand identity is specifically designed to communicate the tenets of inclusivity to the viewer, starting with the description of the Bob logo in our brand guidelines:

“It all begins with this simple shape: a circle. In our logo, each circle has a unique width. The different widths embody a crucial value of our brand: inclusion. We apply this value to everything we create and communicate.”

In fact, beyond our logo, none of our shapes are quite a perfect circle or square, representing the differences that make all of us who we are. And our illustrated figures represent all people, all over the world—people of all different shapes, colors, and abilities. Each of these brand elements was something I noticed right away about HiBob’s brand, even before I joined the company.

Our focus on inclusivity extends to the ways we bring our messaging and our brand to life in the real world. As a global company, we’re often invited to speak at technology and HR industry events around the world. We also host several event series of our own, including Bob Talks and our Heartcore HR community events.

To ensure we’re representing the broad diversity of thought, cultures, and professional approaches in the HR industry, we prioritize diverse representation in our speaking engagements and panel sessions—whether we’re featuring Bobbers, business partners, or members of our global customer community.

Inclusivity doesn’t end with our marketing

Inclusivity is interwoven into our way of working with each other at HiBob. It begins with our company values, which we strive to include in all of our processes throughout the employee lifecycle, from the moment a candidate enters the recruitment pipeline to performance reviews and offboarding. Our values are based on each one of us trusting and empowering each other, interacting with transparency and openness, bringing “me” and winning as “we,” and doing what we say. 

We do what we say

Our values are directly reflected in our policies, starting with our Code of Conduct and our guidelines for how and who we hire—and they’re translated into tangible behaviors that are role modeled by our leaders and practiced by every Bobber at each one of our sites around the globe.

Our first Employee Resource Group (ERG)—“BRG” for Bob Resource Group—is LGBTQIA+ focused. Bobbers will vote on the focuses of our next BRGs—from groups focused on women to Black Bobbers. With our BRGs’ support, we’re actively working on providing even more opportunities for people to engage with and learn from a variety of Bobber-led communities year-round. 

It’s HiBob policy to encourage our managers and team members to use inclusive language in the workplace, in job postings, and in performance evaluations—and our company process guides for hiring and people management reflect this commitment. This helps ensure we’re making a constant effort to remove bias from sourcing, interview processes, and our everyday interactions.

Acknowledging we still have work to do is in our DNA

While we celebrate the actions we’ve already taken toward building a diverse culture where everyone is included, we also openly acknowledge that our work is still cut out for us. There’s always room to improve.

To understand exactly what areas need improvement (and how) we always make a point to ask Bobbers what they prefer and take action based on anonymous People and Culture surveys

For example, many Bobbers would like to see gender-neutral bathroom facilities in all of our offices. We’re listening. 

When HiBob expanded into a second building at our headquarters, we made sure to include gender-neutral bathrooms in the building plan. To address this at each of our locations around the world, we’re actively exploring what options we have with the property managers and owners.  

Another area we can improve in is expanding the ability of Bobbers and our customers to self-ID. While we offer Bobbers the ability to share their gender identity and pronouns in Bob, and regularly report on DEI&B analytics at our company All-Hands meetings, we can do more to encourage people to self-ID and encourage open conversations to help us understand the diverse makeup, identities, and experiences of Bobbers across the globe. 

So, we are.

Committing to inclusivity leadership training

To improve inclusivity across our organization, we’re running year-round sessions on inclusive behavior for managers and team members. Our inclusive leadership training focuses on helping our leaders bring their full selves to their roles—and encourage their teams to do the same through role modeling. Then, to gauge how well our programs are working and identify areas to improve, our core engagement survey contains three questions focused on DEI&B.

Our People and Culture team recently started a cultural intelligence training program, using culture map models that will soon certify 10 Bobbers as cultural intelligence trainers for their colleagues across each of our global sites. We’re currently filming a course on recognizing and combatting unconscious bias, which will debut on our internal LMS this summer.

We’re also dedicated to bringing our commitment to our customers through the Bob platform and website.

Helping our customers prioritize DEI&B, too

Earlier this year, we launched Bob’s DE&I dashboard, empowering our customers to easily track DE&I efforts, make sense of the data, track organizational health, and identify gaps (and areas to improve). All the data is visible in one central dashboard and can be customized to align with local laws and regulations.

And we’re not done adding DE&I features to the platform. Just in time to celebrate Pride Month and support LGBTQIA+ communities around the world, we’re offering a Pride Month feature bundle, including a Pride filter toggle. The feature bundle enables admins to opt in to adding a rainbow GIF background to the standard, static Bob logo via a toggle—and allows individual team members to add a rainbow background to their profile picture. 

Just like HiBob’s people programs don’t stop with LGBTQIA+ inclusivity, we’ve built increasing inclusivity into our product roadmap to make the Bob platform and website the best tools companies can use to achieve and track their DEI&B goals. 

Inclusivity is intersectional

Intersectionality refers to the interconnected nature of social and demographic categories like gender, race, ethnicity, class, disability, and identity that can overlap to create additional layers of disadvantage and discrimination. When it comes to accessibility at HiBob, we have work to do. 

As part of a large-scale accessibility project, we’re currently Beta testing low-vision accessibility across the Bob platform. We’re also working on adjusting our brand colors and style to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and improve low-vision accessibility across the HiBob website. 

We’re taking a look at evolving our brand, too. Certain color contrasts and all-caps text are known to reduce readability, and readers with and without disabilities can struggle to understand that text because it makes it harder to recognize words by their shape. 

Updating elements of our brand can make it easier for everyone to quickly understand the amazing headlines my team writes. We’re also looking into how to make our website easier to use for people who access the site through screen readers or other assistive devices, and how to extend accessibility best practices through all the digital content we publish as PDFs and across our social media platforms.

We’re proud, we’re visible, we’re inclusive

Pride isn’t just about putting up a flag, but about what it represents: the actions we take as a community all year long. That means taking public positions on the things happening in the world around us as a company, especially against hate and violence. Changing our logo for Pride Month is just a part of how we’re showing our loud and tangible support of the global LGBTQIA+ community, standing up for human rights everywhere, and celebrating inclusivity in all its forms. 

For Bobbers, inclusivity is being proud, visible, and making our people and our product accessible to everyone. 

Sarah Reynolds (they/them)

From Sarah Reynolds (they/them)

Sarah (they/them) is Chief Marketing Officer at HiBob. An openly non-binary executive, Sarah writes widely about diversity and inclusion, pay equity, the future of work, and the intersection of bias, ethics, and technology. They love spicy food, and can frequently be found in their garden tending to their many varieties of hot chili pepper plants.