Diversity in the technology industry is a hot topic these days. But what exactly do companies mean when they use the terms “company culture” and “workplace diversity”?
To find out, O’Reilly Media recently sat down with several New Relic managers in our Portland office to record an informative 9-minute video addressing the meaning of terms like “company culture” and “workplace diversity” in a growing technology company.
Watch the video below, and read on for key insights drawn from the interviews:
Slower vs. better decisions
In the video, Senior Software Engineering Manager Rebecca Campbell notes that homogenous groups “won’t challenge each other’s assumptions as much … which means they can move very fast in a particular direction together.” But while such teams are able to come to consensus quickly, she says, they tend to operate in an echo chamber where potentially valuable outside opinions never get heard. A team made up of people from a variety of backgrounds and with varying perspectives can sometimes take longer to jointly make a decision, but the end result is often better.
New Relic Director of Engineering Belinda Runkle adds that studies show diverse software teams deliver better products, diverse boards and diverse management teams produce better financial results, and so on. “We have all this data about why it’s the ‘right thing’ to do,” says Belinda. “In my mind, the reason we should have diverse teams is because that’s the right thing to do … to create a workplace where anyone can do their best work and they can be themselves.”
Diversity of responsibilities
The benefits of diversity can also be applied to each employee’s role and responsibilities in the organization. Belinda believes that a wide range of job experience is crucial for the development of exceptional engineers. “What would be bad for your career is to always do the same thing, to follow the same process, to use the same tools, to prolong the experience of sameness,” she says. “Because what that doesn’t give you is that breadth of understanding.”
To learn more about the culture here at New Relic, and to see a list of our open job positions, visit our Careers page.