A few years ago, we took a look in the mirror and realized that our team was not representative of our student base and that our products do not yet equitably serve all students. That’s why, in 2018, Magoosh set up our first employee diversity goals. Today, I want to share a little bit about those goals, how we set them, and how we’re measuring against them.
First, why is diversity at work important for us? Our mission is to help level the playing field in education, and we’ll only be able to achieve that mission if our products serve all students equitably. That’s why we believe it’s important to ensure our company and workplace culture reflect our students and their lived experiences.
This journey has been an incredible learning process for our People teams here at Magoosh, and we’ve made a ton of progress. Looking back, it’s clear that we did not get everything right. We hope that by publicly sharing our successes and our failures, we can hold ourselves accountable (and help other companies) to create a diverse and equitable workplace for all. Together, we can work collectively on diversity and inclusion in tech and higher education.
Vision of Diversity at Magoosh
Magoosh students are a broadly diverse group. In order for Magoosh to best serve its students and to grow as a business, our team must reflect the diversity of our students. Our long term goal is to have a Magoosh team that reflects the diversity of our US-based students.
Here’s what we know about our students:
Race/Ethnicity: 46% White, 17% Hispanic or Latino, 16% Black or African American, 13% Asian, 6% Two or More Races, 1% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 1% Prefer Not to Say
First-Generation College Student: 23.2% Yes, 75.8% No, 1% Prefer Not to Say
First Language: 34% Not English, 65% English, 1% Prefer Not to Say
Gender: 63% Female, 35% Male, 1% Other/Nonconforming
The benefits of diverse teams have been widely researched: diverse teams tend to have better outcomes. We want Magoosh to be a more diverse company, not only because doing so is aligned with our mission, but also because a diverse team will set us up for continued growth and success. At Magoosh, we are treating diversity at work like any other area of our business and setting specific, measurable goals to ensure that we achieve our vision.
Our 2020 Diversity at Work Goals
To reach the longer-term vision of Magoosh reflecting the diversity of its students, we set benchmark goals for 2020.
We recognize that there are many ways for groups to be diverse and that no set of diversity goals will ever fully encompass all of the aspects of our students. Furthermore, different dimensions of diversity are not discrete line items; they intersect in important ways that have a significant impact both at the systemic and the individual levels. We also know from experience that we are most likely to see change when we set specific, measurable goals and consistently track our progress towards them.
To build a team that reflects the diversity of our students, we set the following goals for 2020 as part of our three-year plan:
- 20% of Magoosh employees will identify as a member of an underrepresented minority (URM) ethnic/racial group.
- 16% of Magoosh employees will identify as the first in their family to go to college.
- 23% of Magoosh employees will have grown up in a home where the primary language spoken was not English.
- On every team made up of seven or more people, there will be at least two people of non-majority gender identities.
We’ll be sharing our process for setting these goals in a future blog post.
These goals are benchmarks, not goalposts. We’re measuring ourselves against these goals in 2020, but also looking ahead to future years where we will continue to push ourselves to better represent our students.
Where We Started
We started the process of setting diversity at work goals in late 2017, and our first step was to get accurate data on our current team. Here is a snapshot of how we stacked up against our diversity goals at that time:
- 7% of employees identified as a member of an underrepresented minority group.
- 10% of employees identified as the first in their family to go to college.
- 28% of employees identified as growing up in a home where the primary language spoken was not English.
- Half of our teams with more than seven employees had at least two people of non-majority gender identities.
Where We Are Now
On our recent survey of employees, here were the results:
|Long-Term Goal (i.e., student base)||2020 Benchmark||2017 Actual||2020 Actual||% 2020 Goal Achieved||% Long-Term Goal Achieved|
|First-Generation College Students||23%||16%||10%||15%||94%||65%|
|Women||63%||Other (see goals)||55%||57%||100%*||N/A (see goals)|
*Additionally, for our gender goal, 100% of teams of size seven or more have at least two members of the non-majority gender identity.
Looking at these results, we can see we’ve made substantial progress towards our 2020 goals, hitting them in two areas and coming quite close in the other two. However, we still have a long way to go to achieve our vision of reflecting the diversity of our students. We’ll be pushing forward that work into 2021 and beyond to ensure we achieve that vision.
Diversity at Work: Addressing Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging
Of course, hiring a diverse team is not enough to ensure that Magoosh and our students benefit from the results. Members of historically underrepresented communities need to:
- Be included and engaged in their work
- Feel a sense of belonging
- Be treated equitably
- Be given equal opportunities for promotion and advancement.
As we grow (and grow more diverse), we are challenging ourselves to think more critically about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the workplace, and we’ll be sharing more about our progress in future blog posts.