Automattic, the Remote Workforce and Diversity at the Workplace

Diversity and the Remote Workforce


There’s a lot of work needed to shift the dial on diversity & inclusion within the tech industry, particularly in Silicon Valley. The work is ongoing and game changers like Change Catalyst, Women in Technology International and Flexjobs are breaking boundaries through education and conferences, and creating platforms that open opportunities to job seekers that don’t need to be limited by physical location by applying for remote work opportunities.

Getting Diversity Right

Take a look at Automattic, the force behind WordPress. Automattic are committed to creating a safe, productive an innovative environment through diversity:

We are an international company with employees who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. We believe that the more perspectives we embrace, the better we are at engaging our global community of users and developers. We want to build Automattic as an environment where people love their work and show respect and empathy to those with whom we interact.

Automattic are fully invested in a strong remote workforce. So much that they recently closed their physical office in San Francisco.

How Automattic Does Diversity & Inclusion

In “Actions Anyone Can Take to Help Diversity & Inclusion“, Anne McCarthy of Automattic shares an inside perspective on how diversity & inclusion is supported within their organization.

Town halls are held with Matt Mullenweb, CEO
Questions are encouraged, expected
Attending D&I events are encouraged, McCarthy says:

Ask what events are happening at your company that you can go to. If there are educational opportunities for D&I, make the time to go. Show up and show support.

On the topic of education, McCarthy says:

There are LOADS of resources. Don’t put the burden on those in a burdened position to educate you. To help get you going, start here (courtesy of my coworker Andrea Middleton):

Diversity 101

How Prejudice and Bias Works, and everything else from the Required Reading section of Angry Black Woman

Racism 101 for White People

5 Stages of Unlearning Racism

Wrap Up

One of the things I love about working with WordPress is the massive community around it. After going to my first WordPress meet up in San Francisco I was hooked. I was blown away after attending WordCamp in New York City in 2016. In 2016 the United Nations offered to host WordCamp? Why? One reason, because WordPress is open source and has a global impact on information sharing:

The United Nations views open-source technology as a critical enabler for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, offering the potential to facilitate global innovation and empower individuals and organizations, as well as the private and public sectors.

The full article is available here, Largest Mission-Driven Open-Source Technology Conference, 8-17 July.

Anyone with access to an internet connection and a computer, smartphone or tablet can produce a website or blog and publish their content. The hardware doesn’t have to be fancy and you don’t have to be technical to do it.

At the WPSFO meetup in San Francisco, I was surrounded by some of the most interesting techies I could ask to run into, not just talented, but of diverse backgrounds, genders and ages. Deeply refreshing after hearing or reading another news piece on the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley’s tech space, and worse reports of harassment, acknowledged but still part of the norm.

Automattic’s CEO and Founder, Matt Mullenweg, leads thoughtfully with a distributed workforce that grows in strength in building  diverse and inclusive workforce.