Axios is a news media company founded in 2016 that one cofounder described as a "mix between The Economist and Twitter." Their mission is to deliver “a smarter, more efficient coverage of the topics shaping the fast-changing world.” The company has grown to 45 full time employees and is currently hiring for roles across teams like sales, marketing, and engineering. Here’s what makes Axios’ take on diversity buzzworthy.
With dedicated diversity and inclusion team members, Axios has various important initiatives to build a diverse community in which all feel welcomed. The team published a comprehensive report that outlines the Axios’ statement on diversity and how they are investing in DEI from hiring to offboarding.
- Tracking and publishing diversity data
- Empowering diverse candidates in hiring
- Dedicating a budget to DEI
- Hiring for remote roles!
Tracking and Publishing Diversity Data
Axios has also designed their own diversity and inclusion survey, that they run annually with all staff. Collecting and tracking demographic data is table stakes to set goals for an equitable team. The graph below shows a comparison of the demographic breakdown of the Axios team over the past four years: overall, there is a notable increase in the diversity of the team: the portion of the team that identifies as BIPOC has tripled since 2018 from 10% to 37%.
Empowering Diverse Candidates in Hiring
Axios adamantly acknowledges that a lack of diversity in the tech industry is not a pipeline problem.
“[Blaming the pipeline] tends to be a crutch for underinvesting in a qualified hiring team and not doing the hard work. With support from our hiring partners and ample resources, time and collaboration, we believe we can produce a diverse pipeline of candidates for any role.”
So how has Axios ensured that their hiring process attracts, accommodates for, and considers a diverse pipeline of candidates?
Making hiring intentional: Axios proactively broadcasts their job openings to a broad audience, ensuring that they reach communities historically excluded from the tech industry. Instead of relying on referral networks, as most earlier stage companies do, Axios attends conferences and career fairs, and partner with organizations that support their DeI initiatives and connect with underrepresented communities.
Managing bias in hiring: The hiring team uses standardized interview guides and tests, ensuring that the hiring process assesses the abilities of candidates, not their personalities.
Breaking systemic compensation patterns: Axios does not ask for candidates’ past compensation, as a way of avoiding systemic pay inequality. Instead, hiring teams work to understand candidates’ expectations and compare that against internal and external benchmarks for that particular role.
Dedicating a Budget for DEI
Oftentimes, resources for DEI work are dependent on a line item in the People Ops or Talent Acquisition teams’ budgets. It’s great to see that Axios has set aside annual budgets specifically for DEI efforts, illustrating its commitment to these initiatives. That budget includes the initiatives outlined above, as well as plenty of DEI and Allyship programming, employee ERGs, recruiting conferences, DEI training, fellowships, and Emerging Leaders Program.
The proof is in the pudding when you see the increased diversity of the Axios team year over year. Beyond this quantitative measure, the company has also received awards for diversity in 2020 and 2021 based on a broad sample of employee reviews. Therefore is excited to see even more progress as the company continues to grow!