GitHub: How They Infuse Diversity & Inclusion Throughout their Business Strategy
A screenshot of Therefore's Webinar featuring Github and attendees

GitHub: How They Infuse Diversity & Inclusion Throughout their Business Strategy

Buzzword to Buzzworthy
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Therefore Team
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August 5, 2022
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The next company being spotlighted in this week’s Buzzword to Buzzworthy series is GitHub, the largest development platform in the world. The company was founded in 2008 and today is used by over 80 million developers and companies to build, ship, and maintain their software. GitHub employs 2,500 so-called “Hubbers” around the world, and is hiring across many remote roles in the US.  

Quick Facts

  • Diversity expertise at GitHub
  • Publication of an annual Diversity Report  
  • Diversity Initiatives
  • Hiring for remote roles!

Bringing Diversity Expertise to GitHub

Between 2020 and 2021, GitHub brought on a team of experts to guide their DI&B practice in an effort to “infuse diversity and inclusion throughout our entire business strategy.” The company also hired a full-time Senior Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Demetris Cheatham. She arrived at the company with a unique combination of experiences— she holds a computer science degree, a JD, an MBA— and the goal of “open sourcing” diversity. Here’s what that means to her: 

“When people ask me what my role is as a DE&I leader, I say to facilitate conversation and dialogue. A healthy organization and an inclusive organization exists when you have employees talking a lot [...] as long as the conversation is happening, that lets me know that people feel like they have a voice and that someone is listening to them.” — Demetris Cheatham for HR Brew

GitHub Annual Diversity Report 

In 2021, GitHub published an Annual Diversity Report (2021), that includes the self-reported identity data across their team. As shown below, the breakdown at GitHub is similar to tech industry averages: overrepresentation of white, and underrepresentation of Latinx and Black team members. However, these numbers have improved since 2020. 

The racial/ethnic breakdown of GitHub’s US team in 2021

In 2021, the number of Asian, Latinx, and Black team members in the US nearly doubled— in fact, minority representation at the company grew at a higher rate than the company itself. GitHub has made strides increasing Black representation at the company: the number of Black employees has doubled in the past two years (from FY19 to FY21), growing by 47% last year. 

The number of Latinx employees at GitHub increased by 29%. Despite a lower rate of growth, Latinx employees rate the company’s Diversity Score highest according to reviews on Comparably (at 89/100). They acknowledge that there is still room to grow—especially with Black and Latinx representation in management— but GitHub shows how being intentional with sourcing strategies, hiring equity, and belonging leads to meaningful results.  

A Suite of Diversity Initiatives

Aside from highlighting steps forward and areas for improvement regarding representation, GitHub’s 2021 Diversity Report also describes a suite of initiatives the company has in place to promote diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Among those are: 

  • Communities of belonging: their equivalent of Employee Resource Groups, you can see the full list of GitHub’s CoBs (and their incredible avatars!) here.
  • The first cohort of students completed the All In pilot program: a partnership with corporations, philanthropists and underrepresented universities to create a more diverse and inclusive community of developers. All its members were successfully placed into internship programs.
  • GitHub Stars: acknowledging that feeling invisible as a common and detrimental experience for minorities, GitHub created this community to “put a spotlight on influential developers of diverse backgrounds and experiences who go above and beyond to inspire and educate communities.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the diversity initiatives and progress towards more equitable representation at GitHub, check out a few additional sources below: 

Additional sources:

Therefore Community Webinar on 8/4 featuring Github
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Therefore Team