Wayfair: A Public Company Sets a 3-Year DEI Strategy
A screenshot of Therefore Community Webinar featuring Wayfar with attendees

Wayfair: A Public Company Sets a 3-Year DEI Strategy

Buzzword to Buzzworthy
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Therefore Team
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August 30, 2022
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Wayfair is an ecommerce company for home retail, as well as additional services for businesses and enterprise. Founded in 2002 by Niraj Shah and Steve Conine, the company went public in 2016. Today, Wayfair is worth $5.5 billion and has almost 17,000 employees across the world. 

Wayfair is larger than other companies spotlighted in Therefore’s Buzzworthy series, and we chose to feature the company because of how it has embedded DEI analytics within the organization and set an ambitious three-year DEI agenda. 

Quick Facts:

  • Embedding DEI analytics within the organization
  • A 3-Year DEI Strategy
  • Inclusive sourcing and hiring initiatives
  • Hiring for various remote roles!

Embedding DEI analytics within the organization

Wayfair has integrated DEI into the organizational structure with a Head of Culture & Inclusion, a DEI analytics team, and sponsored Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). In 2021, these teams launched their first annual DEI report, called “Change Starts at Home,” with the goal of increasing transparency and accountability. 

The report includes a breakdown of Wayfair’s representation data, and shows that the tech workforce is still only 3% Black and 1% Latinx— both lower than the industry average, but it is important to note that this represents all tech employees, not just the US workforce. Measuring DEI across 16 dimensions is a great start, and a more nuanced breakdown for the US tech workforce would be even better!

“‘Change Starts at Home’ is much more than a title. It’s weaving a fabric of change within our company. And most importantly, it’s the self-reflection that centers on doing the right thing for our people, our customers, our partners, our work, and the communities we serve.” – KeyAnna Schmiedl, Wayfair’s Global Head of Culture & Inclusion (source)

Inclusive sourcing and hiring initiatives

Cultural Ambassador Program: This program acknowledges how challenging it can be for candidates from underrepresented backgrounds to glean important information about a company’s culture during the interview process— particularly if none of the interviewers share their experiences. Through this, candidates in the Wayfair interview process are able to request a confidential meeting with a Culture Ambassador outside of the interview panel. 

Building an equitable career ladder: Wayfair’s DEI Analytics team collects and analyzes data from about recruiting, hiring, career advancement, and retention rates to determine if there are any broad trends. Through rigorous analytics, the company identified, for example, that there were consistent discrepancies for Black employees across these categories. and were able to align with senior leaders to share best practices. This data allowed them to align with senior leaders and share best practices to promote an equitable career ladder. 

Partnerships and networking opportunities with traditionally excluded talent: According to their website and the “Change Starts at Home” report, Wayfair partners with a range of organizations to source diverse talent, such as: Hack.Diversity, The Consortium, Jopwell, reacHire, Apprenti, Grace Hopper, and Year Up. 

A 3-Year DEI strategy 

2022 marks the last year of the DEI agenda that Wayfair kicked off in 2019. Therefore loves the long term approach to this strategy, as it shows a vested commitment to DEI for the long term and signals the understanding that these initiatives are far from “one-and-done.” 

According the the “Change Starts at Home” report, their goals are to: 

On the surface, it appears the company has achieved various of the goals set for 2022. We look forward to more transparency and accountability at the end of this year when Wayfair publishes a retrospective report to evaluate their progress on DEI since 2020. We also hope that the next round of goals they publish are more concrete, so that progress across company demographics can be effectively evaluated.  

Therefore was excited to share Wayfair’s initiatives with our community of job seekers!

Therefore Community Webinar on Aug 25 featuring Wayfair
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Therefore Team