Diversity and Inclusivity
An in-depth look at where we stand, and where we should be heading.
Versett is proud to present our third annual Diversity & Inclusion Report. As our team grows and evolves, we are committed to making intentional choices to ensure that we are an open and inclusive workplace. We hope that our transparency in setting targets, publishing annual reports, and sharing our research will effect change both internally and within our industry at large.
We are stronger together. Diversity is everything about us that makes us who we are.
This year’s illustrations are provided by Prospect Human Services.
Prospect is a non-profit that helps people who face barriers to employment overcome those obstacles by supporting individual skill development and creating workplace capacity. Prospect’s Disability Services support individuals in experiencing enhanced quality of life through experiential art and outdoor activities that integrate skill development for both workforce and community participation.
Facilitator: Kriss Janik
Artists: Vaughn, Isabel, Erin and Julius
“In one of our many programs, Illustrating Success, Prospect participants work out of Untitled Art Society (UAS) to create illustrations in collaboration with local businesses, events and films. In the four months this program has been running, clients have worked on illustrations for Eight Ounce Coffee, RNDSQR, Archipelago, and Versett. Through this process, participants have had an opportunity to develop employability skills such as communication, information management and problem solving, while actively participating in the creative community.”
Despite there being signs of progress in the representation of women in the workplace, parity for positions of leadership remains out of reach. The biggest obstacle women face on the path to leadership is at the first step up to manager, effectively creating a "broken rung." For every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired (and that number drops for women of colour). In our 2017 report, we committed to developing advancement and hiring strategies and working to define clear paths to leadership that prioritize diverse representation and gender parity. In 2018, we promoted our first female employee to Versett's leadership team—which had previously been exclusively male—and in 2019, we welcomed our second female director to the company.
One of our primary goals for diversity last year was to reach gender parity and increase our representation of individuals across the gender identity spectrum. Cisgender men dominate the tech field and cisgender women in tech experience unequal pay compared to their male counterparts. Transwomen, transmen, genderqueer, non-binary and other gender diverse individuals experience a pay gap in tech jobs as well as further discrimination surrounding appearance and sexual orientation. We believe that greater representation of diverse gender identities is a significant step in changing this problem. In 2019, we committed to doubling down on our efforts to attract and hire more diverse talent and to reach better representation. At the time this survey was conducted, we had not yet achieved gender parity (as reflected in the numbers below). We have since hired more folks onto our team and are making progress in the right direction.
|0||Non – binary|
|0||Prefer not to answer|
In 2018 we chose to drop the clumsy—and ever-evolving—acronym LGBTQIA+ and have since adopted the more inclusive term GSD: Gender and Sexual Diversity. GSD folx are our neighbours, co-workers, friends, and family. Despite gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation being protected designations in Alberta and Ontario (where we live and work), GSD individuals still face discrimination in and outside of the workplace. We believe organizations have a responsibility to put GSD equality and inclusion into action. At Versett, we want everyone to feel welcomed, included, and free to bring their authentic selves to work each day with full support from our team.
|0||Prefer not to answer|
Race & Ethnicity
In 2018, we chose to include more options for our team to self-identify for this portion of the survey. Having a representative team isn't just about identification; it's about celebrating the diversity and broad perspectives that a diverse set of people can bring to the table. In a predominantly White industry, racial minorities face many challenges, including discrimination and unequal pay. Systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential for too long. Versett is proud that our team members represent nine different countries and a variety of racial/ethnic backgrounds. This diversity is part of our company fabric. It shapes our work and the ways we relate to each other. Over the next few years, we hope to expand our team to be more representative of the populations where we work and the communities we serve and continue to implement inclusivity measures to ensure employees feel supported and included in the workplace.
|0||Non – Hispanic White or Euro – American|
|0||Prefer not to answer|
|0||Spanish / Hispanic / Latino / Latinx|
|0||African & African Diaspora|
In recent years, older employees in the tech industry have faced layoffs and hiring discrimination. In a 2017 study, 43% of people in tech worried about losing their jobs due to their age; in a more recent 2019 study, this number skyrocketed to 80%. Age is just a number and shouldn't be a requirement to work or participate in company culture. Versett aspires to be an intergenerational workplace and we aim to learn more about and from one other and to share our experiences and wisdom. We are cognizant of creating a culture and hiring process that's welcoming, inclusive, and friendly to people of all walks of life.
|0||25 – 34 yrs.|
|0||35 – 44 yrs.|
|0||Prefer not to answer|
|0||45 – 54 yrs.|
|0||18 – 24 yrs.|
It can be tough to balance career and family life. Parenthood is an 18+ year job undertaken by both men and women, biological and adoptive parents, GSD and straight, in all kinds of family structures. In addition to this, 29% of Canadians provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year. A 2009 study found that more than half of Canadian carers nursed a loved one for more than four years and many of them faced substantial out-of-pocket expenses while struggling in their careers: 43% missed work, 15 % cut down their hours, and 10 % passed up a promotion or new job. Women disproportionately face this challenge since more of the daily tasks of giving care still fall to them. As our team grows, more and more people will be in these types of positions. Our stated goal is to provide our team with the flexibility and support they need to have a life, a family, and a career. We're committed to ensuring this space, whether through our flexible time-off policy or our commitment to providing three months of paid parental leave.
|0||I am not a parent / carer|
|0||I am a parent / carer|
|0||Prefer not to answer|
At Versett, we've never looked at schooling as a hiring criterion. We care about what you've done, how you think, and how you tackle big problems and challenges. We also value continuing education and understand how it can help our team learn and grow. Most of us already work 40 (or more) hours a week— adding classes, homework, and finals into the mix can be overwhelming. We are committed to supporting our teammates who are completing school or doing extra-curricular education, whether full-time or part-time.
|0||Certificate or diploma|
|0||Some college, no degree|
Neurodiversity / Disability
Due to antiquated governmental policies and systemic inequities, disabled workers make significantly less than their non-disabled peers for the same job. Workers with chronic illnesses face job uncertainty and the protections afforded chronically ill workers are usually thin and somewhat vague. And neurodivergent individuals often struggle to fit the profiles sought by prospective employers. This issue is close to our hearts, as more than 16% of our team members identify as neurodivergent, as having a genetic condition, as having a mental illness, and/or as having a disability. We aim to create an atmosphere where our teammates are comfortable talking (or not talking) about these experiences. We believe a large part of creating an inviting and inclusive workplace lies in establishing connections to your teammates both on a personal level and through shared projects. This past year we formally documented our flexible vacation policy and comprehensive health coverage. Over the next few years, we hope to ensure that all of our offices are accessible and comfortable work environments for all employees.
|0||Prefer not to answer|
While we’re very proud of the work we’ve been doing to measure and report on diversity, it’s only half of the equation. Creating a demographically diverse workplace is meaningless if folks don’t feel a strong sense of inclusion, belonging, and equity. Diversity means increasing the representation of people from marginalized backgrounds at all levels and across all functional areas of the company. Inclusion means building policies, procedures, communication channels, and compensation policies where everyone is a full participant in the structure of your company.* As noted diversity and inclusion advocate Verna Meyers puts it, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”
We believe that what you value gets measured, and what gets measured gets done. In 2019, we decided to introduce our very first inclusion climate survey. The reporting below reflects our entire team’s aggregate data; however, it is our firm opinion that not all responses should be weighed equally. Aggregate data does not provide insights into the experiences of marginalized or underrepresented groups, nor does it allow us to look at responses through the lens of intersectionality. As such, we conducted an in-depth analysis internally to identify any trends, and developed plans to address areas for improvement. To maintain our team members’ anonymity, we unfortunately will not be publishing this analysis. We recognize that because of this, the data below is imperfect; nevertheless, it will serve as a baseline for next year as there is room for progress in certain areas.
|Score8.60 / 10||D&I at Versett|
|9.16||D&I is important to Versett as a company.|
|8.60||D&I is important to employees at Versett.|
|8.74||D&I is important to leadership at Versett.|
|8.13||Versett intentionally builds diverse teams.|
|8.55||My day-to-day experience at Versett is free of bias.|
|7.80||There are no obstacles to diversity and inclusion at Versett.|
|9.03||Versett has clear anti-discrimination policies.|
|8.80||Versett provides effective training to mitigate biases and increase cultural competency.|
|Score7.41 / 10||Individual Participation|
|7.64||This year, I went out of my way to learn about the experiences of colleagues different from myself.|
|6.93||I engaged leadership on how to create a more inclusive environment.|
|7.67||I participated in a discussion about diversity in tech.|
|7.80||I positively changed my attitude toward coworkers different from me.|
|7.00||I have interrupted biased or exclusionary behaviour at Versett (leave blank if not applicable).|
|Score7.36 / 10||Representation, retention, belonging|
|6.90||There is a greater retention of underrepresented people at Versett.|
|6.22||There is an increased number of underrepresented people.|
|7.09||There is an increased sense of belonging for underrepresented people.|
|8.32||I can be my authentic self at work.|
|8.26||I feel comfortable joining the conversations about diversity at Versett.|
|Score7.96 / 10||Fairness|
|7.22||I believe that my compensation is fair, relative to similar roles at Versett.|
|8.35||I feel that people from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to succeed at Versett.|
|8.32||I believe that my performance is evaluated fairly and free from bias.|
|Score7.98 / 10||Voice|
|8.19||At Versett, there is open and honest two-way communication.|
|7.67||I can voice a contrary opinion at Versett without fear of negative consequences.|
|7.87||Versett creates a culture that empowers team members to safely share opinions.|
|8.19||When I speak up, my opinions and contributions are acknowledged and valued.|
|Score7.62 / 10||Leadership|
|6.93||I have visible role models in positions of leadership.|
|7.71||Leadership is unbiased in evaluation and promotion decisions.|
|8.22||Leadership exhibits behaviours that make me feel included.|