2022 KP People Report
2022 KP People Report

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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Pay Equity

Equality in your compensation practices will help in building trust with employees. In addition to the fact that it is the right thing to do and good business practice, a growing number of states have passed pay transparency laws, most recently California. We encourage you to reach out to an employment attorney for more specifics.
Pay equity does not mean paying everyone in the same role the same thing. It means considering the same variables in the same way for everyone - the outcome may vary. Compensation may be different for employees in similar roles if it is for one or more of these reasons: experience; education/training; tenure; performance.
🧩 Fundamentals: Before you can address pay equity, set a strategy around your compensation philosophy and ensure you have established levels. Please see the section for more details.
“There is a sea change happening now on pay transparency and it may help you improve pay equity OR catch you off-guard and highlight inequity. Not only are more states passing laws requiring pay bands to be published, but culturally we're seeing adults more openly sharing their pay. When a leader pushes back on sharing an employee's pay band with them, I typically say, ‘They can already see their pay band - on Glassdoor - the question is whether we want them to have the right band data or the wrong one.
For any company, pay transparency starts with explaining the who, when, why, and how - an education for employees on how pay works at company X, who decides pay changes, why they'd make certain decisions, and when. The more transparent ‘what’ (band info and someone's total rewards potential) should usually come after a lot of hard foundational work has already happened. But society is pushing now specifically on this part and companies are going to have to catch up.”
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- David Hanrahan, Former Chief Human Resources Officer at Eventbrite

Transforming to an Equitable Culture

💡 Tip: Before you begin dedicating time or resources to a particular strategy, it's important to think about what specific barrier you hope it will address, and how you will measure impact.
Exec Involvement:
Executives have the power set the tone for diversity recruiting metrics goals at various stages of the pipeline from outreach, to interviews, to placements.
Executives that promote inclusion and belonging helps ensure that strong diverse talent stays and grows at their company.
Building diversity and inclusion initiatives into company values, day-to-day operations, leadership, culture and corporate branding is important, and can help you build a strong, high performing organization. Two of the most important practices for fostering diversity and creating inclusion are structure and consistency. Please see the section for some resources that companies are leveraging to help with their DEIB efforts.
Insight from Gem’s 2022 Recruiting Trends Report:
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Most companies begin building out Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at 200+ employees with URM related groups being the leading category.
Encourage senior leaders to become ERG sponsors. Sponsors can help streamline initiatives and bring visibility to the ERG’s work. Various groups include:
URM related (Black, Latino, Native/First Nation, etc)
Family Focused (working mothers/fathers/parents, elder caregivers, etc)
Mental Health Support (Depression, Anxiety, Mental Disorders, etc.)
Employee engagement: Speaker series; affinity days - wear/bring something to show support.
Diversity Training for Employees:
We see companies with as few as 26-50 employees implementing diversity training company-wide.
Some recommended platforms:
iRestart with Rajkumari Neogy
Multiple Hats Management
Paradigm / Paradigm Reach
Other examples:
Corporate gift matching program.
Offer paid time-off for volunteering.

“Now that diversity, equity, and inclusion has become a core function for the majority of companies — nearly 60% of the organizations we work with have dedicated annual DEI budgets — executives are increasingly asking if they are doing the right things to make measurable progress. This is only increasing alongside economic uncertainty. The most successful organizations we work with are using data to guide their DEI efforts, understand what is (and isn't) working, and report on the impact of their initiatives to their executive teams and Boards.”
- Joelle Emerson, Founder & CEO at Paradigm

⭐️ Tip: How to Lead with Empathy for Your Working Parent Colleagues ⭐️
Remote work allowed working parents more grace and flexibility when “co-working” with their kids at home and when they went back to school. It’s not uncommon to see kids on Zoom meetings or for parents to take 20 minutes in the afternoon to get their children from school. But now that companies are opening up their offices again and colleagues are spending more time with each other in person, it’s going to become an adjustment (and for many, an experiment) for working parents trying to make in-person work again with their children’s equally busy schedules. Here's how you can lead with empathy: ​1. Embrace async work. For the past two years, we've been in people's living rooms and have gotten a better understanding of the different obligations and responsibilities we all have. We must be empathetic to those taking care of their children, families, roommates, and pets. This means being more flexible; not everyone will be constantly available. Teams can achieve this by embracing async work: using technology to record meetings and give feedback via video or bringing on new collaboration tools that make it easy for working parents and those with obligations to get their work done on their schedule. Be mindful of time zones. Hybrid work requires us to work across different time zones and collaborate with folks worldwide. Teams should be aware of the responsibilities working parents have, work together to alternate time zones, and give grace when they need to take time during the day.
2. Design inclusive workplace events. As working parents return to the office, it's up to HR teams to create inclusive, family-friendly events. That can include bringing your children, parents, pets, and loved ones. HR teams should support parents, old and new, instead of a roadblock -- and ensure they're mindful of everyone's obligations.
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- Faranak Raissi, SVP of People and Culture at Productboard

Boards 🤝

Diversity Requirements:

Nasdaq’s rule which requires companies listed on its exchange to report their board diversity and have on their board — or at least explain why they don’t have — at least one person who identifies as a woman and one person who identifies as an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ person. Several states have passed legislation mandating that businesses headquartered within them disclose board diversity data.
☝️ Opinion: Regardless of what the mandatory requirements are, building a diverse board is a business imperative.

Tips for Founders/CEOs:


We typically see startups bring on their first independent board hire at the series C-D stage [7] when the CEO and exec team may need more expertise in a certain area (domain or functional knowledge). As your company scales, strategic gaps can be addressed through your board members.


Below are the most common profiles for pre-IPO boards. If you are looking for independent board members, we recommend you reach out to your investors and also consider leveraging a retained search firm.
Finance Leader - A CFO or a #2 so they can serve as the Audit Chair (ideally someone who has gone through an IPO).
GTM Leader - Typically a CMO/marketing leader or CRO who has seen massive scale (scaled past $100M in revenue) and can supplement the management team around customer/market development.
People Leader - We are seeing a new trend of late stage / public companies bringing an experienced People leader onto their board.
Subject matter expert - Examples include: industry expert and compliance expert.


VC backed boards tend to be more operational (recruiting, scaling growth, insights around functional areas, making key introductions and coaching). In the beginning, it is usually just you and your lead investors. The purpose of bringing independent board members is to build on the investor foundation by providing new insights, deeper expertise (subject matter experts), augment networks and bring a new diversity in thought to the group. Ensure new board members align with the values of your company and will be a voice for your customers.


Extend the same discipline / diligence to your board selection process as you would any executive hire. This becomes especially important for high profile personalities.

Tips for 1st Time Independent Board Members:

Spend time with the management team and take in everyone’s perspective.
Immerse yourself in the business: 1) Review previous board notes/deck to understand historical context of the company and future goals, 2) Get a comprehensive sense of the financial snapshot, 3) Spend time with the Chairman of the Board.
Have an impact through influence.
Provide diversity in thought.
Join networks such as:
Black Women on Boards

We have a growing Board Talent database of experienced and emerging board candidates. If you are interested in serving on a board, please fill out .

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