How WP Engine Fosters Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Looking To Further Foster Diversity And Inclusion In The Workspace? It All Starts With Intention And A Commitment To Action.

A WP Engine “High Five” Line, Spring 2017

Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Annette Alexander. Annette is the first Chief People Officer of WP Engine. Over a career spanning two decades, she has lived in 5 countries cultivating an impressive track record of successfully building and leading global HR teams. You can connect with her on LinkedIn. WP Engine is the world’s leading WordPress digital experience platform.

Commitment from our Leadership

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is championed by Heather J. Brunner, WP Engine’s Chairwoman and CEO. She often says, “…you have to create an environment where differences are valued and encouraged. People have to feel they can be themselves and from that, they thrive and encourage others to do the same.”

Heather’s drive to value the differences among people and to encourage people to be themselves sets the tone for our entire organization. We’ve removed unnecessary barriers that hamper hiring a diverse workforce. For example, we don’t require a college degree for an entry-level technical role. We have exceptional training programs for our technical people and teach them the skills they need to be successful in their roles.

Where the Best Get Better

“Where the best get better” is one of WP Engine’s core values and this stands true through our investment in learning and development. New support hires go through a five-week onboarding process, creating the opportunity for those who have never worked in tech before to become proficient working in this dynamic sector.

We also offer management and leadership training such as Arbinger training to continue to development our team members. This always remains a commitment to us as we continue to develop our training to meet the needs of the ever-changing environment.

WP Engine Chairwoman and CEO Heather Brunner at the annual signing of our company values.

Talk to someone new

At WP Engine our Learning and Development Team encourages our employees to “Meet to Learn” with each other and understand how the impact they are making is interconnected to others.

To take this a step further, and more social, we’ve created an app called “Lunchmeet,” which randomly pairs up employees from different departments and encourages them to meet up for lunch or coffee. It’s a great way to meet colleagues that you would otherwise not interact with as well as learn something new about what’s going on at WP Engine. It’s exciting for us to see employee organized events like weekend LAN parties and community outreach events come from this type of engagement.

Encouraging people to meet new folks is something that we’ve also implemented into our recruiting strategy. We regularly hold “meet and greet’s” at local venues where employees are encouraged to invite their friends and prospects to get a sample of what the company culture is like. This has been instrumental in our hiring success from San Antonio, Texas all the way to Limerick, Ireland.

Things like this wouldn’t be successful without the open and welcoming environment we’ve created here.

Share the love

It’s everyone’s role to make WP Engine a great place to work. Colleagues recognize each other with “kudos” and “high-fives,” which are like “shout outs” for employees who have done something good or helped another out. Once a month we have the opportunity to recognize a few of these to the entire company in our weekly Town Hall meetings. It’s just a small way for our employees to say thank you and connect with each other.

Final thoughts

While this is only an overview of some of the things we do at WP Engine to further foster diversity and inclusion, we take great focus on recruiting and training to invest inside and help bring unique people together to provide new opportunities, create pathways for promotion, and ultimately lead to new innovations in the technology sector.

At WP Engine we believe diverse views make for better decisions, fuel greater innovation, help us better understand our customers and thus drive a high-performance culture. Diversity is a journey — and while we’re not at our destination yet, with intention and commitment, WP Engine will keep raising the bar, energized by the fact that this is a business-critical journey that is also the right thing to do for our customers, our people and our communities.

WP Engine “All Hands” group photo, February 2017
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