How to Hire and Retain Diverse Top Talent
As the EVP Product Development & Engineering at nCino, the worldwide leader in cloud banking, I’m passionate about diversity, equality, and ensuring that women are represented on every rung of the corporate ladder. Many others in the tech industry claim to feel the same, yet women hold only 25% of computing jobs and only 11% of executive positions at Silicon Valley companies. Despite the desire for a diverse workplace, execution is lacking.
nCino, I’m proud to say, is different. Over 50% of my direct reports in product development and engineering are female. That includes nCino’s VP of Engineering, who won Women Who Code’s VP of Engineering Award.
When I share these numbers at conferences and on panels, I’m often asked the same question: “How?” Here are my answers.
Support innovation with a culture that empowers employees
If you really want to be the #1 innovator in your industry, your people can’t be afraid to fail. nCino’s Bank Operating System is a successful, easy-to-integrate product that digitizes and streamlines processes across the bank, improves engagement, and creates a more delightful experience for both employees and customers—no small feat for an industry that’s traditionally conservative and can be resistant to change. Designing and building such a product required the vision, ideas, and input of a diverse team that reflects our end users. Our strategy is simple — hire awesome people and give them the freedom to think and try new things. Instilling a sense of safety and purpose in your employees is key, especially when diverse teams are concerned.
Never stop recruiting the next generation of leaders
While our recruiting team is on the frontline of finding the best people, they don’t recruit alone. We work hard to find people who fit our culture, and who understand and are excited about our growth trajectory—which means we turn away a lot of highly qualified candidates and keep digging until we find those who check all our boxes. While this takes longer and requires commitment from the whole team, it’s part of the reason we retain 95% of our hires, and why we beat the industry average for women in leadership positions.
Understand the true value of diverse teams.
A McKinsey & Company study found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity at the executive level are 33% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies at the bottom quartile. This extends to leadership positions — the same study found a correlation between a more diverse leadership team and financial outperformance. Advocating and hiring a strong, diverse team is a smart investment in the business. When you understand the impact a non-homogenous team has on your end product, your company will be motivated to go the extra mile and find qualified people from all walks of life to fill your ranks.
In our six-year history, nCino has made great strides toward gender representation and equality in our workforce, but we always strive to do better. We understand how valuable diversity is to every member of our team, and appreciate the opportunity to learn from one another and grow together as we create an amazing product. This is my passion, and it’s invigorating to be a part of a company that shares it.