At Claromentis, innovation is integral to keeping its product competitive. But when it came to hiring a diverse team to boost creativity, the firm found it difficult to attract enough women for certain roles. As a result, the 30 person-strong company was left with predominantly male teams and a more restricted perspective.
Claromentis concentrated on its hiring strategy and decided what talent to really look for. Hiring based on CVs brought in a group that was qualified but not diverse, so CEO Nigel Davies made the decision to put equality at the forefront instead.
The company became involved with Codebar, a not-for-profit initiative that teaches underrepresented groups in technology to learn programming skills. Claromentis started hosting these events at its office in Brighton, with staff members volunteering to teach the classes. As Davies pointed out, the lack of diversity in technology is something the whole sector struggles with.
Claromentis also took advice from female members of staff, many of whom offered to get involved in the company’s PR efforts. Its product owner has a fine art background and “didn’t exactly dream of working in tech” when she was younger. “If we can make people like her figureheads for women in tech and communicate what we do better, everyone wins,” Davies said.
Davies believes diversity has been a key building block of the company’s vibrant culture since it refocused the hiring strategy. By putting people from different backgrounds and walks of life in one place, they had ideas “literally bouncing off the walls”.
Last year, teams created code that increased the company’s competitive edge and led to “hundreds of thousands of pounds of sales”, contributing to an annual turnover of over £2m.
“If you want to increase diversity at your company, you have to be really obvious about your commitment to it,” Davies said. “It’s not good enough just to mention it in your employment contract or bury it somewhere on your website. It has to be a huge part of your culture and values to really make an impact. Put it in your job ad and in your job description. Bring it up in the interview, during the onboarding process, in training and in your internal communications. Be proud of it.”