MongoDB is committed to supporting diversity in tech. We’ve previously written about diversity initiatives at MongoDB World, our annual user conference. In this post, I’ll discuss one of our internal efforts. According to diversity reports from 11 of the world’s largest tech organizations, the industry is approximately 30% female. The gap is an obvious disadvantage, so more and more companies are trying to solve this problem.
Stacy Ferranti is a Director of Talent Acquisition at MongoDB. When she joined back in 2011, she was one of 30 total employees – seven of whom were women – and the sole member of the Recruiting Team. Today, she leads our Technical and Campus Recruiting teams, comprising 15 people globally and handling recruiting for what’s now 700+ person org. During her tenure at MongoDB, she created our highly sought-after internship program and built the Campus Recruiting Team.
She also co-founded the MongoDB Women’s Group, which today has over 140 members globally across all MongoDB office locations. The group was originally founded to address a few gaps created by MongoDB’s rapid growth.
“I was meeting all these fantastic women in the company, but there was no formal need for us to get to know each other or work cross functionally. We know tech has a diversity problem and I wanted to create a space for women who might otherwise not meet, to be able to interact and support one another.”
The Women’s Group meets monthly to discuss any and all things relevant to women in tech and professional working women in an open and honest forum. Mentorship, guidance, and advice are offered through a mentor/mentee program (which includes members of our exec staff). Trending topics, recent news articles, blog posts, and current events are often discussed; it’s common for members to lead conversations on topics such as Assertiveness in the Workplace and Intrapreneurship, and for female board members and executive staff to host roundtables and AMAs (ask me anything). Along with more formal discussions we have a Slack channel and email group where anyone is encouraged to ask questions, start a discussion, or just post about an interesting article or book they’ve just read. It’s grown organically to the point where multiple people post several times a day from all over the globe. The group also organizes social events to raise awareness, gain new members, and have fun.
Their mission is simple: The MongoDB Women’s Group is a network of MongoDB employees (open to all genders) interested in networking, learning and professional development opportunities as well as addressing challenges faced by women.
From Stacy’s perspective, “Since its inception, the Group has really helped to benefit our employee base as a whole. I had a woman tell me a few weeks ago that she was going through some personal hardships and the Women’s Group and her Women’s Group Mentor kept her strong and sane. That meant everything to me. On a higher level it has allowed people to form bonds with women not on their team or even in their office. Above all it’s a safe space to be yourself. We held an ‘emergency meeting’ after the US Presidential Election with no agenda other than to have your voice heard. It was emotional and raw and was amazing to have helped form a group that allowed for that kind of space.”
MongoDB views diversity first and foremost as a mentality for success. The initiatives in place which support it not only benefit business outcomes by driving innovation and creativity, but they also keep our employees from going elsewhere. With different backgrounds come varying perspectives, and with varying perspectives comes the opportunity to push forward and evolve.