Pulse Q&A • November 13, 2019

Diversity Medley

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Video Transcript

Speakers: Mike Kail, CTO, Everest.org. Mark Settle, 7X CIO, Formerly with Okta. Manish Sinha, Corporate Chief Technology Officer, Loreal . Karl Mosgofian, CIO, Gainsight.

What does creating diversity mean to you?

Mike Kail: The simple answer would be just creating a diverse team is really made up of a great mix of both gender and race / culture. But I think there is a third variable to that which is diverse thinking or approaches and being able to foster that creativity in a safe, inclusive environment.

Manish Sinha: Diversity is an interesting question. We thought about diversity, and we talked about diversity for many decades. In fact, every company has a measure of diversity. In my mind, diversity is not about gender diversity or about racial diversity. Diversity, in my mind, is about mindset and thought process diversity. So the big question is: does the team have differing opinions which represent a good subset of the opinions which our consumer will have when they're using the applications or solutions, which I.T. is building. If

What structural changes have you put into place to create a more diverse team?

Mark Settle: So I don't know if I describe this as a structural change. But I think you know some of the biggest lost opportunities occur in the screening process. The initial screening process. There's way too much reliance on common experiences and interests. And so you look at a resume or some kind of an application that a candidate has submitted. And they've gone to certain schools. They have certain interests, you know. They've worked at certain companies that mirror some of the experiences and academic training and skills that people on staff already have. Everybody's looking to duplicate their own capabilities. And so I think you have to really take a very different approach to the way you screen that initial crop of prospective candidates before you get locked in on people who basically fit the existing template that's already there.

Julie Cullivan: So we've been implementing a lot of change here at Forescout around how do we create this more diverse talent pool in these more diverse teams. And it's been a combination of things. So structurally, some of the things we've been doing is very explicit criteria for top requirements for roles. We've all heard these stories about the traditional job description that has 500 bullets on it, and people are trying to figure out if they hit every one of those requirements. When reality is, there's five things that are super important that the person have. So we've been spending a lot of time not only on very clear criteria for who is a viable candidate for the role, as well as a lot of attention on thinking differently about how we build out our job descriptions. So if you think about as I said, these very robust job descriptions really trying to think about who's reading them, and in the end, what are those absolutely critical capabilities or experiences that you're looking for and it should be a very short list and more importantly, encourage people to apply, even if they don't meet all of them, because you may find the perfect candidate that had something a little different and you don't want to miss out on those opportunities.

Karl Mosgofian: I think the biggest thing that has helped me is to change my expectations about the amount of experience that I need from people that I'm hiring. I find that when I'm willing to take someone with less experience and also not necessarily from a big name college, I have had great experience with hiring some terrific young people who have done a fantastic job and have just naturally been more diverse because I think over time we're doing better and better. And so when you loosen the mental restrictions that you put that say, this person has to have 10 years experience, this person has to be from a big famous school and you take a chance on a really energetic, great young person, maybe from a community college or state college. In my experience, more often than not, it works out really well, and there's increased diversity that just comes along for the ride with that.

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