In April 2017, we launched our diversity initiative, the Omnibus Project, and reported our first set of actions for the period January to March 2017. Each quarter, we identify up to 5 actions that we can take to help foster diversity, and report publicly on our progress. Today, we are proud to share the results for Q2 2017, for the period ending June 30th. Here are the 5 actions:
1. Help team members take languages classes
Our team members suggested it would be interesting and beneficial to provide the team with the opportunity to learn a language. Since a very large part of our growth is happening in Latin America, most of the team expressed an interest in brushing up/learning Spanish. We offered lessons to those interested, and launched a online chat room at Busbud called ‘Español’ allowing people to communicate with each other only in Spanish. At the same time, this gave those who already knew the language more the opportunity to help others learn by correcting their grammar, providing exercises and sharing news articles.
2. Add an “immigration policy” section to our job postings
We believe that working with people from different countries and origines gives us a deeper understanding of other cultures, and in turn allows us to build a better product for our international base of users. That’s why we’ve decided to include on our job postings which visas and work permits we can offer to candidates, in order to encourage talented people from all over the world to apply. See an example of a job post here.
3. Host a set of small group lunches with team members you know less well
Working in small groups, it can be common to work more closely with some team members than others. To break this habit, we decided to mix things up and organize a diversity lunch on Wednesday instead of our famous weekly team lunch. Paired by group of three, team members who don’t usually work together chose a restaurant they all liked and were invited to spend time together. This activity has really been appreciate by our team: “I loved the more private interactions: small groups. You really get to know people more”, “Awesome way to talk to people you wouldn’t have to normally.”
4. Offer an opt-in leadership training course to any interested team member
At the request of our team, we’ve decided to offer a shared leadership training session. Its goal is to help everyone develop the skills needed to progress in their career and access leadership roles. Some of the skills on the menu: taking responsibility for your actions, active listening, establishing credibility and trust in a team setting, improving verbal communication skills, and building shared leadership. This also helps to make sure everyone knows how to be supportive of each other.
5. Include a pot-luck dinner in the Busbud retreat featuring diversity
In May, the whole Busbud crew assembled in the Laurentians (a beautiful region just north of Montreal in Quebec) for a two-day team retreat. During this time, our team organized a pot luck-dinner, where four teams represented different countries (Mexico, Spain, Italy and the United States) and cooked meals inspired by these countries. The best team would be determined by popular vote. Results were amazing: delicious food, great team spirit and tons of fun! Diversity of meals and skills brought our people closer together. Here are a few pics!