In April 2017, we launched our diversity initiative, the Omnibus Project, to promote diversity at Busbud and beyond. Every quarter, our team carries out up to 5 actions to help foster diversity, and reports publicly on our progress.
We are thrilled to share the results for Q1 2019, ending March 31st. Here are our actions:
1) Participate in a Diversity Conference with Montreal Mayoress Valérie Plante
Our CEO LP was invited on February 19th to participate in a conference organized by Montreal mayoress Valérie Plante, in collaboration with the Bureau d’intégration des nouveaux arrivants à Montréal (BINAM), with leaders from the Montreal business community to discuss the successful integration of immigrants in the workplace. The goal was to discuss prejudice and barriers that can exist for these workers and help build a mobilization strategy to make Montreal a more welcoming and inclusive city.
2) Coffee Bot
With the company growing, it’s harder and harder for team members to meet, socialize and get to know each other on a regular basis, especially across teams that don’t usually work together.
As a way to encourage people from different teams to get to know each other, we built a Slack bot that, 3 times a week, picks a pair of employees based on different criteria and offers them to go out take a coffee together in the neighbourhood on the company. Bonus: it also attempts to guess which employees wouldn’t collaborate regularly with each other.
At this pace, that makes 153 pairs per year, meaning each employee would be picked about 6 times per year to spend time over coffee with a colleague.
To break the ice, we invite team members to check out the Slack profiles in our company directory, which have a bunch of information (favorite restaurant near the office, past and dream vacation, last concert, fun facts, etc.) to get the conversation started.
3) #Diversity Slack Channel
Over the next three months, one of our team members volunteered to share a variety of content related to diversity in our #diversity Slack channel in order to raise issues and create meaningful conversations related to building an inclusive workplace, and what inclusivity looks like outside of Busbud and around Montréal.
He will push content on Slack relating to various topics such as: disabilities and the workplace, LGBTQ+ issues, and gender inequality. The idea is that the content shared will serve as a starting point to raise awareness about these issues and spark conversation.
4) Traveller Stories
Whether someone is commuting for work or school, discovering the world on vacation, or hopping on a bus to go visit friends and family, travelling is a great way to learn new things. For the first quarter of 2019, our team decided to reach out to two travel experts and collect their testimonials on what they had learned about the concept of diversity through their various travels across the globe. The question was simple: How has travelling changed your perspective on diversity?
From street art made out of braille for the visually impaired to learning to appreciate the little things by observing different cultures, our travel experts have learned a lot about the concept of diversity. Read the full article featuring Annie from Annie Anywhere and Melissa from A Broken Backpack.
5) Accessibility (A11Y) in our Search Experience
Here at Busbud, we realized that there was an opportunity to make our website, notably our search experience, more accessible for our millions of users worldwide. So, we decided to improve it. First, we’ve updated out stylesheets so every interactive element on our site is outlined when focused. Then, we make sure our search form was functional using only keyboard input. Also, being able to fill inputs without having to click on them saves a ton of time.
A11Y, which is an acronym for accessibility, is often viewed as making your website accessible for people who live with some form of vision, motor, auditory or cognitive impairment. But that’s an incomplete statement. Disabilities can be conditional, a broken arm, a loud bus station, a sun reflect on your screen, a dysfunctional mouse – theses are examples where accessibility can provide users with a great experience. In short, everyone benefits from it.
One of our developers, Alex, has never touched a mouse since he’s been at Busbud. He only uses his Ultimate Hacking Keyboard (yeah that’s the real name!). It turns out that having an accessible website naviguable with tabbing is also a big plus for him! Better accessibility is helpful for everyone!
6) Busbud Drinks to Celebrate Nationalities!
With over 17 nationalities represented at Busbud, we love to celebrate the cultural diversity of our team. And what better way to celebrate then an international party?! This quarter, we asked our team members if they would like to host an evening to share their native country’s culture with the rest of the Busbud team. It was Camila, Daniel, Renata and Francisca who kicked it off with a very festive Brazil Night!
We started the evening off with a short presentation and quiz to get to know Brazil a bit better. Questions ranged from population size to national dishes and official languages spoken. We received a bonus Portuguese language lesson as well! The presentation was followed by some delicious brazilian food from Bouchées Brésil, caipirinhas and guaraná (the national drinks) and a curated mix of Brazilian music (including funk, samba, bossa nova, and much more!). It was a great evening celebrating one of the many nationalities of Busbud!