June 22, 2017
by Reini Chipman

Working Toward an Inclusive and Equitable Simple

We recently posted a new position here at Simple: Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Why are we hiring this role? You’ll hear many companies talk about diversity and inclusion. Here at Simple, they're fundamental to our ability to make banking better for everyone.
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We recently posted a new position here at Simple: Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Why are we hiring this role? You’ll hear many companies talk about diversity and inclusion. Here at Simple, they’re fundamental to our ability to make banking better for everyone–and to helping them feel confident with their money.

We need as many perspectives as possible at the table to challenge our assumptions. We want our practices, our policies, and our culture to encourage full engagement. We’re comfortable being transparent about where we are today and admitting we have much more work to do. And this new position is just one step in the right direction.

Where do we stand right now?

A sense of ownership has been part of our DNA from the very beginning, so it’s no surprise that our employees led the charge early on. They’ve been creating and leading resource groups and offering perspective and ideas that will make Simple better.

At the company-led level, we started by finding and removing barriers that excluded women from roles in management and engineering, and we’re proud to report some progress: Today women make up 50 percent of the employee base and hold half of all senior leadership positions. They also hold 57 percent of all management roles and 40 percent of our technical roles.

We’re running a survey to update our picture of where we stand in many other areas when it comes to inclusivity and we will publish our results once we have those at the end of the summer. However, data from a year ago suggests we have some work to do. For example, less than 20 percent of Simple employees are from Asian, Hispanic, Black and Indian American backgrounds.

What does the future hold?

We envision a Simple where all people can belong, thrive, and succeed. We’re starting to see seeds of change within the company and we want to encourage those efforts to flourish. Some of the areas include:

  • Encourage employee-created resource groups: Our team members are starting their own inclusivity groups: LGBTQ Resource Group, Women’s Resource Group, Trans Resource Group, Asian Employee Resource Group, Employees of Color Resource Group.
  • Rethink benefits: Examining how our benefits and benefit changes affect everyone and continue to add and expand benefits that help us be inclusive. We recently expanded our parental leave to 16 weeks, for all parents. We will keep looking for opportunities like those to be inclusive of all groups and experiences.
  • Support remote team members: We have team members in Oklahoma, Seattle, New York and a dozen other locations. We’re building a culture where team members can participate fully regardless of location, mobility, or other considerations.
  • Rethink private restrooms: We take accessibility and inclusivity into account when we’re designing our office spaces, especially restrooms. We’ve learned from the Simple community that most humans want higher levels of privacy when they use the loo. In order to increase privacy in our restrooms, we reconstructed the stalls and piped in white noise. We also provide hygiene products in all restrooms.
  • Reinforce that any topic is game at Town Halls: These are meetings where the topics are chosen by employees. Any topic is fair game from how the political climate is affecting employees to how our product is can be used by different groups.
  • Design a product that’s inclusive:
    • We don’t ask our customer’s genders. It doesn’t have an impact on their banking, so why would we care. We’ll continue to look for ways to stop asking the questions that most banks ask, that we don’t need to know.
    • Our customers determine their preferred name- that way, when we’re communicating with them, they feel heard, valued, and comfortable.
    • Shared accounts– designed for any type of partnership, whether you’re married or not, whether you’re heteronormative or beyond the binary.

Simple Pride 2017

We have work to do. We’re eager to get there the right way, and know this journey is a series of (many, many) small steps—we’re grateful for the heart our team has put into Simple’s first small steps. This role will be one more step on our journey that is not just about getting different people, perspectives, and backgrounds in the door. It’s about ensuring their seat at the table and making sure all voices are heard.

We would love to hear your ideas as we continue this journey. Got an idea on how can we be more inclusive? Email me. Know somebody who would be a great to join our team and help us continue this journey? Here’s our jobs page.

Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor The Bancorp Bank, our partner bank, endorses any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.