Lyft’s Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity

woman-driverIt is becoming increasingly clear that having diverse teams creates a better company. Diverse teams help the bottom line, inspire more innovation, and foster a collaborative culture that attracts top talent to drive results. A McKinsey study found that companies with high racial and ethnic diversity among their employees outperformed their counterpart companies by 35%1; therefore, companies have increasingly focused on diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Inclusion and diversity are not only good for business, but they’re also the right thing to do.

Some industries look more traditionally homogenous than others, making cultivation of inclusion and diversity more challenging. Technology companies, for example, can often focus their recruiting and hiring efforts on candidates that have explicit experience at other Silicon Valley technology companies. This results in a small pool of companies hiring from one another. Similar patterns are seen in the legal industry; firms often have requirements that seek candidates from “Top Ten” law schools or have “Big Law” experience. In order to combat unconscious bias and bring diversity in the workplace, companies must be intentional about disrupting and unlocking systemic challenges.

At Lyft, we are committed to incorporating inclusion and diversity into all parts of our culture and processes. It is at the forefront of how we hire and retain, make decisions, and drive the company forward because we believe that Lyft, as a whole, should reflect the communities the company serves. To transform our commitment into action, we pragmatically review our processes and procedures against the goals and results we desire and make swift changes as needed.

Our recruiting efforts at Lyft have been an area of focus for inclusion and diversity. We believe that we can promote diversity through every step of the recruiting process by building a program that stimulates more inclusion and seeks to eliminate bias. For example:

  • We cast a wide net for candidates. We shortened job descriptions to encourage more applicants; overly-detailed job descriptions may cause diverse candidates to self-select out.
  • We prepare and design interviews for diversity. We strive to create the most diverse interview loops possible by including members from cross-functional teams with varying titles and backgrounds.
  • We conduct unconscious bias training. We conduct virtual training sessions for team members to practice real-life scenarios and review case studies to humanize the bias experience that occurs on a day-to-day basis.
  • We develop set interview questions. We pre-determine values and skills required for the role to prepare interview questions in advance.
  • We provide prompt internal feedback on the candidate. We commit to providing hiring managers individual written feedback on each candidate within 24 hours of the interview.
  • We follow the Rooney Rule: The Rooney Rule is a policy that originated with the National Football League which requires league teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. Companies adopting The Rooney Rule generally require at least one underrepresented minority (as defined by the company) to be considered in the slate of candidates for senior level positions. The rule is only an interviewing quota, not a hiring quota or hiring preference given to minorities. Before we make an offer on a Director-level or higher role, we have already ensured that we considered at least one candidate from our target diversity group. Those target groups for Lyft currently include Women, Black, or Hispanic/Latin talent.

Focusing on inclusion and diversity in our recruitment efforts has been crucial in supporting the exponential workforce growth across Lyft. In just two years, the Lyft legal team itself scaled from approximately 30 people to over 150 team members, representing an extremely wide range of values, beliefs, ethnicities, ages, genders, thinking styles, social and educational backgrounds.

The diverse individuals comprising the legal team are core to the team’s success in taking Lyft closer towards realizing its mission of improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Over time the complexities of the business and outside challenges faced by the Lyft legal team have only continued to grow as the company has expanded its North American offerings. Yet through collaboration and innovation, the Lyft legal team has overcome each of these challenges presented.

Lyft’s success in creating a diverse and inclusive environment was not built overnight and does not stop here. We realize this is a continuous effort, and we are committed to it because we believe that by doing so, our actions will make all the difference now and for years to come

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters

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