At Pandora, we aim to inspire the world through listening, and Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging are at the core of that North Star. They reflect the values by which we, as a Company, operate every day. We want our employees to reflect the diversity of our listeners, creators, communities, brands and advertisers.
Every year since 2014, we have released our workforce demographics data publicly because we believe that transparency is important to successful progress. In 2016, we announced ambitious diversity goals focused on three pillars: (1) increasing the percentage of our U.S. employees of color from 35% to 45% by the year 2020, starting with our major offices; (2) achieving gender, racial and ethnic promotion parity by 2020; and (3) ensuring that we reflect diversity in our brand, music partnerships, and live events.
As a company, and under the leadership of our CEO Roger Lynch, we have spent the last year doing exciting work to position Pandora for the future, including the acquisition of Adswizz and expanding our presence in Atlanta. While we still have more to do to fulfill our diversity goals, we are making solid progress towards our overall target numbers. Here are some of the important steps we took over the last year:
- 44% of all new hires in 2018 were people of color and 49% identified as female.
- In tech roles, we saw an increase in the percentage of our employees of color from 43% to 46%.
- Similarly, the percentage of women in tech roles increased from 23% to 25% and women leaders in technical roles increased from 15% to 19%.
- The percentage of people of color and women in leadership roles (Directors and above) across the organization is also trending in a positive direction. Overall, we increased the percentage of employees of color in leadership roles from 20% to 22%; and the percentage of women in leadership roles from 38% to 39%.
- In terms of women of color (a category we added to our publicly reported diversity stats last year), we also made some progress in leadership positions (18% to 19%) and in technical roles (56% to 58%).
- We announced a commitment to expand our presence in Atlanta, increasing our headcount there by 500% and closing out the year with an employee base comprised of 50% people of color; and 42% female.
- We saw progress in the demographics of our “Road Crew” interns – who are an important pipeline for critical jobs. 68% of Pandora’s 2018 intern class were people of color (compared to 65% in 2017); and 49% were female (compared to 40% in 2017).
While we have definitely made progress, we still have work to do, and 2020 is approaching fast. We must continue and accelerate our efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. These are our key areas of focus for 2019:
- First, we continue to develop initiatives and cultivate partnerships to help us increase the percentage of people of color and women across the organization, especially in tech roles and in leadership positions. For example, we are partnering with Historically Black Colleges & Universities to support our recent commitment to the HBCU Partnership Challenge. Our leaders and recruiting team work hard to source, recruit, and hire a diverse pool of talent.
- Second, we remain focused on retaining people of color and women. Retaining diverse talent is just as crucial as attracting it. We are actively partnering with senior leaders on awareness and elimination of unconscious bias, as well as helping them be better allies and mentors for people from underrepresented communities including employees who identify as LGBTQ+, veterans, and employees with disabilities. By developing new programs with our existing Pandora Communities (Pandora Women, Mixtape, and Pride), as well as the Ally Task Force, we will continue to reinforce a sense of belonging and opportunity for every Pandora employee. We want an environment that is welcoming, respectful, and inclusive for all our employees.
- Third, we are working with senior and executive leadership to develop diverse leaders across the organization, by integrating diversity as one of the criteria in succession planning and talent reviews. We know that creating an organization where people in underrepresented communities can develop and advance their careers is critical.
- Finally, we continue to look at our promotions across the organization, as well as our pay practices, to ensure parity. While today we have no systemic or significant disparities, we are doubling down on our efforts to develop more leaders who are women and people of color to ensure they are well represented at all levels, especially leadership, across our organization.
I am excited about the road ahead. I am grateful this is a priority for our team, our leadership, and the broader Pandora community who truly believe diversity, inclusion, and belonging are the only path to a thriving creative community.
— Adelmise Rosemé Warner, Head of Diversity and Inclusion