Diversity and Why It’s Important When Deciding Where to Work

  • Isabel Lee
  • Sep 13, 2016
Engineering

Less than a year ago, I was a senior in college trying to find a job as a software engineer. I was lucky enough to have a few options to choose from, but in the end, AlphaSights won me over. How? With a truly diverse team.

When it comes to analyzing a team’s diversity, I have three criteria, cultural diversity, gender diversity, and knowledge diversity.

Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity is important because, as a candidate, we worry about whether we will fit in, and with a culturally diverse team we worry less about standing out. Notice I didn’t mention anything about race. A team that is racially diverse and a team that is culturally diverse are two different things in my mind. A culturally diverse team is one with more than just different races and ethnicities. It involves having people that come from different places. It’s great to work with a team of all Americans that are all different ethnicities. But it’s even better to work on a team with people from around the world. You gain a different perspective on many things.

Gender Diversity

It’s unappealing to women and men to have to work on teams where they will feel overpowered by the other sex. Gender diversity helps level the playing field. I don’t have to worry about whether things happen because I’m a woman and it shows that a company cares about different points of view and opinions. It’s obvious that men and women don’t think alike and that’s good. A team with a good mix of men and women shows that the company knows its consumer base and is dedicated to making a good product.

Knowledge Diversity

I’m sure knowledge isn’t the first thing people think of when they think about diversity. It’s like background noise; you don’t notice it until someone points it out. To me, a team with knowledge diversity is one that has a good mix of people at all levels of their careers. It’s great to learn from people that have been in the industry for a long time and know the ins and outs. But it’s also great to work with people that are on the same level as you and have a new perspective on the industry.

How AlphaSights Fit The Bill

Team Bios

If you read through the team bios on the AlphaSights engineering website, you’ll find that AlphaSights is lucky enough to have people from all over the world, as well as at least one person from every continent (not including Antarctica). AlphaSights also has a good handful of women on the engineering team. A handful is rare and very attractive to prospective women engineers like me.

Lastly, after a bit of LinkedIn stalking and talking to my future team members, I got a good idea of the type of people I was working with and what kind of environment I was going to be working and learning in.

I found AlphaSights to be very welcoming and dedicated to creating the best environment for people to grow in.

Don’t get me wrong, the other places I had offers from are great companies. They have bright futures and are not lacking in diversity by much. The only problem was that they either excelled in one of my three criteria and lacked in the other two, or they had very little of each criteria. AlphaSights managed to check every box.

What Diversity Tells You About The Company

  • They care about ALL their consumers/users
  • They are more likely to succeed and grow in the future because diversity fosters a more creative and innovative work environment
  • They value a well-rounded worker over a highly-skilled worker
  • They invest in their people

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There are obviously other factors that go into deciding where to work. But if you’re ever stuck like I was, because all your choices are offering you a great package, take time to consider how diversity impacts your drive and your growth as an employee and as a person. Then choose the company that fits the bill.


Isabel Lee joined AlphaSights in July 2016 and works as a Software Engineer.