Will remote work increase diversity? This is one of the most thought about or maybe talked about topics in recent times. Luis shares more details on the subject.
Think Remote has people from Portugal, from Eastern Europe, from South America, from Asia. So right there, this in addition to being a 80% female outfit, Think Remote has good overall cultural diversity. When you’re remote, your hiring pool becomes the whole world. You have a lot of differently cultural people that can really come to work for you. This also means inclusion of differently abled people. Watch this video to know more on how remote work helps with expanding diversity at work.
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Will remote work increase diversity? Let’s find out over some coffee. Welcome to Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis. It’s Friday, so it’s a casual day. I’m dressed more casually. And I got a phone call in the middle of the first recording. So this is take two, as you can see from the state of my ice coffee. I’m having some ice coffee today. It’s lovely weather in Portugal. So I need a cold beverage right in the morning. Okay. Mmm. Lovely, lovely.
So let’s talk about diversity, of course. So I’ve been talking lately on these past few [inaudible 00:00:45] about GitLab’s 2021 Remote Work Report. And the diversity part is interesting, and yet I believe could use some improvement, because I still see a big disconnect between… Look, when you talk about diversity in the remote world, it’s a completely broader subject than when you’re talking about the usual corporate world.
Now the GitLab study does fine. It talks about how a big chunk of people over 50%, nearly 60% on average, of people feel that their company is doing better to promote inclusion in their companies since going remote, and also hiring more diversely.
And that’s great, but I want to stretch the definition of diversity, because now we can with remote work, right? Usually this is heavily emphasizing gender diversity and ethnic diversity. And actually it was another kind of diversity that got me out of my dental surgeon career and into evangelizing for remote work. So let’s talk about that.
I knew some people that suffered from disabilities. Back then I had them, they were in my family. They were relatively young, they were disabled due to disease and accident, and they were really good at their jobs, but people wouldn’t give them a chance, right? Because their disabilities came just with complications that would make their productivity, if they had to go to the office… First of all, the office needed to be adapted to their disabilities, which sadly not all offices are yet. And there’s also the fact that people just discriminated against them, even though their disabilities did not affect their capacity to do great work at all.
And you might say, “Well Luis, that is illegal.” Yes, it is illegal. But it’s very easy to go around the law in these cases, right? If you don’t want to hire someone, you can just say, “Oh, well, we find someone that’s better qualified.” As far as I know, that works everywhere in the world, no matter how good or strict the laws are.
And you can say, “Well, there are quotas for that.” And not really. I mean, because sure you can fill your quotas, but as long as your quota is filled, let’s say that you have a quota for three disabled people. Well, what about the fourth disabled person that maybe is better for the role than many other people that you have, right.? Well you filled your quota, so maybe now we don’t want to hire them. It sucks, but remote work removes that, right?
That’s the biggest reason why I joined a company that allows me to evangelize for remote work, because I saw that the talented people that had disabilities, that could use remote work to blossom their careers to their full potential. So that’s something, right?
Because when your mobility is impaired and you have to go to the office to do work that you could just as well do from home, that’s actually the worst kind of discrimination, right? There’s absolutely no basis for it. And yet you’re making someone do something that it’s not comfortable for them, and that’s not ideal for them just because a work happens in the office.
So in that circumstance, that’s a huge win for diversity in the workplace that comes completely due to remote work. But it’s also worth pointing out about cultural diversity.
So back when I worked in an office, I can say that the office was pretty diverse. It wasn’t the health business, so most of the people working there were women. So the gender diversity was pretty good. And we also add people of several ethnicities. So that was pretty good. There was a nice variety in skin tones there. Could say there’s diversity in that business. And it was. It was a very diverse business as far as it was possible to be in a co-located business.
But was it culturally diverse? I don’t think so. There wasn’t a lot of cultural diversity there. And right now, where I work, I mean, let’s look at Think Remote. Think Remote has people from Portugal, from Eastern Europe, from South America, from Asia. So right there, this in addition to being a 80% female outfit, Think Remote has much greater cultural diversity than my previously diverse physical office had, just because when you’re remote, your hiring pool becomes the whole world. So that means you have a lot of differently cultural people that can really come to work for you.
So that, I believe, is really powerful, much more powerful than any other kind of diversity, because that’s where the real intellectual diversity comes in. People from different cultures come to you, come to the job, with massively different perspectives, ideas, ways of thinking, et cetera. And that’s incredibly healthy.
So here’s to remote work and cultural diversity. Nothing has been more beneficial to cultural diversity than remote work. So make the best out of it. Now that it’s easier than ever to go remote and more people are accepting it than ever, take the chance to make your company more culturally diverse hire worldwide, and you’ll see that that will be…
Even though, okay, we’ve talked about cultural challenges before. I recommended the book about it, [Theresa Holiman’s 00:07:25] book. And that’s definitely something to keep into account, that nothing is free. There are no free lunches. The universe does not hand out free lunches. So cultural diversity will give you benefits, but it comes with its challenges. But the benefits massively, massively surpass the challenges, and the challenges are surmountable with the right tools, which we have already discussed.
So that said, have a beautiful weekend, and we’ll see you here next Monday with Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis for Think Remote. If you enjoyed this conversation, please like, subscribe and share. See you next week.