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Fostering Diversity & Belonging at Metromile

As part of Diversity Month, we met with several Metromilers to discuss their personal and professional efforts in supporting diversity and their advice for others who are interested in being better allies and supporting DE&I efforts in their own communities. This is the second blog of a three-part series where members of our Recruiting and People teams share what they do to encourage diversity and foster belonging at Metromile. 

Fostering Diversity & Belonging at Metromile

As a recruiter, what are some measures you/your team take to support diversity and underrepresented talent in the hiring process? 

Germaine R., Technical Recruiter: As part of the Recruiting Team, bringing in diverse talent really starts with us. It’s extremely important to Metromile’s leadership and myself that we recruit and hire a diverse set of employees and that candidates feel supported and welcomed throughout the entire hiring process. 

To ensure this, we use a variety of tools in our recruiting process to help us target women and underrepresented groups on LinkedIn or other job platforms to make sure everyone has access to Metromile’s job postings. We also have specific programs and hiring events in place like our Women in Technology Night and partnering with various Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to target specific demographics. 

As a recruiter myself, I always post open Metromile positions on my personal LinkedIn so People of Color might feel a kinship and think “if she’s there, it’s a safe environment.” Also, when I first meet with candidates, I make sure to emphasize that our commitment to diversity isn’t just for show but that it’s something the entire company embraces, acts on, and is constantly keeping top of mind. I’m incredibly happy to work for a company that understands the importance of hiring a diverse set of employees and to have the full support of Metromile’s leadership team.

As part of the People Team, can you share how you/your team advocate for diversity and inclusion and seek to better understand the perspectives of colleagues from different backgrounds?

Asher H., People Operations Coordinator: I’d say a lot of support is subtle and just in everyday interactions with people. As part of the People Team, one thing I recently did was include a name pronunciation field in our onboarding flow. I knew this would be redundant for people with common names, but it has proven to help make newcomers feel welcome. 

On a broader note, I think the most helpful thing is to listen when other people are talking about their experiences. I also believe it’s equally important to do my own research and educate myself if I don’t understand something. Regardless of their identity, a person doesn’t owe their testimony for the sake of diversity. Advocacy and representation are often difficult and painful undertakings for groups that need them the most. In the workplace and beyond, it’s good to listen, but not to press for more information than a person is willing to give.

Diversity and Inclusion at Metromile & Beyond

As part of Diversity Month, we met with several Metromilers to discuss their personal and professional efforts in encouraging diversity and their advice for those looking to be better allies and support DE&I efforts in their own communities. This is the first of a three-part series where Metromilers share various insights on how people can foster and celebrate diversity in the workplace and within their own networks.

Diversity and Inclusion at Metromile & Beyond

How do you support diversity and underrepresented talent at Metromile?

Junna Ro, General Counsel: When trying to fill open positions, I always look to include a diverse pool of candidates and that everyone is given a fair assessment during the hiring process. When interviewing candidates, I push to have a diverse interviewing panel as well so the potential candidates feel welcome and can envision themselves joining Metromile. 

In addition, I think it’s important to foster an environment where all voices can be heard and consciously create a safe space to speak up. Part of this means being willing to listen to the grievances and concerns people may have and being open to feedback. 

How do you support diversity and underrepresented talent outside of the workplace? 

Prachi S, Senior Backend Engineer: At Metromile, I’ve been a Senior Backend Engineer for close to three years now and during my decade-long career in software engineering,  I have really enjoyed helping people get involved in the engineering community. About two years ago, I joined Women Who Code – an organization dedicated to helping women build a career in technology and engineering – and now serve as the Director of the San Francisco chapter.

When I joined Women Who Code, I created a dedicated space for people to learn more about software engineering technical concepts and job careers. I launched a program where I teach backend engineering concepts and coding to people of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, as well as experienced technology professionals. Additionally, I regularly mentor people in the technology industry on how to excel in their careers, build relevant skills, and how to navigate and transition into the technology world – it’s incredibly rewarding.

Behind the Scenes with Jeff Rutledge

At Metromile, Jeff Rutledge is able to combine two of his professional interests: financial technology (aka fintech) and employee engagement. Outside of work, Jeff is active with his family, pets, and pizza making. We talked to Jeff about nurturing employees, encouraging innovation, and the Metromile values that inspire him the most.

Life at Metromile: Working and Parenting

What brought you to Metromile?

I’ve had a long-time, kind of geeky interest in fintech. When I was ready to leave my previous role, I decided to try to get my foot in the fintech door. One day I was on LinkedIn and I saw that a former colleague of mine worked at Metromile. So I reached out and we just started talking. We had an ongoing conversation for a number of months that ended with me coming aboard. 

What does your role entail? 

There are only three of us on the communications team right now, which means we’re often working collaboratively and not sticking to a super tightly defined niche. But I do spend a lot of time on internal communications and how we can continue to engage and inspire Metromilers, and counsel our leaders on how they can do the same. That means asking questions like: How does the way we interact with and speak to employees affect things like retention and productivity? How can we celebrate every employee’s contribution? How can we help ensure everyone’s aligned on the same goals?

What do you like most about working at Metromile? 

One of the best things about working at Metromile is that if there’s something I’m interested in, I can go after it. For me, this recently led to a cross-functional project with our Data Science team in which we were able to quantify how traffic has changed post-COVID using data that nobody else has. Because we’re a growing company, there’s a lot of ground that hasn’t yet been claimed. I’m encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and embrace my creativity in the workplace. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons people love working here—there’s always room to experiment and try new things. 

One of the Metromile values I’m attracted to is “be outcome oriented,” meaning we prioritize the outcome of someone’s efforts rather than the hours logged to get there. Ingraining this idea into our core values has helped us promote work-life balance, and of course, that’s meant a lot in a remote setting, too. It’s not uncommon to look for a meeting time with someone and see calendar holds for a school pick up or bedtime or things like that. I don’t feel pressure to prioritize work over home life or neglect family commitments. I think that’s pretty telling of the overall culture here, in the best way possible. 

I have a daughter, and I love working somewhere where I’m not constantly making the hard choice between being an employee and being a dad. (I think other Metromilers would agree—we have a Slack channel called #metro-parent where we share tips, advice, and funny things our kids say. I think the dog and cat parents feel the same way, too!)

What advice would you give to job seekers interested in Metromile?

If you want your work to have an impact, this is a great place to be. Many of our engineers have told me that they chose Metromile over other options because they wanted a chance to see their work in the market and have a broad scope of impact.

So the work is important and engaging, but at the same time, there’s an understanding that you’re a human being with other interests. The number of nights I spend working late is pretty few because I can measure my impact and value based on the quality of outcomes, not the quantity of inputs. I’ve found that regardless of the team you’re on, you can contribute to company-wide success and still have a personal life. 

What do you do for fun? 

I mentioned my daughter—she’s seven years old, and a ton of fun to hang with. I’m really into movies, particularly science fiction. And I bake bread and make pizza. Pizza is my love language.