How Diversity Drives Better Products at Spruce

Here at Spruce, diversity and inclusion not only drive our company culture, but they truly inform every decision we make—including our product roadmap. So, we’re thrilled to be included in two recent publications highlighting the importance of diversity in tech.

Built in NYC featured us this month with four other tech companies highlighting how diversity drives better products. Our Head of Product, Nicole Reyes discusses our team’s diverse background, and how it’s helped drive value for both the company and our customers. Check out the interview below.

Tell us about a project where having a diverse team with different perspectives led to a better business outcome.

Our team spans multiple locations, represents a multitude of backgrounds and is about 60 percent women! Recently, we’ve been working on an operational efficiency project that is an overhaul of a core application. The outcome will make a massive improvement on how we provide services to our clients, making us more efficient and enabling us to better empower our users. The design of the solution included feedback sessions with departments across the entire company. These sessions captured over 100 tasks, 20 tools and dozens of insights informed by the experiences of our team. This led to an implementable solution that was in-line with our product roadmap.
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How does your company ensure that employees from a diverse range of backgrounds are included in making key business decisions?

Spruce prioritizes diversity in all that it does. It is one of our core hiring principles and is discussed in every kickoff we have for a new role. Spruce also has 10 defined company values, including diversity, which are woven into every interview process. This means we’ve got diverse perspectives on every team, at all levels of seniority. Additionally, leadership reviews long-term company goals and OKRs with the team on a regular basis. Our company-wide meetings allow individuals to showcase their work and provide perspectives on the key business priorities and decisions. This transparency ensures that progress and changes are well-socialized and creates a space for feedback on all initiatives from high-level strategic decisions to delivery of a new feature.

Get the full article here.

Showcasing the Stories Behind the Statistics

One of our newest members of the team, Product Designer Takeem Owens, was also just highlighted by Talent in their publication Human, which takes a different look at diversity in tech by showcasing the stories behind the statistics, and features firsthand accounts of inspiring people around the world. Get his insights below.

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I’ve been designing since 2008, at first picking up freelance projects for mom and pop shops in my area. My work expanded online quickly where I had clients all over the US. I then attracted contracts from mid-sized to large-sized companies such as American Airlines, Incedo, etc. I may or may not have faced discrimination but challenges are inevitable. I welcome all challenges in all forms, I’ve always been this way. I try to focus on things that are in my control and those things that aren’t I give less emotion to. I’d encourage anyone in this career field to practice embracing challenges and taking them head on.

The biggest takeaway will always be “experience” which converts itself into confidence that you can carry onto your next role. I’m always focused on the value I bring and selling myself rather than sitting back and being evaluated by people who don’t know me. It’s bad enough that most companies use “design challenges” and “coding challenges” to evaluate Talent.

It’s a bad way to start off a working relationship in my opinion. I just think it’s not a fair shot for upcoming talent that’s not familiar with how this process works. They may have the skill and work into their confidence within a few weeks of on-boarding and learning about the company. I’ve literally not shown up to interviews early in my career due to fear of rejection. Now I don’t mind because I understand that this is where the industry is leaning towards.

Full publication here.

We couldn't be prouder of our team and look forward to showcasing their incredible work and insights in the future.


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