Building an inclusive, supportive workplace where everyone can do the best work of their lives sits at the centre of everything we do at Xero. Actually it’s the thing that attracted me to Xero, and was the driving factor in most of our employees applying to join the team. That’s why we are proud to be ranked so highly in two specific Best Workplaces lists – both in areas that are very close to our hearts.
The first is being ranked second in the UK’s Best Workplaces for Women. And the second is being named as the fifth Best Workplace in Tech (in the ‘large’ companies category). This follows being named one of the UK’s Best Workplaces in 2022 earlier this year.
The recognition in these areas is so important to us as a business. As a growing technology company, we’ve been building a world-class tech and product team over the last few years so we can keep innovating and providing the best services for our customers. Last year we redesigned our flexible work policy, to give our growing product and tech teams the opportunity to work where they perform best — at home, in the office or a mix of both.
We’ve worked hard to create a workplace that everyone can be proud of, but there is always more work to do. This recognition pushes us to keep improving, and most importantly, to keep listening to and learning from our employees.
Creating an environment for all voices to be heard
One of the most important aspects of building an inclusive culture is ensuring everyone’s voice can be heard and listened to, and creating a psychologically safe climate for that to happen. We want our teams to have safe spaces to share their experiences and learn from each other.
Having a sense of belonging is a key part of enhancing your career and personal development. We have a number of global Employee Resource Groups at Xero that are continuously growing, and in the next month we will be formally launching UK groups too. These groups help build community, increase allyship, and find ways to support our community partners too.
As individuals, we’re often struggling or dealing with things that feed into our work life too. That’s why we set up a monthly forum for our employees to share stories on certain issues and answer questions from colleagues. These are on anything from menopause, neurodiversity and sobriety, to Black History Month and parenting.
It’s amazing to see people open up in a safe space, and it encourages others to feel more comfortable having these conversations. It’s a beautiful, tangible example of our ‘human first’ culture.
Supporting women in tech
Statistics show that there are still fewer women in tech and STEM roles than men, particularly in leadership roles. It’s an issue many businesses struggle with. So how do we address this? There’s no simple answer.
One of the most important ways we can encourage more women into the tech industry and nurture those who are already in it, is having programmes in place to foster an inclusive and equitable workplace. Women in tech need a clear path in front of them and role models to follow.
That’s why we’ve recently partnered with Tech She Can, a charity committed to supporting women in the tech industry, and Multiverse, a mission-driven organisation focussed on empowering more diverse talent though vital digital and data skills. This Data Academy is fully funded by the UK Apprenticeship Levy, and enables our brilliant female talent to learn skills such as SQL, Python, Power BI and advanced Excel. This is not only a phenomenal investment in our female talent and their futures at Xero, but also in the skills we know that our business needs to embrace digital transformation. We couldn’t be more delighted that our women will be at the forefront of driving this change.
We also put a big focus on supporting employees before, during and after parental leave. All primary carers, regardless of how they become a parent, are entitled to 26 weeks parental leave payment at full pay. We also have up to six weeks of paid partner’s leave and ten paid ‘keeping in touch’ days.
We’ve also partnered with Circle In – a global employee benefits platform – this gives our teams access to on-demand expert advice for caregiving employees and their managers at every life stage. Creating this open environment around starting a family or being a caregiver helps us to attract and retain women into tech and other roles, and support their progression through the business no matter what their circumstances.
If you’re thinking about your next job move or are just starting out in your career, we’d love to talk to you. Visit our careers page for open roles and information on contacting the team.