Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week: Here’s What’s New

by Ashik Ahmed, 6 minutes read
HOME blog diversity equality and inclusion week

This isn’t like other feature announcements. Today marks a major step for our company, and we couldn’t be more proud to share it with you all.

We’ve witnessed and experienced the brutal violence and racial attacks against Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities. Now, against the backdrop of a devastating pandemic, racial and social disparities have intensified.

The alarm for social responsibility has been sounded. And we heard the call.

Over a month ago, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others that came before them, I published a letter that addressed the unprecedented times we had found ourselves in, and the acknowledgement that to be silent is to be complicit.

But acknowledgement isn’t enough. Words must be followed by action. That is why today, I am proud to announce that we have taken action with a monumental first step.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at the company. The focus of this group is threefold:

  • Improve the 200,000+ workplaces that use Deputy to be more equitable and inclusive (through our product)

  • Make Deputy a diverse, equitable, inclusive place to work that offers opportunities to people from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in the technology industry

  • Amplify the voices of BIPOC communities and help charities and organizations in need

Last week, our entire organisation dedicated its time and energy towards transforming areas in our product where we can better empower diversity, equality, and inclusivity in the workforce.

This is only the beginning. We will look to be a catalyst for change and hold ourselves accountable for creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment at Deputy and in the world.

With that, here is what you can expect to see in the coming weeks.

  • Timesheet reviews for employees to help keep building transparency between managers and employees

  • Preferred name in employee profiles to allow staff to be represented by the name they feel most comfortable with

  • Removing the gender field to ensure staff don’t feel biased or pressured for personal, unnecessary information

  • Archiving employees (to replace “discard”) because people aren’t objects, and we know that words matter.

Timesheet review for employees

Digital time and attendance capture is core to Deputy, and drives pay for millions of hourly workers.

Though both managers and employees can access these digital timesheets, there is a distinct difference in the information visible for each.

Submitted timesheets can change for many business reasons, like managers needing to correct an employee error (say an employee forgets to clock on or off), or choosing to enable timesheet rounding for a variety of scenarios.

Where managers can easily see a historical change log with commentary around why changes were made, employees are often in the dark on why changes occurred after their original submission.

Not having an audit trail following why a change has been made to an employee’s timesheet can quickly erode trust between employees and managers, leading to costly payroll disputes, not to mention expose possible litigation or investigation by government bodies.

What have we done to fix this?

Firstly, we’ve introduced a timesheet history review log for employees, detailing any changes that have been made to their start or end times, and whether it was a manager change or a system change.

The review log also complements any comments that have been left by the manager approving the timesheet, which allows the manager to explain to an employee why their timesheet has been adjusted at the time of approval.

Additionally, we’ve also included a new “review timesheet” notification setting that managers can enable to remind employees to check their timesheets prior to payroll.

Encouraging employees to review and understand changes, rather than finding out only when they check their bank balance, is an important step towards improving transparency in the workplace, and avoiding confusion or doubt.

Adding preferred names

Our name is one of our most important connections to our identity.

For many people, their legal name and the name they would like to be called by others are not the same.

In Deputy, we have previously only ever captured an employee's legal name, which is then used universally across the platform.

While employers do often need to have an employee’s legal name for payroll purposes, this has regrettably also meant that many employees are required to use their legal name, even if it is not the name they identify with.

At best, this has led to confusion between teammates. At worst, this has led to employees feeling uncomfortable being themselves at work.

What have we done to fix this?

We’ve made some key updates to employee profiles, that will allow employees to add their preferred name, whether this is their first name, a nickname, or however they feel most comfortable identifying.

This preferred name will then be reflected internally as a display name across the Deputy platform, while also retaining the employee’s legal name for payroll and reporting purposes on the manager’s end.

Taking out the gender field

When an employee onboards to Deputy, there are certain details we capture that can improve the overall scheduling and employee management experience.

This includes an employee’s name, their skill level and training qualifications, availability, and maybe even their birthday.

It doesn’t include gender.

Although gender has always been an optional field, having this included as part of the information we request from employees when signing up led to a lot of employees rightly questioning why we needed this detail about them at all.

In addition to this, when employees did elect to add their gender, we only had limited binary options that are not reflective of what we know to be true gender representation.

What have we done to fix this?

We haven’t removed the ability to capture employee gender all together, as we recognise that this may be part of company policy, or in some countries, part of mandatory government payroll reporting.

We have however now made this an optional field that businesses will need to turn on if they wish for it to display to their employees.

Further, we’ve also introduced the option for managers to delete all gender data currently in their account, which can help to reduce the risk of discrimination or breaching the privacy of employees.

To ensure inclusivity of all genders should this be a mandatory field, we’ve also included additional options for employees to select “non-binary” and “prefer not to say” in addition to male and female.

Archiving employees

Words matter!

Within Deputy, removing an employee from an account has been done so via selecting the option to “discard” them — which we agree is not a nice way to refer to people. Or as one of our customers put it, “...one discards of a tissue, not a person.”

What have we done to fix this?

We’ve changed out the term “discard” for “archive” when referring to removal of an employee.

This not only more accurately reflects what is happening to the employee’s profile and access (in that it is hidden and restorable, rather than thrown away), but also creates a better experience for managers who need to remove employees from their accounts, without the negative connotations.

This is just the first few steps we're taking in our journey to power our customers to be better businesses, and for Deputy to be a better company. Together, we can do better.

We won’t stop working towards creating a diverse, equitable, inclusive world of work, for everyone, everywhere.

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