June 10, 2020

Steps Stack Overflow is taking to help fight racism

Black lives matter, and Stack Overflow is taking concrete steps to help combat systemic racism.

It has been a very difficult couple of weeks for the Black Community and our Black colleagues. So I want to start this post by reaffirming what we shared publicly this past weekend: We must work together to end systemic racism. We stand in solidarity with our Black employees and with the Black community. Black lives matter. In this post, I am sharing some next steps that Stack Overflow is taking in order to leverage our place as an indispensable tool to the tech community in order to enact positive change.

Earlier this week our Black and Brown Affinity Group (BnB)—a community of employees comprising Stackers from all teams, levels of seniority, and geographies—presented a short and long-term plan to our leadership team. We felt it was important that Black voices be heard loudest in this conversation, and we are grateful that they came together to form such a thoughtful plan.

Following that meeting, we have several short- and long-term initiatives in the works.

Effective immediately, we are donating $50,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in order to support these organizations in the important work they are doing to end systemic racism. Internally, we are continuing to encourage any employee who needs time and space to process current events or participate in protests should they choose to take sick time so that it doesn’t impact their personal paid-time off.

Over the next several weeks, we are working with our BnB leaders on several additional actions that we hope will further empower this movement.

  • We are evaluating how we can donate our product capabilities to nonprofit organizations and activists working on the front lines. This includes our SaaS collaboration and knowledge sharing tool Stack Overflow for Teams, banner ads across our sites, and job slots within Stack Overflow Talent.
  • We are creating an employee volunteer program to allow all Stackers to take dedicated, paid time off to give back.
  • Also internally, we are further investing in diversity and inclusion (D&I) training and resources and creating a program whereby employees will pledge to educate themselves and stand up for D&I.

In the longer term, the leadership team will continue to partner with our BnB leaders, our People Team, and other stakeholders in order to impact systemic change. This includes increasing the representation of Black people and people of color on our content channels, investing in D&I leadership and mentorship programs, and ultimately hiring, retaining, and promoting a more diverse workforce through structured hiring, learning and development, and inclusivity at all levels of the company.

We know that accountability and transparency are key in order to enact change, so we are also committed to sharing updates on a quarterly basis on how we are progressing and where you—the community—can continue to be helpful.

Thank you to our customers, community, and employees for supporting us making this a priority. And an especially big thank you to our Black colleagues for their leadership. Again, we stand in solidarity with the Black community. Black lives matter.

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