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Okta State of Inclusion Report

Welcome to Okta’s State of Inclusion report, an overview of our current workforce and the collective diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIB) efforts at Okta to create and build a sense of opportunity for all our employees.

Table of Contents
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Foreword

At Okta, we are building a world where Identity belongs to you. This guides everything we do, including how we design our products, hire our employees, interact with our customers, and champion our communities. Diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIB) are fundamental values that drive better business outcomes, growth, and innovation. We know that having a diverse workforce with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives and creating a culture of belonging are critical to successfully building an iconic security company.

 

As we pursue progress, transparency and accountability are our guiding principles. The data and narrative in our fourth State of Inclusion report reveal our current landscape, identifying both areas of progress and opportunities. We recognize that transparency is the cornerstone of accountability, and through this report, we aim to hold ourselves accountable to our ongoing commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

 

 

Vijay Rao, Chief People and Places Officer

 

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Key takeaways

DIB continues to be central to our corporate philosophy and operations at Okta. Fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging where all can thrive is imperative to our continued growth and success as a company. In this report you will see how we have worked to intentionally integrate equity into our policies and processes across the talent lifecycle, the evolution of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), our efforts to expand and diversify our candidate pools, and more.

 

Over the last year, our efforts resulted in seeing progress in many areas. We introduced several new affinity groups and guidebooks to support our employees. We saw an increase in the representation of women and Latinx talent across the company and in leadership roles. This report allows us to not only celebrate our progress but also provides transparency around our areas for improvement. We know we have a huge opportunity to address the decline in representation of women in technical roles and Black talent at all levels. Although we have made progress in many areas over this past year, we know there is still more to do and we remain committed.

 

 

Lynnetta Smith, Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB)

 

Workforce

The foundation of our DIB work revolves around building balanced teams and improving representation and access to tech jobs.

Photo of the crowd at Okta City Tours

Building Balanced Teams

We attract and value talent that reflects our diverse community of partners, customers, and employees. In order to build balanced teams, we take intentional measures to expand the pool of applicants to include women and members of underrepresented groups. Last year, we introduced a balanced slate approach in our recruiting process to specifically focus on the Director+ level.

Recruiting and Sourcing Partners

Our journey in building balanced and inclusive teams is supported by strategic partners and enhanced with an inclusive hiring process. Sourcing partners such as PowerToFly, Shift.org, Hiring our Heroes, AboveBoard, Black Professionals In Tech Network (BPTN), Out In Tech, Disability:IN, Women In Sales Everywhere (WISE) and COOP help us to build balanced teams, with a special interest in increasing representation of women and underrepresented groups.

To help facilitate a more equitable hiring process, we use the following tools and processes.

Two female employees posing next to Okta Customer Experience center sign
Photo of people sitting in a large auditorium at desks on laptops
Okta CEO talking about AI on stage
Group of people chatting in lobby of conference

University Recruiting

Our university recruiting efforts enable us to expand our talent pool and help shape the future of Okta.

Industry Conferences

We participate in several career summits and job fairs including the Grace Hopper Conference, a gathering of women and non-binary technologists designed to bring the research and career interests in computing to the forefront.

Sponsorships

We sponsor ColorStack, an organization with a mission to increase the number of Black and Latinx Computer Science graduates who start rewarding technical careers.

Partnerships

We partner with community organizations such as Rainier Scholars, Students Rising Above, and Rewriting the Code, a network for undergrad, graduate, and early-career women in tech with 17,000+ members across 875 schools and partners.

Workforce Development Programs

Our workforce development programs serve as a critical component of our Build Balanced Teams strategy. 

Business Development Associate (BDA) Program

The Business Development Associate Program aims to attract, hire, and develop non-traditional talent to advance their sales careers within the Sales Development Org and beyond. We welcomed three new BDA's and promoted five since the last report.

85%

of employees that have joined Okta through the BDA program identify as people of color

56%

of BDAs are non-degree holders

86%

of BDAs with a degree are first-generation college graduates

Workforce data

The data here represents Okta’s workforce and leadership in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity as of January 31, 2024. Our gender data includes global employees, however, we only include data on race and ethnicity for US-based employees due to international restrictions on collecting this data in other countries.

Gender (Global employees)

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Race and ethnicity (US-based employees)

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Board Representation

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Methodology, Use of EEO-1 Report Data, and Definitions

Historically, our State of Inclusion report disclosed data from a reporting period from September 1 to August 31. Beginning with this year’s report, we adjusted our report to align with our fiscal year, therefore the data reflects a single point in time on January 31, 2024, the last day of our fiscal year. We believe that this reporting methodology will represent a more accurate view. The data and the language we use to describe race and ethnicity in this section of the report are based in part on data contained in our EEO-1 reports.

Tech Workers: Our tech workforce is defined by job duties and not department, and includes all employees in technical occupations in engineering, security, and technology. We categorize all of our jobs into three groups: tech, non-tech, and hybrid based on market data to ensure we are competitive. Hybrid is defined as roles that are partly technical.

Underrepresented Groups: We define underrepresented groups as US-based employees who self-identify as Black, Latinx, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Multiracial (two or more races).

Workplace

Fostering an inclusive and equitable culture is crucial for our success. We are dedicated to enhancing our systems and structures to promote fairness, flexibility, and a feeling of belonging.

Group of colleagues posing with Okta CEO at Oktane

Integrating equity

Like the popular aphorism, “A rising tide lifts all boats” suggests, we see benefits for all by integrating equity, inclusion, and belonging into our systems and the employee lifecycle. Equitable policies and processes foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and promote fairness and equal opportunities, which, in turn, enhance employee morale, productivity, and overall organizational success. As we work to support the most marginalized, we have found that the benefits in doing this impact the broader employee population too.

This year, we introduced three new guides to continue to enable managers and individual contributors to integrate equity into the ways they work.

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The Trans and Nonbinary Inclusion Guide

Created to help foster dialogue and understanding of transgender issues in the workplace. It provides guidance for transitioning employees, their colleagues and managers, and gives a starting point for building awareness around a topic that is still evolving in the workplace. We set out to offer a guide that could ease the process of changing your name in Workday for transitioning employees, but we saw that it also was a great resource for any employees going through a name change for any reason.

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The Inclusive Event Guidelines

These guidelines promote awareness and provide resources for organizing events in an inclusive manner, serving all employees and attendees of our events. Specifically, the guidelines outline best practices around accessibility and providing accommodations, choosing safe event locations, and general event guidance to create an inclusive event. They have been used for Sales Kick Off (SKO) and Oktane. One example is that we will serve mocktails at all welcome receptions and dinners at SKO to support employees who are abstaining from alcohol because of pregnancy, religion, or other reasons.

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The Caregiver and Manager Checklist

Designed to assist our valued caregivers and their managers during a pivotal time – the process of taking a leave of absence. These guidelines serve as a starting point for caregivers and managers to have discussions about taking leave with suggested timelines to ensure smooth transitions, caregiver and manager suggested checklists for the leave and the return, and additional resources, such as email/agenda templates and caregiver wellbeing offerings. This checklist was originally designed for parents, but we found that it actually supports all people who go on leave for any reason.

Our Customer Identity Cloud, powered by Auth0, and Workforce Identity Cloud teams launched commitments aligned to their teams’ inclusion goals.

Inclusive Leadership

Codifying inclusive management attributes into career ladders, establishing best practices for feedback and recognition.

Talent Development

Hosting a Women in Engineering offsite, which focused on skill building and amplifying the subject matter expertise of women across Engineering and Technical Program Management.

Balanced Podium

Intentionally closing the visibility gap by featuring opportunities for women and people of color to showcase their expertise. Over 50% of on-stage Customer Identity Cloud presenters at industry events, customer panels, and all-hands were women or people of color.

Employee Resource Groups

Okta’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and affinity groups embody our core values and drive towards a more inclusive and equitable culture through their efforts around awareness, engagement, education, enablement, and coalition building. The focus areas this year have been manager enablement, professional development, and business integration.

Here are our ERGs and examples of how they drove impact this past year, inside and outside Okta.

APJ Circle at Okta Logo

APJ Circle

Committed to educating, engaging, and celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures within our organization to foster a more vibrant and inclusive workplace, promoting cross-cultural understanding.

 

Affinity Groups

In addition to formal ERGs, employees have the opportunity to form less formal groups that have fewer structure requirements. The community expanded with the following new groups: Asian Employee Network, Black Employee Network, Jewish Employee Network, Latinx Employee Network, and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Employee Network. We are actively working to identify leaders and develop structures for the following groups: Ally Collective, Experienced Workers@Okta, and Disability Affinity Network.

Asian Employee Network

The Asian Employee Network aims to create and hold space for Asian employees to be recognized and have their voices heard. In 2023, we hosted workshops to empower employees of color to speak up, gave employees the opportunity to learn about the history of Asian contributions to society, and honored our heritage by coordinating with our global community to host events for major holidays like Lunar New Year and Diwali.

Middle Eastern North Africa Group

The Middle Eastern North Africa Group was founded with the purpose of establishing a safe space for anyone at Okta who self-identifies as a member or ally of the Middle East and North Africa community. Our immediate goal is to provide fellowship and support for the numerous employees who are currently affected by the global surge in anti-Arab and Islamophobic sentiment.

Latinx Employee Network

The Latinx Employee Network is dedicated to building a supportive and uplifting environment, creating networking opportunities, engaging in professional development, discussing topics that affect our community, sharing our culture through cultural enrichment opportunities, volunteering our time, and being in familia with our members.

Jewish Employee Network

The Jewish Employee Network aims to build a community for Jewish employees at Okta, develop programming and activities, and be representative of the community outwardly at Okta. This year we saw membership grow to over 60 employees.

Black Employee Network

The Black Employee Network works to foster honest discussions about the political and social barriers that Black employees experience globally. In 2023, we focused on employee recognition through a social media series called Black& which highlighted the intersectionality of our members and a short documentary called Shades of Black which was an incredibly impactful collection of stories from our members that was shared at Oktane. We also participated in NBA Heritage Night Games across the US and hosted a fireside chat with Renel Brooks-Moon: the PA announcer for the San Francisco Giants and the first female of color to announce a World Series game.

Woman in navy blue dress speaking at Oktane

Career Development and Growth

In an effort to provide more visibility to our internal roles, we made enhancements to our internal career website to showcase roles and share weekly updates in our #internal-career-mobility Slack channel. Internal applications have increased 62% and the percentage of internal hires has increased 4% year-over-year.

 

Additionally, we hosted two internal career conferences to give employees the opportunity to focus on their individual career journeys. We featured a new course, Demystifying Career Growth at Okta, that focused on creating visibility to the processes that influence performance reviews and calibrations. We also hosted a panel discussion about non-traditional career pivots to demonstrate diverse career paths.

Learning and Development

Fostering awareness and facilitating learning is a crucial step toward cultivating a more inclusive culture. In line with our principles at Okta, we embrace a growth mindset, are forward thinking, learn quickly from mistakes, and enable individuals and teams to achieve their full potential. In the last year, Okta implemented numerous courses and learning opportunities to strengthen our commitment to continuous learning.

Photo of two men and one woman chatting at oktane
Three men posing for a photo while one man wears a Travel with Pride Okta t-shirt.
Photo of Jewish Inclusion Series Booth at Oktane
Man and woman talking at Okta for Public Sector booth at Oktane

Benefits

Okta’s benefits programs ensure all employees feel valued, connected, empowered, and supported to deliver their best work in a dynamic, global work environment. We offer a number of employee experience programs to support employees and their families, regardless of geographic location or family structure.

This year, we focused on:

Expanding Women’s Health and Family Forming Support

Launched menopause and low testosterone support programs globally through Carrot, our fertility healthcare and family forming service partner.

Mental Health

In addition to our robust mental health support infrastructure, we spotlighted the importance of mental healthcare and wellbeing during Mental Health Awareness Month. Over 600 virtual attendees from 17 different countries attended mental wellbeing keynote speaking events, meditations, and family wellbeing events.

Neurodivergent Coverage

Added neurodivergent coverage in the healthcare plan for employees in the UK. This support gives employees and their covered dependents access to timely assessments, guidance, and medication review for a range of conditions, as well as group sessions and help in navigating support.

Bereavement Leave

Expanded our Bereavement Leave policy to include reproductive loss events such as failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or an unsuccessful assisted reproduction.

To learn more about Okta’s benefits that support our employees, visit our Total Rewards page.

Employee experience

In April 2023, Okta celebrated the one-year anniversary of our global recognition program, Oktappreciate. With this program, we prioritize peer-to-peer recognition, enabling and empowering employees to acknowledge their colleagues' exceptional work and collaboration in real time. We offer a points system that can be redeemed for gift cards, swag, or charitable donations through Okta for Good. We ensure recognition reflects the collective achievements stemming from our commitment to living our values, supporting active community engagement and outstanding professional accomplishments. 

We continue to amplify employee voice through a twice annual survey that asks about key areas of engagement, culture, company, and leadership. Through this intentional listening strategy, we are able to assess the direction of some of our company wide initiatives such as Diversity, Fair Evaluation, and Inclusion. We saw high participation rates with 83%+ of employees responding to give feedback on various aspects of their experience at Okta. We also review the survey data by gender, race, and ethnicity, with special attention to how employees rate their sense of inclusion at work. This inclusion index gives us a better view into any patterns of positive, negative, similar, or disparate experiences based on identity factors. Leaders use the inclusion index to set annual commitments to improve manager effectiveness, psychological safety, and career growth opportunities.

Since the inception of Oktappreciate

83%

of active users gave at least one recognition to a colleague

96%

of active users received at least one recognition

315,000+

total recognitions were given out across the globe

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Pay Equity

At Okta, we are committed to the principles of pay equity, meaning that employees are paid the same when they perform the same or similar job duties as others taking into account factors such as job level, job family, tenure, and geography. In 2023, we conducted a pay equity analysis of employees in the ten countries with our largest employee populations, including the United States, to ensure we are aligned with pay equity principles. As a result of this global pay analysis, we made appropriate pay adjustments where needed.

We view pay equity as a continuous journey, and therefore continue to refine our methodology. We continue to pursue the goals of increasing representation for women and underrepresented groups at more senior levels and of ensuring pay equity for all.

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Okta is a great place to work

Okta scored 85/100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, the foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality in the United States.

#37

in Fortune Best Workplaces in Technology™ 2023

#71

in Fortune Best Workplaces for Millennials™ 2023

#25

in Fortune Best Workplaces in the Bay Area™ 2023

#59

in Best Workplaces for Parents™ 2022

Marketplace

We are committed to ensuring diversity and equity are key focus areas as we participate in the market around us. This includes the products we create and interactions with our customers and community.

Group of employees posing together at Auth0 event
Image of three employees chatting and looking at laptop at Okta City Tours

Web Accessibility Program

We continue to improve our digital accessibility. In 2023, we held internal training sessions, ranging from introductory accessibility crash courses, to “screen reader ride-alongs,” to in-person real-time accessibility audits. We had our first accessibility awareness week in May in line with Global Accessibility Awareness Day, an internal hackathon featuring an accessibility hackathon track, and we’ve shifted our marketing efforts to consider and test for accessibility much earlier in our digital process.

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Inclusive Language

Communication is key to fostering inclusion and belonging. The Inclusive Language Project launched in 2020 and the team is diligently working to eliminate non-inclusive terms from our code, product, and documentation.

 

In 2023, the team reduced non-inclusive language, enforced inclusive language, and prevented non-inclusive language from entering our code repositories. This effort has touched many teams at Okta, and has had a broad and long-lasting impact. This initiative, along with our employee inclusivity training and Slack reminder bot, has made huge strides in making Okta an inclusive place to work.

Okta for Good

Okta for Good is our social impact and sustainability arm, with a mission of building a safely connected world where everyone can belong and thrive. Through the mobilization of our people, products, and company resources, we facilitate the digital transformation of nonprofits, promote the establishment of more equitable communities, and cultivate ecosystems that foster enduring positive change for both people and the planet. To learn more about our impact on the community and employees, check out Okta for Good’s 2024 Social Impact Report.

 

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Cyber Workforce Commitment

In October 2023, Okta launched its Cybersecurity Workforce Development Initiative, focused on finding and developing the best cybersecurity talent, and providing equitable access to thriving careers in tech.

To address the growing gap in cybersecurity talent, we committed $1.6 million in philanthropic grants to organizations globally that are providing tech career opportunities for women, people of color, veterans, and other jobseekers from underrepresented communities. We also announced 5,000 educational grants for unemployed tech workers, including veterans and military spouses.

Review our past reports

State of Inclusion Report 2022

View the report
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