Our Continued Focus: Doing the Work to Build Balanced Teams

At Okta, we are committed to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) across all levels. To accomplish this, we are continuing to devote our energies to equitable design, facilitating and operationalizing high-impact initiatives that create equitable processes, inclusive behaviors, and an organization of high-performing, balanced teams.

Okta’s DIB vision

We created our vision at the inception of Okta’s DIB team in early 2019 and updated it last year to reflect our intentional work to build balanced teams through an equitable lens.

“We collectively nurture a culture of equity, inclusion, and belonging in driving Okta’s values and mission to meet the needs of Okta employees, customers, partners, and the communities we serve.” 

What is a balanced team?

Rather than having a single definition, we need a framework to understand in what ways a team is balanced (or imbalanced). One team might be balanced in terms of gender representation, but lacking in balance or equity from a racial point of view. Another team may be balanced in terms of ability, but lack LGBTQIA2S+ representation. 

We are committed to sharing our data and do so annually with our State of Inclusion Report. This data will show that we have the highest imbalance across our teams in terms of gender representation, and for the defined racial identities: Black or African American, Latine or Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Two or More Races. This data is across our technical, non-technical, and leadership roles. 

To be intentional about solving this imbalance, our strategy includes designing for groups that experience multiple marginalizations. This “designing for the margins" approach is intersectional, which means that it acknowledges the ways in which race,  gender, sexual orientation, ability, and other protected identities "intersect" to create unique dynamics and compound the effects of multiple systems of oppression. Building balanced teams by designing for the margins means that we are not just focusing on gender diversity, for example, but on groups with intersectional identities. This is where we can make the most impact, since initiatives that design for the most marginalized benefit the whole group, including those who have not been historically excluded.

“Balanced teams make us stronger, more innovative, and drive the needed change we must make for equity. Through our Building Balanced Teams strategy, we have redefined the way we talk about diversity and how we show up in support of removing barriers that enabled systemic exclusion of historically excluded groups.” - Katie Linn, Senior Program Manager, DIB at Okta

We cannot do this work without our partners; we are proud of our partnerships with several organizations, including but not limited to:

  • AboveBoard connects senior executives to exclusive leadership roles at today’s leading high-growth companies and organizations. They expand access to career opportunities and resources for underrepresented groups of executives, including Black, Latine/Hispanic, and women. 

Through this partnership, we are intentionally focusing on the imbalance at the senior level where balancing leadership will encourage equitable hiring practices, more inclusive decision-making among leadership, and higher-performing leaders.

  • Black Professionals In Tech Network provides its 50,000+ members with access to mentorship, skill-building opportunities, and a strong peer network to support professional growth and advancement. They host events such as the weekly Global Masterclass series, the annual Global BFUTR Tech Summit, and more. 

BPTN is a renewed partner with Okta, where we have proven success in hiring talent and have supported our internal teams with education highlighting organizational biases, debunking myths around lack of available talent, and practices of intentional allyship. 

Equity Accelerator

As part of our commitment to racial justice, equity, and building balanced teams, we created the Equity Accelerator (EA) program in 2021. This program was created with the commitment to expand economic opportunity and create pathways for careers in tech for and with historically excluded, and now underrepresented, talent. 

This workforce development program enables our teams at Okta to become more balanced  Additionally, EA also provides opportunities for inclusive leadership training and coaching, further benefiting Okta’s culture in creating more equitable spaces. 

Now in its second year, the 2022 Equity Accelerator Fellowship brings four talented mid-career professionals from various industries to Okta. Already, the fellows are using their skill sets to drive positive impact in the Finance, Sales, Operations, and Go-To-Market strategy teams.

Learn more about opportunities within our fast-growing organizations on our Career Page, and explore open roles for a chance to join our talent community. To learn more about our other commitments to equity and racial justice, visit the Okta Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging page.