Changing the Tech Diversity Narrative with Data


Collaboration software maker Atlassian approached Mission North with a unique challenge — to position the company as a leading voice within the tech industry diversity and inclusion (D&I) discussion dominated by much larger companies such as Google and Facebook. Against the backdrop of a polarizing presidential election that brought the nation’s racial issues to the surface, and given the increasing noise in the corporate D&I space, Atlassian needed a bold and compelling narrative to stand out from the crowd.


In order for Atlassian to be seen as a leader in D&I, we needed to change the narrative. So much had been written about how companies were approaching and measuring diversity, but there was very little evidence about how the average tech worker felt about progress in their own workplace. As part of this, we also wanted to find ways to change the tech diversity conversation from one of broad cross-company benchmarks to team-level measurement, which is key in the company’s own approach to D&I.

Mission North designed and executed the 2017 State of Diversity Report t to provide a temperature check on diversity from the employee perspective. The survey of 1,400 U.S.-based tech workers focused on their sentiments toward diversity progress, the impact of diversity programs on their teams, and reaction to President Donald Trump’s anti-diversity election promises (e.g. curbs on immigration and a ban on transgender people in the military). We segmented the results by geography, predicting Silicon Valley workers would have different views than the rest of America.


Mission North leveraged the survey results to secure 25 unique articles/broadcast hits including features in Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes and Fast Company. These stories resulted in 45 syndications, reaching a collective audience of 435 million. The data also led to the publication of this compelling WIRED byline, centered on our primary goal — changing the conversation on tech diversity measurement.

In addition to forming new media relationships, Atlassian also reported a positive impact on hiring and internal D&I efforts, with new candidates referencing the survey in job interviews.

The content from the survey continues to bear fruit, with inbound requests from media outlets and event organizers for Atlassian’s industry commentary. Most importantly, Atlassian is now viewed as a company committed to changing the narrative on D&I in tech among its employees, customers and future talent.

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