How Diverse Is Hanzo? Results From Our First Annual DEI Survey

| September 23 2021

Whether you’re plotting a route to a new restaurant or determining a plan of action, you can’t start mapping a course unless you know where you are right now. To figure out how to reach any destination, you have to define your current location or status. 

Hanzo is committed to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) among our ranks—but to do so and to know what effect our efforts are having, we need to know from where we’re starting. That’s why we measured our current demographic and diversity statistics earlier this year through our first-ever DEI survey. We’ve now looked over the results and prepared a report. Here are the highlights. 


Survey Basics

The demographics and diversity survey was not mandatory, and respondents were welcome to skip questions or select the “prefer not to answer” response. We were pleased that 37 of our 47 employees responded for an almost 80% participation rate. 

We asked a variety of questions about basic demographics such as gender, race, and age. We also asked whether respondents had children at home, whether they felt supported at Hanzo, and whether they felt free to be themselves at work. 

While the survey was technically anonymous, we’re (clearly) a small company, and some respondents would likely be identifiable from their answers. To protect our employees’ privacy and encourage people to participate in these surveys without fear of reprisal or judgment, we’re keeping most information—and all specific write-in responses—for internal use only.  


How Are We Doing With Diversity and Inclusion?

So, what did we learn? In some areas, we’re doing quite well. For example, most employees stated that they believe Hanzo’s leadership treats all employees fairly. In the same vein, nearly all respondents believe that employees at Hanzo appreciate others whose backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences are different from their own, which bodes well for our equity and inclusion efforts. 

In other areas, though, we have room for improvement. Our teams—particularly our tech and development teams—are less diverse than we’d like regarding gender and racial or ethnic representation. Despite specifically calling out our tech teams, diversity is something we intend to encourage and facilitate company-wide across all departments. For example, over a third of survey respondents stated that they did not expect a job candidate to meet or see any diverse employees during their first encounter with Hanzo. We realize we want to change that. The good news is asking the questions and getting feedback has presented us with an opportunity to know where we are currently. These measures establish our baseline, from which we will measure future progress, and they serve to confirm our instinct to focus on diversity in hiring, mentorship, promotion, and retention. 


Where Do We Go From Here?

We were very grateful to receive a wide variety of feedback and suggestions in the write-in portion of our survey. Many of those insights have already given us good ideas about how to counteract our current diversity gaps. 

We believe that our success will hinge on whether we’re willing to stay engaged in this conversation and continually experiment with different approaches to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion. Tactics that initially produce results by removing unconscious bias—like blind auditions—may have diminishing returns in fields where skill levels are relatively uniform

We are well aware that we’re embarking on a journey. Our progress may be slower than we’d like, but we are determined that it will be steady. Along the way, we’ll continue to chart our current position company-wide and honestly and transparently share our results. The promise to repeat this survey next year to see where we’ve progressed and where we need to redouble our efforts is one of three specific promises for the future that we’ve made in this initial report.

Click here to download the full report with more detailed results and our additional plans for the coming year. 

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