Caro Griffin is the VP of Ops at Tech Ladies, an organization focused on helping women in tech network, find roles, and connect. She has an extensive background in leading remote teams and helping companies find diverse talent.
In this episode, Caro sits down with Joe to chat about the modern workplace and how diverse talent can be one of your biggest assets as a company.
TechLadies and Beyond
Caro is currently working as Vice President of Operations at Tech Ladies.
She started her career as a developer before making her way to the operations side. With a particular passion for building sustainable businesses, most of her professional experience has been at smaller mission-driven companies.
Preceding her current role, Caro was Director of Operations at Skillcrush, a fully remote company in the Edtech space.
For those who might not know, Tech Ladies is a community of over 100 thousand women from all different backgrounds and roles working in the tech space. The goal of the org is specifically intended to help women and other gender minorities level up in their careers. The online community is extremely active, with weekly webinars and a constantly updated job board. Caro is excited about the work being done at Tech Ladies and what she is able to accomplish as a fully remote employee, which she has been for several years now. She travels pretty much full-time but is currently based in Mexico City.
The Remote Experience
For Caro, the future of work is all about embracing flexibility and the asynchronous side of the remote work experience.
While there will always be companies and individuals that favor the in-person physical work experience, we’re almost certainly going to see a significant number of workplaces allowing for hybrid or a partially remote model. Any company that wants to remain competitive when it comes to talent acquisition will likely have to embrace this to some extent.
Caro says it’s understandable that many businesses might be reluctant or at the very least nervous about the move to remote. Many were basically forced into this model overnight without the proper tools or infrastructure to support it. However, hopefully, due to this being born out of necessity, they will be able to figure it out further and utilize it for competitive advantage in the future.
Making Remote Work For You
When it comes to managing a team remotely, Caro puts a particular emphasis on the idea of outcomes vs. output.
“At the end of the day, I don’t care how many sales call someone made, I care about how many clients they closed.”
Caro is very transparent about her expectations and management style with her team, without stressing when they were actually working or how many hours they might have worked, as long as people are meeting their quotas. She believes this makes a lot more sense when it comes to managing a remote and often asynchronous team.
Working asynchronous doesn’t mean that a manager shouldn’t get to know their teams. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Caro has been to baby showers, lunch and learns, painting classes, book clubs, and even a remote bar class with her team.
There are options to form meaningful personal connections with coworkers. Managers just might have to put in a little extra work to make them happen, but these meetings can be encouraging and great opportunities for mentorship.
Hiring Diverse Talent
According to Caro, one of the biggest mistakes HR teams make when having the diverse talent conversation are expecting the diverse talent to come to them.
“Underrepresented groups, whether that be women, or ethnic minorities, or disabled veterans- you have to make the effort to go to them.”
Posting the job on the career page isn’t enough, there needs to be a concerted effort to meet them where they’re at and convince them that your company is trustworthy and that they’re worth working for. Many of these people have likely had toxic experiences with employers in the past.
For Caro and Tech Ladies, this means creating a job posting that conveys inclusivity and then not putting the opening on the few major job boards that most companies are using. She likes posting on more niche job boards that may be better suited to appeal to candidates who are women or people of color, groups historically underrepresented in tech.
It All Starts with the Culture
The best thing a company can do for laying the groundwork for a healthy inclusive space is to start with a strong, positive culture. This could mean team-building activities to build camaraderie, providing accessible opportunities for employee feedback, and providing quality benefits.
Listen to the episode here.