International Women’s Day: Culture Add Over Culture Fit as a Catalyst for Diversity

March 9, 2021 | 2 minute read

Having worked in Human Resources my entire career, the notion of Culture Fit  became near and dear to me throughout my career. Leadership teams would comment on needing to hire those who were a Culture Fit, hiring managers would request it, and recruiters would screen hundreds of candidates to try to ensure the people they presented truly fit the company’s culture. 

However, as I’ve grown in my career and as the world has changed, I’ve realized that Culture Fit can sometimes steer us away from building more diverse and inclusive workplaces because it encourages everyone to hire more of the same. 

In the tech industry, many underrepresented groups- especially women - are still struggling to find their place. For cybersecurity, that fact is even more apparent. But, nothing will change if we don't actively and aggressively work to move the needle. This is why we need to change our thinking to focus on whether a candidate is a Culture Add rather than a Culture Fit

To attract and retain more women in an industry that is already behind the diversity curve, we need to think outside the box and be #Daring.

When I joined Cybereason, I was thrilled to see that we already had a core company value defined called UBU, which stands for the belief that people can only unlock their full potential when they work somewhere that accepts exactly who they are. It also encourages us to act to promote equal opportunities and inclusion. 

UBU is the perfect partner for the notion of Culture Add. These two concepts will allow Cybereason, and the tech industry as a whole, to bring more women to the table. Women in tech have grown up in a male dominated industry. They went to school with men, they’ve worked with and for men, and they likely interview more men for open jobs than women. 

This is why business leaders need to speak up and actively encourage teams to get creative in finding more ways to attract and encourage more women to apply, interview and land that big job. By instilling the concept of Culture Add along the way, we’ll get closer to bringing more women to our teams and companies, especially in regard to leadership positions. 

I feel lucky to be in a position to help encourage and educate others on the importance of Culture Add and how it relates to bringing more women into an organization. In the tech industry, it’s going to take us a long time to build workplaces that are composed of 50% women  employees. 

Yet I’m excited to be part of leading the change, of encouraging everyone to think about Culture Add the next time they interview a candidate. And, to build confidence in the women who work in our industry to speak their minds and use their voices to bring diverse perspectives to our companies. I am all-in on moving the needle and I am excited to work somewhere that feels the same. #winasone

About Marisa Ianelli

Marisa Ianelli

Marisa Ianelli, Vice President People, brings over 15 years of HR and Talent Acquisition leadership experience and a passion for building and empowering teams in high growth markets. She’s developed and run innovative Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and is hyper focused on employee experience. Marisa has worked in both professional services and SaaS industries, including the cyber-security company, Carbon Black.

 

Marisa Ianelli
About the Author

Marisa Ianelli

Marisa Ianelli, Vice President People, brings over 15 years of HR and Talent Acquisition leadership experience and a passion for building and empowering teams in high growth markets. She’s developed and run innovative Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and is hyper focused on employee experience. Marisa has worked in both professional services and SaaS industries, including the cyber-security company, Carbon Black.

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