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Blog Interview

This Low Code Software Company Sets a High Bar for Inclusion Practices

Respect for the “whole person” drives Appian’s diversity initiatives

Interviewing for a new job can be stressful — there’s no two ways about it. On the one hand, you’re hyper-focused on trying to leave liked and respected enough to get an offer. On the other hand, you know the interview process is a critical opportunity to ask the tough questions to determine whether you like and respect the company enough to work for them.

At InHerSight, our goal is to give you the insights you need to make the best decisions for your life and career, and our ratings data and scorecards for 65,000+ companies are a key piece of that equation.

In this series, we're supplementing our cultural insights with answers to the important (and sometimes difficult to ask) questions women want answers to during the interview process. Today we're talking to Appian Corporation .

Appian Corporation

Interviewee: Dawn Mitchell, Talent Acquisition
Headquarters: Reston, VA
Industry: Computer Software
Size: 501 to 1000 Employees

InHerSight:
Can you start by telling us a little bit about Appian?

Dawn:
Appian provides a leading low-code software development platform that enables organizations to rapidly develop powerful and unique applications. The applications created on Appian’s platform help companies drive digital transformation and competitive differentiation.

We were established in 1999 and have over 850 employees in over 10 countries. Last year we had a successful IPO with NASDAQ.

InHerSight:
What are your favorite company values and what are some of the ways you exemplify them?

Dawn:
Generosity of spirit is my favorite and it shows up in a lot of ways at Appian. The founding of AppianWOMEN is a great example of a group of female leaders at Appian that had time, energy, expertise to build our first Affinity group and via their generosity we have supported hundreds of women at Appian over our 5 years.

Our "guilds" are another example of employees who have a passion or expertise in an area and come together to share that with the company and ultimately better it. Intern guild, hackathon guild, community guild to name a few.

InHerSight:
What would you tell prospective female employees about why Appian is a great place to work?

Dawn:
As with almost all companies in technology we are looking to improve our representation and continue to enhance our benefits to foster a strong environment of inclusion. What I find unique about Appian is the approach. It isn't just for external consumption, it is truly for the benefit of our employees and by supporting them we will build a brand with their networks that will build our brand as an employer of choice. By supporting the "whole person", not just the employee we consistently create a warm, fun and supportive environment.

InHerSight:
How does Appian view diversity and seek to develop it?

Dawn:
We have 3 affinity groups (AppianWOMEN, AppianPRIDE & AppianHERITAGE) and each have specific missions to directly and indirectly support our company wide D&I effort. There is a president for each who meets quarterly with myself and the VP of HR to review programming, budget and outreach to ensure we are having the biggest impact.

InHerSight:
Are there initiatives or support structures in place for minority groups?

Dawn:
AppianHERITAGE is a great example that was just established in January of 2018. Their mission is "To celebrate and foster an environment of support and empowerment amongst employees of all races, cultures and ethnicities to amplify their impact on the Appian community."

InHerSight:
Does Appian have executive level support around diversity?

Dawn:
Yes, each affinity group has an executive sponsor and I meet with the CEO frequently to review initiatives.

InHerSight:
What channels do you have in place for escalating issues like sexual harassment and how does the company ensure it is creating a safe work environment for all employees?

Dawn:
We have a direct line for employees to our VP of HR for any sexual harassment issues and ensure we maintain a safe work environment via our policies and values.

InHerSight:
Nearly 40% of women leave the workforce when they have children. How does your company support working moms?

Dawn:
We provide 12 weeks of paid maternity leave and 2 weeks of paid paternity leave. Our leaders also work with each parent transitioning back to work to support that transition with flexibility as needed. At the end of 2017 we implemented Milk Stork for our traveling moms to support their efforts in nursing.

InHerSight:
What diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence training have your managers had?

Dawn:
We are hoping to have our first training educating employees on unconscious bias this year.

InHerSight:
Finally, how do your company’s recruiting efforts support a diverse workforce?

Dawn:
We work with a variety of vendors that support our effort to increase our diversity through hiring with Entelo being a top supporter. We also partner with special interest groups at all of our visiting schools via our campus recruiting team.

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Thank you, Dawn, for answering our questions! If you're interested in learning more, check out Appian's open positions, read about their benefits, and see ratings from the women who work there on the company's InHerSight profile .

Want your company to do a reverse interview? Send us an email at hello@inhersight or use our contact form to let us know.

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