Supporting the LGBTQ+ community
As an app geared towards people who define themselves beyond gender binaries, Feeld are a pioneer in their industry. Feeld's solution allows users to choose amongst 20 gender identities and 20 sexual identities when setting up their accounts.
Feeld's team takes seriously its role in championing the diversity of gender and sexual identities. They want to shape the dating app industry proactively by creating an inclusive space for meeting others all over the world.
Leading the way to inclusive employment
Part of leading the way to an inclusive community is being the change. That's why Feeld are actively building diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into the company's work practices. Their initiatives include:
- DEI Committee - this is an open committee focused on upholding equity in decision-making across the team. This includes decisions around how to hire a diverse team and how to pay employees fairly.
"We want our decisions to be fair and thoughtful," says Erin Shoji, Head of People at Feeld.
- Performance reviews - this process was designed to uphold equity by:
- Making sure that unconscious bias cannot affect feedback on performance. The team has to read up on recency bias, the halo/horn effect, unconscious bias, and a worksheet about Prove-it-Again (PIA) - groups stereotyped as less competent who have to prove themselves over and over. PIA groups include women, people of colour, individuals with disabilities, older employees, LGBTQ+, and class migrants (professionals from blue-collar backgrounds).
- Making sure that feedback on people's performance does not come from a single source (e.g. supervisor)
- Making sure that rating systems are used in a uniform way
- Decoupling performance reviews from compensation decisions in order to remove the pressure of reviews directly and immediately affecting compensation decisions. The focus is on honest feedback to support continuous improvement.
- Equipping people to speak up about the good work that they do so that not only the people who "speak the loudest" receive reward and recognition. In their current performance review cycle, Feeld asked their team to read an instructional worksheet on best practices on how to write a self-evaluation.
- External salary benchmarking - Feeld use external data to calculate employees' salaries. All salaries are published live on an internal wiki accessible to all other employees. They have also built a dedicated calculator so all employees can understand how their salaries have been calculated. This allows the company to be held accountable for how they pay each employee, ensuring all team members are being paid a salary that is relevant to their qualifications, role, experience, and location.
- Transparency as a core value - Open and transparent feedback has been part of Feeld's DNA since the start up phase until 2020, when the company was a holacracy and everyone was self-managed. In that time, it was every person's job to keep others accountable and provide feedback. Today, having introduced a single layer of management, all Feeld's staff use open Slack channels and public Notion pages when communicating within the organisation. This helps the team keep decision-making transparent, to hold each other accountable and make sure all voices are heard.
Making space for diversity through remote work & global hiring
For Feeld, diversity is not limited to gender and sexual identity. That's why they are also a dedicated remote company. Registered in the UK, the company has employees based all over the world. "We have been all remote and geographically distributed since our inception and for 7 years before Covid", says Erin.
"The fact that Feeld's staff is located in so many different countries does increase diversity in the way that we work and communicate." Erin Shoji, Head of People at Feeld
For example, while Feeld's working language is English, this is not every employee's first language. Rather than see this as a problem, team members adapt to each other's needs and develop different ways of communicating with each other that work.
Remote working was a conscious decision that has helped their team develop diverse ways of working. To overcome unnecessary on-site work practices like monitoring or mirroring each other, Feeld enables each member of staff to work where and when helps them do their best work. This is done by investing in technology and working environments that enable people to live a meaningful, fulfilled life. Staff members receive a monthly stipend for co-working and gym memberships, virtual or IRL coffees with colleagues, and ergonomic home office set ups. They are constantly iterating with their use of tools to support their staff and give them the freedom to design their optimal work/life scenarios.
Building diversity & making global teams work
Remote work and global teams can help companies become more inclusive, equal and diverse and we're delighted to be supporting ambitious and innovative businesses like Feeld build diverse global teams.
Feeld is a location-based dating app bringing people together all over the world. More than another dating app, Feeld accommodates gender and sexual diversity. "It is geared towards people who are open-minded about their gender identities and desires," says Feeld's communication manager, Lyubov Sachkova. "It's just part of our DNA."