At Dropbox, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is instrumental to everything we do, from how we shape our culture, to how we think about our business and our relationships with customers. We want Dropbox employees to reach their full potential, and we believe fostering DEI helps further the long-term success of our business. We continue to work against our three multi-year commitments to promote diversity and inclusivity within our organization. These are shared across the company so that every employee has a hand in supporting our DEI efforts at Dropbox. Our commitments are:
- Build a diverse and inclusive team
- Develop and advance equitably
- Engage in personal growth
In addition to holding ourselves to our multi-year commitments, every year we report our diversity metrics and share the ways we’re working to better support women and underrepresented minorities1 (URMs) at Dropbox. We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made, and are committed to continuing to invest in these efforts in 2023 and beyond. Here’s a closer look at our numbers:
- From 2021 to 2022, representation for women and URMs company-wide remained consistent at 39% and 12%, respectively.
- We also believe it’s important to track our long-term progress. Over the last five years, we’ve seen an overall increase in representation of women (38% to 39%) and URMs (10% to 12%), company-wide.
- Finally, we believe it’s equally important that our leaders reflect the diversity of our employee base. Over a five-year time span, we’ve seen an increase in women and URMs in leadership positions3 at Dropbox, with women in these positions jumping from 35% to 44% and URMs from 3% to 7%.
This data helps us understand what’s working well, where we’ll continue to refine our efforts, and how we can build upon the gained momentum and successes we’ve seen so far.
In addition to tracking our diversity metrics, we also want to ensure our DEI efforts are helping us achieve our three diversity commitments. Below, we outline the progress we’ve made in 2022 against these commitments, as well as a look ahead to how we’ll continue to advance DEI at Dropbox.
Commitment 1: Build a diverse and inclusive team
We’re committed to building diverse teams and in 2022, we continued to seek ways to attract diverse talent and foster inclusivity at Dropbox. We looked outside of traditional tech hubs, reached prospective employees at conferences and events, and more.
Diversity in our workforce
- Women and URM candidates saw a ~10% higher offer acceptance rate than non-diverse candidates.
- Our early-in-career pipeline (intern and entry-level) saw an increase in women and URM applicants from the previous year, with a 28% increase in women applicants and an 85% increase in URM applicants. For this group, our Black applicant pool more than doubled (grew by 116%) and our Latinx applicant pool grew by 59%.
- Passthrough rates (or percentage of candidates who moved onto a later stage of hiring) were the same for women and URM candidates as non-diverse candidates, indicating a fair and equitable hiring process.
- Finally, Dropboxers continue to express positive sentiment at or above industry benchmarks in our bi-annual employee engagement survey towards the company's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Broadening our reach through conferences, events, and partnerships
We’re expanding our talent reach by investing in diversity-focused conferences and events, and establishing partnerships with diversity-minded external sourcing partners.
We also partner with our Dropbox Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to make sure that we’re actively engaging with potential talent at these conferences and events, like the Grace Hopper Celebration, AfroTech, ColorStack, Latinas in Tech, and VetsinTech. For example, at AfroTech 2022, we held Dropbox-sponsored events like the Build The Future dinner, where Black tech industry leaders in attendance could participate in team bonding activities and network over dinner. We also hosted over 760 attendees at our first integrated experience called “The Drop.” This included an interactive in-person experience as well as our “How We Built This” panel, featuring a discussion of Black Dropboxer experiences, diversity and inclusion within Dropbox culture, and the impact on our products.
Additionally, we’re working with external recruiting partners such as Powertofly, NextPlay, and Seekout to increase our capacity to source and hire candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds. Key accomplishments in this area include:
- Partnering with VetsInTech to increase our prospect pipeline of veterans via virtual recruiting events. Through two events, we reached an audience of 1300 veterans, and increased our pipeline by 200 people for roles across Dropbox.
- Launching a partnership with Edlyft, a program supporting computer science students from underrepresented groups through mentorship and workshops. Students were paired with Dropbox engineers, who served as their career mentors.
- Hiring 18 apprentices into our Dropbox Apprenticeship Program (formerly known as IGNITE) and converted eight to full-time employees.
- Continuing partnership with Next Chapter, a program that offers financial support, professional and technical mentorship, and re-entry service to formerly incarcerated individuals. In 2022, we hosted two apprentices.
- Continuing our partnership with YearUp, a program that helps young adults gain the skills and experiences needed to support their careers. We hired one YearUp intern in 2022 supporting our Information Technology & Services and Social Impact teams.
Fostering community and belonging through Virtual First
In 2022, we completed our second full year of Virtual First, our operating model where remote work is the primary experience for all Dropboxers. We’ve maintained a learning mindset from its inception and recognize that in order for this model to continue to be successful, it must evolve with us. Therefore, we regularly adapt our approach to Virtual First based on direct feedback from Dropbox employees. In 2022, we reached record-high positive scores on our employee engagement survey, with employees citing that Virtual First has contributed to better engagement, productivity, effectiveness and wellbeing.
One of the benefits we’ve seen from Virtual First is that we’re able to broaden our talent pools outside of traditional tech markets. Previously, nearly three quarters of our employees were concentrated in areas like San Francisco, New York, and Seattle. In 2022, we established Dropbox Neighborhoods in cities around the world where we have a higher concentration of co-located employees. Since then, about half of our employees are now based outside of those traditional tech markets and distributed across our 30 Dropbox Neighborhoods in new locations like Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, Raleigh, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and more. Within Dropbox Neighborhoods, we're focused on regular programming to support local community building.
As we become more geographically distributed, prioritizing meaningful connection through impactful gatherings continues to be critical to Virtual First. Here are a few steps we took to achieve a stronger sense of belonging and community across our new locations:
- Onboarded over 80 Community Builders. These Dropbox employee volunteers bring their Neighborhoods together for in-person events like company meeting viewings and ERG heritage month programming.
- Hosted 60 Dropbox Neighborhood events across multiple locations in 2022. 82% of those who attended said they felt a sense of community and belonging at Dropbox.
- Created regular touch points for virtual connection, like our Coffeebox program that organizes a randomized group of 4 to 5 Dropboxers every two weeks to virtually chat over coffee.
Our goal for Virtual First is to give all Dropboxers the same opportunities to succeed and thrive, regardless of where they are based. By proactively acting on feedback, we’ll continue to iterate and improve on this model.
Commitment 2: Develop and advance equitably
While we’re proud of our continued work to build a diverse and inclusive team, it’s only part of the picture. We’re also committed to fostering a culture where everyone can grow and advance at Dropbox. We have a number of programs and initiatives focused on retaining, developing and advancing our employees.
Providing tools for Dropboxers to thrive
In 2022, we launched the Dropbox Mentoring Program, which pairs mentors and mentees based on skills, experience, interests, and career aspirations. Since its start, we’ve seen almost 25% of the company participate. This program has also been successful in connecting cross-functional employees—63% of mentoring connections included participants across different teams. Importantly, we saw higher retention rates for employees that engaged in the Dropbox Mentoring Program versus those who didn’t.
Investing in manager effectiveness for a high-impact culture
Enabling Dropboxers to work at their full potential lays the foundation for our high impact culture - and manager effectiveness is a key driver. That’s why we remain committed to refining our programming and talent processes to best support and invest in our managers. We’ve continued existing programs and added new ones, bringing together managers across the world more regularly to learn and discuss leadership with a high impact focus. Last year, 83% of Dropbox leaders participated in these programs designed to support our high-impact culture.
Supporting our external community
In addition to supporting Dropboxers, we remain committed to supporting our community outside of Dropbox. For instance, in 2022, we continued to take steps to broaden the diversity of our suppliers, including small businesses, and women, minority, veteran, and LGBTQ+ owned businesses. We trained our internal Dropbox buyers on awareness and accessibility and updated our self-service tools to make it easier for Dropboxers to work with diverse suppliers. This expanded the diversity of our supplier base while giving us more opportunities to support businesses that are led by underrepresented communities.
We also participated in numerous DEI indices in order to contribute to our DEI progress and drive measurable change. These included the Black Equity Index (BEI) and Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (HRC).
We’re proud of the work we’ve done to support underrepresented communities within and outside of Dropbox in 2022, and we’ll continue to look for ways to enable their advancement moving forward.
Commitment 3: Engage in personal growth
Helping our employees achieve personal growth is a bedrock of our culture, and we’ve implemented several initiatives that support, empower, and recognize the achievements of our employees. We hold regular Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion trainings and workshops that cover a range of topics such as creating an inclusive workplace and leading and developing teams equitably.
Building community through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
ERGs are a key component of our DEI efforts. We currently have seven ERGs that engage in community building, professional development, and external partnerships. In 2022, our ERGs hosted 53 events. We also celebrated seven heritage months throughout the year, with events such as a conversation with NASA astronaut Victor Glover for Black History Month, an employee-led session on the importance of pronouns for Pride month, and an Iron Chef challenge for Veterans Appreciation Month.
Today’s Dropbox employee base is more distributed than ever before, and we want to ensure our ERGs are well positioned to support their communities. In 2022, we focused on intensive strategy planning for the future of ERGs at Dropbox to achieve this objective. In the coming year our ERGs will continue to focus on connection and engagement, with a customized approach for each ERG’s specific membership. Importantly, we’ll be adding skills-based professional development workshops to help participants grow their careers.
Our DEI team provides trainings and workshops that focus on topics including how to create an inclusive workplace, how to lead and develop teams equitably, and much more. The majority of our people managers have completed our inclusive leadership workshop. 75% of all employees have completed an introductory DEI fundamentals course (up 13% year over year), and 66% of new hires have taken at least one DEI training course (up 8% year over year).
We also awarded new winners of the DEI Trailblazer Award in 2022, which recognizes employees who go above and beyond to make Dropbox a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive place to work. For example, this year we recognized an engineer for his mentorship of an intern through our Next Chapter program. We also started to recognize the hard work of our ERG leads by providing monetary compensation for their efforts.
Looking at 2023 and beyond
We’re proud of the progress we made in 2022, and will continue to focus on new and existing ways to advance our DEI commitments. We’ve already made significant strides in 2023, including:
- Introducing The Dropbox Way, a new hiring philosophy developed through extensive research including external benchmarking and employee focus groups. The Dropbox Way is composed of six hiring principles that outline who, how, and why we hire and describe what candidates can expect from Dropbox. One of these principles is “hire equitably,” which emphasizes our commitment to hiring candidates based on measurable and objective criteria and mitigating bias at every step of the way.
- Providing on-demand work spaces for employees across the globe through a partnership with a coworking space aggregator. This enabled us to open up access for nearly every employee to work from hundreds of global locations, creating more flexibility.
Looking ahead, we’re focused on investing in ERGs to scale their impact on connection and belonging and evolving our skills-based education to capture best practices. We’ll continue to grow and scale our development programs, like our Dropbox Mentoring Program, and strengthen our onboarding program to ensure it continues to meet the needs of all of our employees.
We’re proud of the progress we made in 2022, but also recognize there’s more work to be done.
In 2023 and beyond, we’ll continue to invest in our DEI programs and initiatives to help us achieve our commitments of building a diverse and inclusive team, developing and advancing equitably, and engaging in personal growth. We firmly believe that these commitments are instrumental to achieving our company mission of designing a more enlightened way of working, and we’ll continue to hold ourselves accountable to these principles.
Percentages presented herein are rounded to the nearest whole number and may not add up to 100%.
While Dropbox believes that our DEI goals and initiatives are important, we currently do not believe that such goals, initiatives, or risks are material to our financial results and results of operations, except to the extent referenced in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent 10-Q filings. This report also contains human capital measures or objectives that may be different from or are in addition to the human capital measures or objectives that Dropbox is required to disclose in its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. For a discussion on human capital measures or objectives that Dropbox focuses on in managing its business, please see the “Human Capital” section in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.
1. At Dropbox, underrepresented minorities (URMs) are defined as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, or Pacific Islander
2. Data on gender is global, and data on race is US only; data refers to full-time employees only
3. “Managers” are defined as those who have one or more direct reports (not including contract workers), “Leadership” is Director level and above, “Tech” are employees in our Engineering, Product, and Design functions
4. Gender and racial/ethnic group designation is self-reported by employees