Company: DreamHost, Brea, CA USA
Nomination Category: Employer of the Year -Internet/New Media
Employer of the Year Essay:
The technology industry suffers from an average of just 6 percent women in the workplace, a number that DreamHost wants to see rise drastically. And so, In 2018 the Women’s Initiative was born. Aimed at increasing female presence in tech, the company looked internally to determine what steps could be taken to reconcile the underrepresentation. From there, DreamHost relaunched its careers page to make it more inclusive of everyone, no matter their gender, race or religion. Keeping the Women’s Initiative in mind, DreamHost did their homework on gender pay rates, ensuring they do their part in closing the gender wage gap. The next phase of the initiative meant looking deeper within the organization to find ways to make the everyday work environment a more inviting place for women, an area DreamHost knows the tech industry to be lagging in. Over the past year, this has developed into “mother rooms” at each location and an increased focus and participation on women in tech programs in the community. The Women’s Initiative continues to develop into 2019 and will remain a priority for DreamHost long into the future.
DreamHost also understands its role as a provider in its employees’ lives, and in turn places great emphasis on the health benefits and perks available. The company offers 100% paid health insurance for its employees as well as offering benefits for domestic partners and girlfriends or boyfriends. DreamHost acknowledges that every family’s structure differs, but more importantly, they understand that if the people their employees love are happy and healthy, it makes for a happier and more productive employee. Other benefits include free dental, free vision and pet insurance. In order to continue to improve upon its health care benefits, DreamHost went from offering two HMOs and one PPO in 2017, to offering its employees a choice between three HMOs and two PPOs in 2018.
It’s also DreamHost’s belief that health and wellness extends beyond the doctor’s office. In 2018, DreamHost partnered with ThrivePass to provide reimbursement accounts to its employees. Contributing $30 a month, employees can use this money on gym memberships, Fitbits and other fitness wearables, deep tissue massages, facials or therapy sessions. Through this partnership, DreamHost places the ownership of the benefit in the employee's hands, allowing them to participate in health and wellness activities that make the most sense in their lives.
DreamHost has also developed a performance management system that places employee’s accountability and performance in their own hands. This initiative was created in 2018 with the understanding that employees feel safe, valued and inspired when they receive effective feedback from their peers and superiors. Doing away with the standard performance reviews, DreamHost put in place ongoing performance plans for employees that include weekly or bi-weekly coaching sessions.
For DreamHost, what ties all of these separate elements together that make it a great place to work is the ongoing active effort to uphold the company values. While most company values are written in a boardroom to be passed down through the ranks, DreamHost chose to build its values from the ground up, including representatives from all areas of the organization. In order to ensure the company upholds its values on a daily basis, the Values Squad, a task force comprised of peer-elected members, is charged with ensuring that the decisions being made at all levels of the business support DreamHost’s overarching values.
Employer of the Year Summary
-Increased number of women in the DreamHost workplace to 24% due to its efforts with the Women’s Initiative.
-Improved its healthcare offerings from two HMOs and one PPO in 2017, to offering its employees three HMOs and two PPOs in 2018.
-Launched a partnership with ThrivePass in 2018 where employees receive $30 monthly to spend on health and wellness activities that make the most sense for their lives.
-Developed a performance management system in 2018 that places employee’s accountability and performance in their own hands through weekly or bi-weekly coaching sessions, replacing traditional performance reviews.
-Right-sized salary structure based on in-depth research around market trends to uphold gender equality standards.