Empowering diverse voices: Bringing D&I to life at Bolt

May 1, 2024


As a global company impacting hundreds of cities worldwide, we understand the importance of a diverse team. However, simply having people from different backgrounds is not enough. Real innovation and success come from creating an environment where everyone feels included, confident, and empowered to share their ideas.

That’s why diversity and inclusion (D&I) is quickly moving to the top of the priority list, not just in our company. It’s not just a buzzword or a passing trend – it’s a strategic approach to cultivating a workforce where 100% respect is the foundation.

In this article, we’ll share more about creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to contribute their unique perspective.

What are diversity and inclusion?

Before we dive deeper into the topic, it’s essential to understand what these terms mean. 

Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.

Inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where all people’s inherent worth and dignity are recognised. An inclusive organisation promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practises respect for its members’ talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living.

Source: Ferris State University

In essence, diversity is about representation and acknowledging the uniqueness of individuals, while inclusion is about creating a culture where everyone feels respected, valued, and empowered to fully participate and contribute. Diversity and inclusion are essential for fostering innovation, driving organisational success, and creating a more equitable and just society.

Why diversity and inclusion matter at Bolt 

We’re an international company with employees of over 110 different nationalities and a relatively balanced gender representation, with females comprising 42% of our workforce. We value such diversity and aim to create an environment where everyone feels appreciated, respected, and empowered to contribute their best.

This commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just a superficial statement; it’s embedded in our approach to hiring, internal culture, and customer engagement. Here is how prioritising diversity and inclusion can help us achieve our objectives:

  • Access to talent. We want to hire the best people in the world and believe they can come from all backgrounds. We must be inclusive of all demographics in perception and hiring processes.
  • Meritocracy. We want people to get roles and compensation based on their merit, not biased or disadvantaged by demographic factors. 
  • The best ideas win. We promote an open culture where healthy debate and diverse perspectives are encouraged, irrespective of an individual’s position or background, fostering an environment where the best ideas can emerge.
  • Customer representation. We recognise that a diverse workforce, reflective of our user base’s demographics, provides invaluable insights and perspectives necessary for building products that resonate with and cater to the needs of our global audience.

As a global service for millions and an employer to thousands, it’s at the core of Bolt’s operations to value diversity and inclusion and treat our employees and users fairly and respectfully. 

The current state of things

Diversity and Inclusion is not about instant gratification. Building a truly inclusive environment takes effort and time. Luckily, we’re already moving in this direction and have ambitious plans for the future.

Among the initiatives that we’ve already launched is, for example, our Female-led Fridays, an initiative that supports Bolt’s journey towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. It’s a forum for Bolt employees to raise awareness about the issues we might face daily. We raise different topics and share the takeaways from these conversations with a wider audience on our blog and LinkedIn.

We’re committed to integrating the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion into all of our HR processes. We’ve been continuously enhancing our recruitment process to ensure it’s as objective, structured, and competency-based as possible to eliminate unconscious bias. During our Annual Compensation Reviews, we closely monitor proposed changes by gender to ensure gender pay equality. In our Annual Performance Reviews, we’ve incorporated questions to check for unconscious bias in the assessment process, requiring managers to acknowledge potential gender or background bias when submitting their ratings. 

However, that’s not the limit, and there’s still a lot of work to be done. 

Future plans

We’ve taken the time to establish objectives for our company’s future. To ensure that these objectives are relevant and feasible, we utilise data modelling to determine the most effective strategies to achieve our goals and enhance our chances of success.

Here are our six company-wide goals for the next few years:

  • Increase female representation in senior roles to 30% by 2027.
  • Increase female representation in managerial roles to 40% by 2027.
  • Increase the portion of employees from International Markets in senior roles to 25% by 2027.
  • By 2025, we aim to train our entire workforce on diversity and inclusion.
  • Ensure we have a 0% adjusted gender pay gap.
  • Improve the share of employees who feel treated equally regardless of their background at Bolt.

From words to actions

Achieving these goals isn’t a one-time project — it’s a continuous effort that requires dedication and commitment. We view D&I as a core discipline woven into everything we do as a responsible business.

As we begin this journey, here are the steps we’ll take to create more inclusive workplaces:

  • Education as the foundation: Diversity and inclusion isn’t a matter of opinion but of knowledge and education. Raising awareness and training employees are the foundation of our work. 
  • Setting goals: To drive progress and measure our impact, we establish and closely monitor goals, ensuring our efforts towards diversity and inclusion remain focused and effective.
  • Eliminating unconscious biases: While talent is distributed equally, opportunities often are not. We employ data-backed, science-based methods to eliminate unconscious biases from our policies, principles, and processes, ensuring equal opportunities for all.
  • Managers as role models: Our managers play a crucial role in fostering diversity and inclusion by building diverse teams, making fair leadership decisions, promoting an inclusive and healthy workplace, and swiftly addressing misconduct.
  • 100% respect: Respect is non-negotiable at Bolt. We expect our employees to treat others with dignity and respect and encourage them to speak up if they witness disrespectful or inappropriate behaviour.
  • Diverse teams win: We believe in the power of diverse teams to drive innovation, resilience, profitability, and customer satisfaction. By embracing diversity, we ensure that our teams make informed decisions that reflect the needs of our diverse customer base.
  • Localised approach: Diversity and inclusion can’t be standardised; they must be adapted to local contexts. We recognise the importance of addressing local intricacies and strive to balance globally unified goals, principles, and practices while allowing flexibility for localised activities as necessary.

We’re laying the foundation for a more equitable and prosperous future by embracing these principles.

Join us!

If you’re looking for a workplace culture that values diversity, inclusion, and respect, Bolt is the right place. Our focus is not only on creating useful products but also on building a community dedicated to making a positive and lasting impact on our cities and beyond.

We have hundreds of job openings, ranging from entry-level to top management positions, offering an exciting chance to make a difference in how millions commute. Browse our careers page, and apply for a suitable role. 

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