YouTube and Netflix are just two of the gigantic companies battling it out for the attention of viewers, especially when it comes to the younger generations. However, since all of this is in the sense of “healthy competition,” from time to time, even these companies can recognize when one or the other is doing good work for the benefit of their employees. Last week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, in an interview with Vanity Fair, praised Netflix CEO Reed Hastings for making gender diversity in the tech industry a priority. According to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in the said interview, “Human Resources departments and diversity leads play a critical role, but they need the commitment and attention of the company’s CEO to succeed. A great example of a CEO taking this issue seriously is Reed Hastings of Netflix.
In an effort to build a more flexible work culture, he took a strong stand on paid family leave. That policy led to a cascade effect, with companies like Microsoft and Amazon soon providing better family leave options, helping to limit the adverse effects that having children can have on a woman’s career.” Giving priority to gender diversity at work can work wonders for the business as well. Increasing family leave has helped companies like Netflix and Google retain really good female employees. At YouTube, when paid maternity leave increased from 12 to 18 weeks, the rate in which new mothers left the company considerably dropped by 50 percent.
Wojcicki even mentioned that the commitment to gender diversity is not just the only interesting peace in Netflix’s work culture. Netflix is also popular because CEO Reed Hastings drives at not tolerating employees that fail at work or brilliant minds that can be total jerks. According to Hastings in his talk about the company’s culture in 2009, the culture in Netflix focuses on freedom, responsibility, excellence, high performance, context – not control, and promotions and development. He contrasted Netflix with other companies that preach so-called cultures of integrity, communication, respect, and excellence and even display these values in their lobby, but fall very much short on their practices. A prime example of this is Enron wherein these values are displayed in their lobby and website but whose leaders went to jail and the company went bankrupt for fraud.
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Hastings continues that actual company values as opposed to nice-sounding values can be seen in the company people who gets rewarded and promoted, or if the company has a high attrition rate. Actual company values are the actual behaviors and skills that are valued in the employees. Thus, company hiring and promotions must be demonstrated from the actual values displayed in its lobby for all employees to emulate. This is the age wherein office politics and behind-closed-doors promotions and rewards no longer have a place in companies, especially in tech companies, if these run contrary to whatever values it supposedly preaches.