How We Support Diversity and Inclusion

Our Commitment to Equality Across the Globe

Embracing diversity and inclusion has always been the foundation of Appen’s work and company culture. We rely on and celebrate the immense, global workforce that fuels our work in artificial intelligence (AI). Without their unique perspectives, we’d be unable to support our clients in their efforts to create AI solutions that work for everyone.

As part of our diversity policy, we advocate for equality of opportunity throughout our organization and respectful treatment of all individuals. This extends to our recruiting practices as well, in which we hire the best candidates for positions no matter their gender, ethnicity, race, culture, orientation, abilities, or experiences. From our employees, to our senior executives, to our crowd workers, we champion inclusion of all voices.

Our Diverse, Global Workforce

How We Support Diversity and Inclusion

We hire and retain a workforce of individuals across the globe with a variety of different backgrounds. By infusing our company with these diverse voices, we’re able to deliver AI solutions with broader applicability across borders.

Cultural and Ethnic Diversity

With crowd workers in over 130 countries—from Kenya, to Albania, to Thailand—and who speak over 180 languages and dialects, we’re very proud of the cultural and ethnic diversity of our workforce. Some of our crowd workers live in small, isolated villages, while others live in fast-paced tech hubs. With our remote work model, people from all walks of life can participate in transforming the exciting world of AI. No matter where they’re from, all of their voices are essential to the work that we do.

Gender Equality

Appen is one of the few tech organizations founded by a woman, linguist Dr. Julie Vonwiller. Since our founding, we’ve remained committed to gender equality and representation both in culture and hiring practices. Atypical of a tech company, our employee population is approximately 61% women and 39% men, allowing for opportunities for all genders to play an important role in our work. For several years in a row, we’ve continued to place in the top 10 in Deloitte’s Fast 50 Australia Awards in both the Leadership and Technology Fast Female categories.

To demonstrate our continued drive to support representation, Appen launched an initiative in 2019 to further develop female leaders. This initiative includes long- and short-term objectives around inclusion and career development for all levels within our organization. It’s strongly supported by our CEO and Board members.

Opportunities for People with Disabilities

We are an active supporter of people with disabilities. Our remote work model in particular enables us to hire individuals of all abilities, including those who would otherwise be out of the job market without a home work environment.

Our hiring efforts in the Philippines are an example of our continued championship for people with disabilities. We’ve so far hired over 200 people with partial or full hearing impairment to support our image annotation work, culminating in The Philippine Council of Organizations on Disability and Empowerment Inc. officially recognizing us for our commitment to inclusivity.

The Crowd Code of Ethics

To formalize our commitment to diversity and to our global workforce, Appen created a Crowd Code of Ethics. Our crowd workers are the foundation of what we do; being that they reside all over the globe, it was important for us to have a consistent message on how we treat and support these individuals. Our Code of Ethics describes key tenants of fair pay, inclusion, privacy, and confidentiality when it comes to our crowd.

Within our Code, we’ve described diversity and inclusion as vital to our mission of building better AI. In that vein, we’ve also documented our dedication to offering opportunities for individuals of all abilities and backgrounds. In the words of Appen CEO, Mark Brayan:

“The AI industry depends on the people who collect and label the data. They help make machine learning-empowered solutions possible and we are formalizing our commitment to their well-being. We believe that our customers should know that their partners stand for the ethical treatment of contractors.”

Moving Forward

As Appen evolves our diversity and inclusion initiatives, we welcome feedback from our employees and crowd workers so we can continue to improve. In the meantime, we are proud to be an organization that stands for values of equality and representation. We intend to keep upholding these values in the people we hire, the culture we create, the partners we work with, and the work that we do.

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