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Cultivating a Diverse Web Design and Development Team

Tips and insights from Mangrove's leaders

by mangrove team
published on 01.09.2022
mangrove team on zoom

Cultivating and celebrating diversity is a top priority for Mangrove, and as we’ve evolved our business, we’ve worked to formalize our commitments to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Those commitments have manifested in several ways, one of them being how we build and nurture a diverse team. Last year specifically, Mangrove committed to:

  • Maintaining or increasing diversity to remain at 33% or above of team members who identify as non-white. At the end of 2020, 36% of our team identified as non-white.
  • Maintaining gender diversity to remain at 60% or above of team members who identify as female or non-binary. At the end of 2020, 82% of our team identified as female or non-binary.

In our experience, there are plenty of fully qualified, diverse applicants out there (we’ve been lucky enough to build a team of them!), but we’ve made a few shifts in our hiring process to more easily find them. Namely, we’ve recognized the need to cast a wider net, commit to full transparency, and allow ample time to search for the right fit.

Expand Your Horizons

Our team is—and always has been—100% remote, which automatically gives us an advantage when it comes to finding a wider range of applicants. Because our team members can work from anywhere, we can open our search to folks near and far. For us, it’s getting job listings in front of diverse applicants that presents a challenge. By doing a bit of homework and enlisting feedback from our peers, we’ve compiled an ever-growing list of resources and job boards that help businesses like ours build a diverse team. Here are a handful we’d recommend:

When we cast our net, we also emphasize qualifications beyond what’s on paper, especially when it comes to formal education. Less than half of our development team has a computer science or related degree, or even a post-secondary education. Part of what we look for is the capacity to be a self-motivated, curious and a proactive learner with creative problem-solving skills—self-taught folks are amazing in this way! As a self-taught developer, our own founder is living proof.

Be Transparent

When filling a role on our team, we prioritize full transparency about our values, compensation and timelines. This helps us attract the right people and ensures that every applicant is empowered with the same information. We also clearly communicate how to apply, what to expect during interviews and when to anticipate details on next steps. We want to avoid overly time-consuming or stressful situations during the process. Another tactic we’ve implemented is the use of a point-based scoring system based on our own rubric that evaluates every applicant on the same criteria. Our leaders use this tool throughout the hiring process, and we invite one of our Senior Developers to weigh in as well. This is one facet of our larger DEI commitment to shared decision making.

Don’t Rush It

We’ve found that allocating plenty of hours and resources is crucial to building a diverse team. This means carefully considering every aspect of the job description, and then committing to a thorough review of applications, thoughtful interviews and in-depth internal conversations about top candidates. Quick and easy? Nope. Worth it? Yes! The time and effort we put into hiring allows us to cultivate a diverse team of top-notch people who are values-aligned and truly passionate about their work.

A Few Words From Recent Mangrove Applicants

“[Mangrove’s] effort to foster diversity, equity and inclusion is apparent and I love the idea of working for a company that has this purpose at the forefront.”

“I want to make a difference in this world… I recognize Mangrove’s mission to expand technology opportunities for women and people of color as a mighty one.”

Wrapping Things Up

Hiring with intention is well worth it. Feel free to reach out if you want further tips on our process, or if you have something to share that would make our process better.


A Certified B Corp, Mangrove is a woman-owned website design and development company with a diverse, talented team distributed around the globe. We’ve been building websites since 2009 that amplify the work of change-making organizations and increase the competitive power of businesses owned by historically marginalized people.

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