International Women's Day 2020 | #EachForEqual at Elastic

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and here at Elastic, we like to take this time of year to sit back and reflect on the ways in which we’re helping support the women of Elastic, and how we can do better.

Last year we brought you stories of how we’re balancing for the better at Elastic and highlighted stories from Kristina Frost and Kiley Davidson. This year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we’d like to highlight some of the departments and initiatives at Elastic that we believe are working towards a more equitable workplace for women and in the process, a more fair workplace for every Elastician.

Here are some of the departments and initiatives working towards a fairer world both inside and outside Elastic.


Our Singapore office shows their support #EachforEqual

Community and diversity

The Community team manages different programs that involve engaging with the Elastic Community — including (but not limited to) building awareness at practitioner events, answering questions on the discussion forums, and organizing and supporting meetups around the world.

They allocate a portion of their program budget to encourage and support events focused on diversity and inclusion. Women in technology events are a significant part of that focus, and this initiative first kicked-off at Elastic{ON} 2017, when the Community team organized a collaborative event with Django Girls, an organization that has open-sourced their workshop tutorial aimed at making tech more approachable. The workshop brought together thirteen Elastic coaches from around the world and nearly two dozen women attendees to show that programming can be fun and accessible. To continue this success, Elastic decided to support Django Girls beyond the one time event with an annual budget to support workshops being organized around the globe.


Snacks from the Django Girls workshop.

This community program has expanded beyond Django Girls to support other organizations focused on empowering more women in tech such initiatives include Women Who Code, WoMakersCode based out of Brazil, and other organizations around the globe. The Community team also provides free tickets to diversity organizations to attend our Elastic{ON} Tour events. Broadening outreach that includes women of marginalized groups, such as women of color and the LGBTQIA, are also an important part of this initiative. Our goal with this program is to create a more diverse and inclusive Elastic Community, where we have better equity of participants at Elastic events. A recent report from NCWIT showed that only 26% of professional computing jobs are held by women, and we hope this program will help support efforts to bring in and keep more women in professional computing roles. We look forward to having more women speak at and attend Elastic events!


Django Girls event in full swing.

Elastic Cause Awards

Between 2016 and 2017, we established the Elastic Cause Awards, which highlights the efforts of people and companies doing good in the world using our software. Generally, the awards are given based on the  reach of the project, whether the heart and soul of the project made us feel good about what was accomplished, and the ultimate impact. Previously, awards were given at the annual, larger Elastic{ON} event — now, our awards run on local time, just like our community. That means awards are given out regionally at Elastic{ON} Tour events in the Americas, EMEA, and APJ. Winners are selected by a by judging panel which includes members of our broader Elastic community, and the winners are flown in to a nearby Elastic{ON} Tour event (when possible) to accept their award. 


2020 Americas Cause Award honoree SysAdminas.

When an organization receives an award they receive free training, which in turn helps to support their initiative and their impact on the world. This is exactly what open source represents — sharing resources for others to be great, and to do good.

Over the years, we’ve been able to give Elastic Cause Awards to several organizations that support women. For example, SysAdminas was given the award for their support in training women who want to work with IT infrastructure in Brazil. The GirlScript Foundation, another Cause Award honoree, uses the Elastic Stack to help and track people who fail when using online resources, need mentors, and are looking for tech jobs. They support diversity in tech and ensure 60% women participation in every meetup, workshops, or conferences they create.

Other causes we’ve supported include Pathfinder Labs, Thorn’s Innovation Lab, and IST Research. Check out our past honorees for more information.

Elastic Cares

In 2017, we launched our giving and community program centered around our culture of philanthropy. The goal of Elastic Cares is to ensure that Elastic teams and individuals have the time, space, and resources to donate and volunteer with causes they care about in their communities, both at a global and local level, and to offer support to non-profit organizations with free clusters on the Elasticsearch Service.

For volunteering, Elastic offers a Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program that gives Elasticians 40 hours a year to work with the organizations they love. Our Helper Node series on the Culture blog highlights the many ways our Elasticians use their volunteering hours. Many of these initiatives support organizations that focus on women empowerment — for example, Elastician Robin Hilton’s work with Girl Scouts Nations Capitol.


Robin with her Girl Scout troop.

Elastic Cares is also in charge of setting up donation campaigns through our giving tool. Through it, Elasticians and members of the Elastic community can combine forces to support causes such as disaster relief, human rights campaigns, and cancer research. This month, we’re celebrating and supporting STEM causes through a donation campaign that matches Elasticians giving by 200%. Many of these STEM organizations support initiatives to get women and marginalized groups more involved in the tech space. We hope that these generous donations will help support underrepresented groups, and that over time, these groups will have an opportunity to share further opportunities and education within their communities.

We have the largest donation impact when working as a collective, which is how Elastic Cares has been able to donate over one million USD to several charities. While we do drive certain campaigns, Elasticians can also donate and designate their donation and match to other charities close to their heart. Many of those charities are solely focused on women empowerment. Examples include:

Elastic Cares, a whole lot. And we’ll continue expanding our reach and impact through philanthropic work. You can donate to our causes by visiting our donations page.

Pay equity

Assessing pay equity, which includes hiring outside experts with each compensation planning cycle, and adjusting in the case where an unexplained gap is identified, sets us apart in the rigor taken to ensure we have fair and consistent pay practices, globally. We take this approach because we know that assessing our pay opportunities internally can create a myopic view of what we’re accomplishing. In other words — we don’t want to drink our own champagne.

That’s why we’ve regularly assessed our pay to ensure that everyone can expect fair pay, no matter their gender. Our first results were a delightful surprise — there was no statistically significant gap between men and women in similar roles across the company. This, however, wasn’t enough, so we ran a second audit and included age and tenure. In that audit, a few pay gaps were found, so we dug a bit deeper and found where those unexplained gaps existed and resolved them. As we come up to another cycle of annual reviews, we’ll run yet another audit to check on age, tenure, and U.S. ethnicity data (we don’t have the data globally, but historically, pay inequity is often magnified by race in the U.S.). This will be our third audit in a year and a half, and we’ll continue this diligence into the future.

Parental leave & family formation

Elastic provides 16 weeks of 100% paid parental leave during the first year following the birth or adoption of a child. That’s whether an Elastician is a mom or a dad (families come as they are). Leave time can be taken in increments or all at once, allowing parents to stagger their leave for what’s best in the household.

Providing maternity and paternity leave in equal measures promotes equality in the home. Where traditionally the burden of those early days of child rearing fell on the mother, change is in the air. Promoting paternity allows fathers to be at home, to take on more of a role inside the household. This isn’t about what benefits Elastic — it’s about what benefits the world, and equality at large.

Interested in joining a fair and equitable company with a Source Code to live by? We’re hiring. Check out our teams and find your fit! Want to read more about life at Elastic? Read more on our blog!