Founded in 2002 by two former UNSW Engineering Coop Scholars, Atlassian is an Australian tech startup now valued at AU$6 billion. Having grown to over 1,600 ‘Atlassians’ in six locations, the company continues to maintain strong links with the University through a variety of scholarships and student placements. In 2016, Atlassian expanded its involvement and support for gender diversity at UNSW through the Atlassian Women in Engineering Scholarship.
“This scholarship is a crucial part of ensuring that everyone can build the future together,” says Peter Georgiou, Head of IT. “We’re passionate about creating high-performing teams, and research shows that diverse, inclusive teams are a key driver of performance. By encouraging more young women to study computing—and to support them while doing so—we believe it will help our industry reach its potential.”
In addition to this new scholarship, Atlassian invests in a variety of initiatives to encourage greater diversity within the company, including supporting employees passionate about diversity to enact change within and outside the company. They’ve also changed their recruiting processes to overcome the structural and psychological barriers to female representation, and focused on teaching all Atlassians how to interrupt their unconscious biases. These efforts, as part of a larger focus on increased diversity, have already shown success: their incoming graduate class is 50% women.
“Globally, we’ve pioneered the use of team-level diversity data to drive meaningful change in the representation and inclusion of people from a variety of underrepresented groups, including women, ethnic minorities and members of the LGBTI community,” says Georgiou. “There are thousands of fallacies about why certain industries and companies lack diversity, but organisational diversity does not happen by accident. It’s essential to invest early and intentionally.”