Inclusion & Diversity Annual Report 2020

Five members of Twitter's Inclusion & Diversity team smile. The hashtag, UntilWeAllBelong, repeats in the background.
 

Still, we fly

As we look back on 2020, we will remember its many challenges— the unprecedented stress, trauma, and loss in communities around the world. As we navigated the year, we chose to double down on inclusion and diversity (I&D) and set new standards for ourselves –– and the industry. 

We selected “Still, we fly” for our I&D annual report theme because as many times as 2020 tried to knock us down, not only did we get back up, but we responded with empathy, agility, innovation, and leadership. In short, we flew. You can go deeper on our response to COVID and #BlackLivesMatters on our blog. Looking back, in addition to the new  programs we launched to respond to world events, we also made solid progress on the goals we set at the beginning of the year. Let’s take a look…

 

Diversifying our Tweepforce

In 2020, we announced a set of bold new diversity goals for 2025: At least half of our global Tweepforce will be women and in the US, at least a quarter will be underrepresented minorities: specifically Black, Latinx, Native American, Alaskan or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or Multiracial. Starting in 2021, our executive team’s annual compensation will be determined in part by their participation in our inclusion and diversity efforts, including their contributions toward meeting these workforce representation targets. Check out the latest numbers on our diversity page (we update it quarterly). Here’s a few highlights of recent progress:

+13%

Women make up 43% of our global Tweepforce, up 13% over the past 3 years.

2x

The number of Black Tweeps in the US has more than doubled over the past 3 years to 7% of our Tweepforce and 7% of our leadership (director level and above).

+49%

Latinx Tweeps make up 5.5% of our US Tweepforce, an increase of 49% over the past 3 years.

2017 – 2020 Trends/Changes: Global Gender*

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

2017 – 2020 Trends/Changes: US Ethnicity*

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

All Roles

Leadership

Technical

*This section is based on voluntary employee self-identification. Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding and that some Tweeps have declined to disclose. Includes regular, full-time employees who were active or on leave as of the effective date. Leadership includes directors and above. Technical is our functional designation and omits G&A and sales designations. “Underrepresented minorities” for now includes Black, Latinx, Multiracial, and Indigenous populations. “Indigenous” includes Native American, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations. Data effective as December 31 in the year reported. Percentages may not align with previous years' Diversity Report due to differences in reporting dates and, in the event an employee updates their identification, Twitter references the most recent response as of Feb 1, 2021 when the data was pulled.

Cultivating an inclusive culture

We look to foster what we call a #LoveWhereYouWork culture, where trust is built through transparency and accountability. This year, we made strides by expanding our internal diversity dashboard so Tweeps anywhere can see how their team is doing across our goals in real time and take action to drive progress. Some of our biggest advancements were on pay transparency.

Pay transparency

Each year, we perform a pay equity analysis to ensure all Tweeps are paid equitably. The results of our analysis* showed that Tweeps are paid equitably across Twitter, with women earning 100% of equivalent male Tweeps, and US Tweeps who identify as underrepresented minorities (URMs) earning 100% of equivalent white Tweeps. 

We believe pay represents more than compensation; it can be an important proxy for power and decision making across the company. That’s why in Q4 2020, we conducted a subsequent analysis that is fundamentally different from the methodology used in traditional pay equity studies. Instead of analyzing pay through the lens of  holding known factors that impact pay constant and seeing if remaining variation in pay is due to demographic differences (as in pay equity analyses), we looked at the overall distribution of women and URMs at the company and compared that to the overall compensation earned by women and URMs to better understand how pay is distributed to women and URMs. In this analysis, we found that while women represented 42.6% of the global Tweepforce, they netted 36.6% of total compensation. In the US, 6.3% identified as Black and netted 4.7% of total compensation, and 5.8% identified as Latinx and netted 4.8% of total compensation. This is likely due to fewer women and URMs in leadership and more senior technical roles, both of which can be a source of pay differences. While fewer women and URMs in leadership and technical roles is not unique to Twitter, this uneven distribution can hinder our I&D efforts to cultivate a level playing field and promote inclusion. These insights underscore the urgency with which we must accelerate efforts already underway to increase representation and retention of women and URM in leadership and technical positions via our hiring, talent development and promotion practices.

We continue to look for ways to push ourselves and our industry. While our annual pay equity analysis provides overall insight and satisfies our legal obligations, we know we can do more. This is important work, and we will continue to examine ourselves with a critical eye and push ourselves to do more toward inclusion and diversity. #UntilWeAllBelong

*Footnote: The cited pay equity results are from compensation data analyzed in Q1 2020. Total compensation includes base salary, incentive compensation (where applicable), performance bonus (where applicable), and equity compensation. Our 2021 pay equity analysis is currently underway and will be shared closer to Equal Pay Day later this year. 

Two Twitter employees having a conversation. The hashtag, JoinTheFlock, repeats in the background.
 

Increasing representation

There’s no easy fix for addressing gaps in representation stemming from centuries of systemic barriers for women and underrepresented people. At Twitter, we take a multifaceted approach that addresses the problem from all angles and empowers every single Tweep to be part of the solution:

Reviewing our processes

It’s important that we live our I&D values at every stage of the hiring process. We partnered with Textio to standardize job descriptions and mitigate possible bias. We revamped our diversity sourcing toolkit and prioritized diversity sourcing efforts for all open roles. We rolled out Inclusive Hiring Principles to ensure Tweeps who touch the hiring process understand what’s expected of them from an I&D perspective— and where to go if they have questions. We expanded our diverse candidate slate initiative, requiring that all open roles have an interview panel with a finalist slate of at least three qualified candidates, of which at least one must be a woman (globally) and at least one must be Black or Latinx (US).

Meeting talent where they are

Until the applicant pool for open roles looks more like the communities we serve, we need to meet candidates from diverse backgrounds where they are. During a year when many companies pulled back on recruiting, we attended over a dozen (virtual) conferences to connect directly with candidates we want to attract. We deepened existing partnerships and forged new ones, all with the goal of ensuring anyone who could be a great fit for Twitter knew we were hiring. Here’s a snapshot of where we showed up: NextPlay, Women Impact Tech, Grace Hopper, NSBE, Latinas in Tech, LTX Fest, LeadDev, DevelopHer, AfroTech, SHPE, ColorComm, Latinx in AI, Techqueria and Out & Equal Asia.

“Until the applicant pool for open roles looks more like the communities we serve, we need to meet candidates from diverse backgrounds where they are.”

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Enriching the candidate experience

Competition for talent can be intense, so we hosted virtual events to engage with candidates directly and provide a better idea of what it’s like to work at Twitter.

Events like #LivedExperiences: Latinx in Eng, #LivedExperiences: Working While Black, #QueerInUX, #BlackInUX, #LatinxInUX, and #DisabilityInUX shared an insider's look at what it’s like to work at Twitter while #TwitterEmpowersYou Ireland and our #BehindThePlatform series (#BehindThePlatform: Machine Learning, #BehindThePlatform: Product Manager, #BehindThePlatform: Accessibility, #BehindThePlatform: AdTech) gave candidates a better understanding of the actual work Tweeps do everyday. Last but certainly not least, we created a Twitter podcast series Building Characters to connect with emerging and early-career talent.

Investing in emerging talent

We have a responsibility to break down barriers for emerging talent and help build pathways to a successful career in tech. 2020 was no exception, as we hosted over a dozen virtual events to support emerging talent around the world. Programs like #YouBelongInTech, #EarlyBird, #DevelopHer, #TechProud, and #FirstFlightFall helped us connect with university students from diverse communities in the US, EMEA, and India. Our Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program provided a yearlong, on-the-job opportunity for the next generation of leaders from nontraditional backgrounds, while Twitter Academy offered a 12-week paid summer internship designed for historically underrepresented, second-year computer science students.

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Collage of Twitter's BRG logos.
 

Cultivating inclusion

Expanding Tweep’s capabilities

At Twitter, everyone has a role to play in creating a more inclusive culture. To help Tweeps along their journey, we launched a portfolio of required course work (an “I&D Toolkit'') to build cultural competencies. In 2020, the toolkit included: “Words Matter,” a resource that shines a light on microbehaviors, and in particular, microaggressions; “Allyship 101,” a training in which learners move from talking about diversity to fostering actual inclusion; and finally “Healthy Conversations,” a live virtual training on having difficult conversations in a way that strengthens relationships and eliminates defensiveness.


We also introduced programming to help Tweeps unpack the issues they were confronting everyday in the headlines and on our service. #TwitterTogetherTalks is a series of all-company meetings featuring discussions with experts on racial equity, anti-racism, and social justice, with the goal of normalizing these conversations in the workplace. Together, we explored anti-Blackness, unpacked criminal justice reform, and reinforced that #BlackLivesMatter. Hosts included Dr. Ibram X Kendi, Janet Mock, and Anthony Ray Hinton.

Inclusive coding

The language we had historically been using in our code did not reflect our values, so an internal team set out to change that. The team developed a glossary of inclusive terminology and focused their work in two areas: upgrading the language in existing code to be more inclusive and updating documentation across internal resources so that future teams could carry this work forward.

Business Resource Groups

Our Business Resource Groups (BRGs) leaders dedicate their time, above and beyond their primary role at Twitter, to shape our company culture. They uplift and empower their communities, working to make Twitter a place where anyone, anywhere can belong. 

As Twitter responded to a global pandemic and racial injustice, we realized that the contributions from our global BRG leaders were just as important to our success as leaders in other parts of the company. It should not be treated as a “side hustle.” That’s why in 2020, Twitter became the first global tech company to compensate our global BRG chairs for their work. We made this investment to acknowledge how much we value their work and reinforce how essential BRGs are to the success of our I&D goals at Twitter and our overall company culture. 

You’d think that last year would have made it difficult for our BRGs to do what they do best. You’d be wrong. Overall, participation in our BRGs membership grew by 132% in 2020, including the introduction of a new BRG, Twitter FaithMore than 1.6M people follow the various BRG handles on Twitter (and you should too). Here are some highlights:

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#LoveToSeeIt by @Blackbirds
Black History Month

Raising Black voices and deepening Black pride at Twitter and beyond.

Read more about #LoveToSeeIt

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#DisabledAndAble by @TwitterAble
Disability Employment Awareness Month

People can be both disabled and able workers: there is more to people than their disability.

Read more about #DisabledAndAble

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#JuntosSomos by @TwitterAlas
Hispanic Heritage Month

When we all come together and bring our true selves, we can create and change our world.

Read more about #JuntosSomos

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#RepresentAsian by @TwitterAsians
Asian Heritage Month

Asians aren't monolithic - we're breaking the understanding of what it means to be Asian.

Read more about #RepresentAsian

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Launched @Twitter Faith
Launched Twitter Faith at #OneTeam

Celebrating and fostering understanding of global faith and belief diversity.

Read more about Twitter Faith

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#AlwaysProud by @TwitterOpen
Pride

Empowering the voices of our LGBTQIA+ community around the globe because Pride never really ends!

Read more about #AlwaysProud

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#WatchUsWingIt by @TwitterParents
Twitter Parents Week

It’s life’s imperfections that make us laugh, cry, and bring us closer together, even when we feel apart.

Read more about #WatchUsWingIt

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#TogetherInService by TwitterStripes
Veteran’s Day

We are united by our mission to serve a bigger purpose (and each other).

Read more about #TogetherInService

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#EveryWoman by @TwitterWomen
International Women’s Day

Practicing intersectionality and supporting every woman.

Read more about #EveryWoman

#TwitterTeamUp

In 2020, we made a concerted effort to bring BRGs closer to where decisions are made and create a bridge between BRGs and the work we do as a company around curation, policy, and enforcement. #TwitterTeamUp is a new initiative between representatives from all Twitter BRGs and cross-functional teams including Health, Public Policy, Curation, and Global Marketing. In addition to building relationships, we implemented new workflows for incorporating BRG cultural insights into our product review process, and look forward to accelerating progress in 2021.

Our accessibility journey

Expanding on significant accessibility efforts pioneered by Twitter Able, we created two new teams to focus on greater accessibility, tooling, and advocacy across all of our products: the Accessibility Center of Excellence led by a new global head of accessibility, and the Experience Accessibility team, which will focus specifically on the features and products on Twitter. This is the first of many steps we intend to take to ensure a more inclusive service. 

Twitter employee shrugs and smiles. The hashtag, TwitterVoices, repeats in the background.
 

Impact beyond our walls

#TwitterVoices

#TwitterVoices was created to uplift people and communities beyond our walls. Last year, the team behind #TwitterVoices pivoted to an all-virtual format, convening groups of musicians, creators, activists, cultural commentators, and journalists from underrepresented communities to honor, empower and uplift. #TwitterVoicesAtHome: Black Voices, #TwitterVoicesAtHome: Latinx Leaders, and #TwitterVoicesAtHome: LGBTQ+ Voices were an inspirational celebration of the many talented voices that make our service and our communities special. Check out some of the fantastic art we commissioned from these creators here, here, and here. For Juneteenth, we collaborated with teams across the company to bring to life an out-of-home campaign highlighting Tweets by #TwitterVoices and activists. From the streets to the Tweets, the campaign showed the power of #TwitterVoices and the way they use Twitter to spark conversation and create change.

Diversity partnerships

Our work with US advocacy organizations and nonprofit partners representing diverse communities took on extra urgency last year. Our Speaker Series initially launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the response, it quickly evolved into an eight-week speaker series with takeaways on how to show support and be an ally for the groups most affected by the pandemic. We also introduced a follow-on series exploring allyship, intersections, and the power of collective responsibility to take on systemic oppressions together, in 2020 and beyond.

Since we couldn’t attend or sponsor our partners’ events as we did in the past, we found ways to help amplify our partners’ virtual efforts and presence on the platform. In addition to briefings with civil rights leaders, we offered best practices and nonprofit training, and provided access and 1:1 training to partners on how to live-stream their conferences and discussions on Twitter, with the support of our Live Content team. 

We’re proud of the work across our many US partners (below), and look forward to expanding to a global portfolio in 2021.

 

Partner organizations we supported/ worked with this year include:

Building a diverse supply chain

2020 was the second year of our Supplier Inclusion & Diversity program. We continued to make significant progress in developing our program foundation and our relationships with Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).


We saw the devastating effect social distancing was having on the diverse supplier community at large. In response, we modified and created special payment terms to assist our current small and diverse suppliers. To aid in the recovery and revitalization of minority-owned businesses, we financially supported the NMSDC “In this Together Campaign,” providing economic and educational resources to suppliers in need. To show our commitment to supplier diversity, we were among the first companies to join the Vendor Diversity Coalition. We were proud to partner with ICE Safety Solutions (a minority- and woman-owned business) to secure personal protective equipment and develop Tweep care packages.

Investing in underserved communities

Twitter announced a commitment to invest $100 million in the Finance Justice Fund, managed by Opportunity Finance Network. The new, social-responsible investment fund will combat long-standing racial injustice and persistent poverty by lending to Black, Latinx, Indignous, and rural borrowers across the US through community development financial institutions (CDFIs).

We also announced a new partnership with Operation HOPE, a nonprofit organization that provides financial literacy and economic inclusion for underserved communities. Twitter will reinvest some of its returns from the below-market rate loans made to CDFIs to fund five Operation HOPE Inside centers that provide financial coaching and tools to clients of Black banks, minority-serving financial institutions, or institutions serving underserved communities across the US.

We hope this kind of renewable, durable corporate philanthropy can create a blueprint for other companies to join Twitter in this critical work.

Giving back

Tweeps contributed nearly $4 million to over 1,500 causes around the globe, including $1.5 million to supporting racial justice. We also dedicated $4.5 million in free advertising grants to over 550 nonprofits activating campaigns, such as the NAACP LDF, which educated 14.6K people about voter suppression and gave them the tools to act. Tweeps also volunteered 19,425 hours of service during our company-wide gathering in Houston at the start of 2020, and two fully remote company-wide days of service. You can read more about our virtual days of service, as well as our response to #BlackLivesMatter and #COVID-19.

The hashtag, UntilWeAllBelong, repeats in the background.
 

The road ahead

Looking back, I’m proud of what we accomplished together. Looking forward, it inspires me even more knowing that we have just scratched the surface. Work that’s been happening for many years at Twitter — and across our industry — took on renewed urgency last year. Together, we now have unprecedented momentum. I’m eager for us to use it to accelerate progress on our journey to becoming the world’s most diverse and inclusive tech company. We won’t stop #UntilWeAllBelong.

– Dalana Brand

2020 Quarterly Reports

#JoinTheFlock

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#LoveToSeeIt by @Blackbirds

Blackbirds celebrated Black History Month with a vibrant campaign, celebrating the sheer joy of what it means to be Black right now with #LoveToSeeIt. We hosted one of our largest kickoffs in-person, streamed across our global offices, and invited Tweeps to share their stories across different perspectives (intersectionality, allyship, leadership, promotions, and maintaining a global mindset). That was just the beginning. We also launched our own internal aux-cord style battled called #LoveToHearIt! While Tweeps came together to compete across different genres, we made the experience external for a chance to get to know Twitter candidates within our community to drive recruitment and representation. In June, during the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, we knew our members needed us. We needed us. That’s why we launched a virtual discussion titled, #TakeCare, where we brought in Black therapists and wellness experts providing tools and guidance to help Black Tweeps process what they were experiencing. We also published a blog, co-authored by Twitter Faith, titled: Allyship Right Now. As Juneteenth approached, we knew that our #BlackJoy was an act of resistance, so we brought our community together to experience it like no other.

 

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#DisabledAndAble by @TwitterAble

Twitter Able celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October with a global campaign that represented who we are, what we do, and our intersections: #DisabledAndAble. We want it to be known that people can be both disabled workers and able workers — that disabled employees are not less than and not here to simply accommodate. Through internal events like the “Rising Phoenix Watch Party,” and “Masterclass with Mark Pollock,” to intersectional events like “#TakeCare: Tackling Latinx Stigmas on Mental Health,” our community and culture is embedded in driving belonging for Tweeps with visible and invisible disabilities. We closed out the month with an internal event “#DisabledAnd... A Paralympian” where members and allies chatted with Brad Snyder and Elizabeth Wright about their shared experiences. While Twitter outlined new initiatives happening across accessibility, Twitter Able remained a key voice in cultural accessibility and product efforts, and hosted public forums like our “Disability in UX” event led by @TwitterA11y. In advance of the event, our leaders co-authored a blog on accessibility at Twitter.

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#JuntosSomos by @TwitterAlas

The Latinx and Hispanic community moves the world forward in small ways that shift moments and big ways that shift culture. In September, Twitter Alas brought all of the global stories, wins, and experiences together to fully acknowledge our intersectional  power by launching #JuntosSomos to correspond with Hispanic Heritage Month in the US. We hosted conversations on the complex topic of Latinidad and the stigmas of mental health in the Latinx community. We also brought the fun, with  cooking demos with Latinx chefs, a commissioning of several Latinx artists to interpret #JuntosSomos, and trivia night.  We hosted a number of timely discussions, including a community conversation on Dismantling Anti-Blackness in the Latinx Community in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. We also partnered with organizations to host a Vota Conmigo event, intended to increase US Latinx voter turnout

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Launched @Twitter Faith

Twitter Faith is a multifaith group that acknowledges, celebrates, and fosters understanding of global faith and belief diversity, both within Twitter and on our service. Launched in January 2020, Twitter Faith hit the ground running, bringing Tweeps along to celebrate and observe dozens of faith-related events throughout the year. Tweeps got a chance to #FastForADay for Ramadan, and learned about religious events through food via #FaithFoodies, including Hamantaschen for Purim, dal chawal for Islamic New Year, challah bread for Rosh Hashana, and advent for the Christmas season.

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#RepresentAsian by @TwitterAsians

The Asian community is much more diverse in culture and heritage than is typically represented. For Asian Heritage Month, we wanted to create conversation breaking the monolithic understanding of what it means to be Asian and celebrate the differences that make our community unique with #RepresentAsian. This was embodied throughout all of our work in 2020, beginning with Lunar New Year celebrations with Tweeps around the world. Once the pandemic reached the US, our Asian Tweeps shared their experiences and stories of anti-Asian xenophobia globally during a company-wide Flock Talk, as well as discussions about COVID-19 and racism. Our very own Laura Gao illustrated and spoke her truth, shared her experiences, and remembered her hometown with “The Wuhan I Know.

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#AlwaysProud by @TwitterOpen

In 2020 Twitter Open  focused on what makes it so wonderful: our LGBTQIA+ employees and community allies. We launched our #AlwaysProud campaign, because Pride never really ends. It can’t be canceled. Early in June, Tweeps across the globe were invited to tell their stories, and yes: they were bold, brave, and empowering. Twitter Open members around the world also received thoughtfully-curated care packages which let them know that even though we can’t march the streets, we can still showPride at home. Throughout the year, Twitter Open hosted a number of community events like: our Panel on Allyship and Pride in a Post-Section 377 India, Spotlight on Equal Marriage Alliance Japan, and a Pose season 2 watch party, in partnership with Netflix. Like everyday, this work continues because no matter what: you are loved, and we are proud of you.

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#WatchUsWingIt by @TwitterParents

"Less Guilt. More Flexibility. Zero Judgement. All Love.” is the mission statement of Twitter Parents, our BRG for everyone who is a parent, caregiver, and allies. 2020 was a true testament to the community Twitter Parents have built. At the early stages of the pandemic, Twitter Parents teamed up with the People team to host listening sessions to address the needs of Parents at Twitter. As shelter-in-place/lockdown orders extended beyond anyone’s imagination, Twitter Parents hosted important conversations with mental health providers on supporting parents homeschooling their kids, while working from home during a pandemic. In July, we brought #WatchUsWingIt to life. Rather than strive for an A+ report card, parents should celebrate what it takes to barely make the curve. Because it’s life’s imperfections that make us laugh, cry— or cry with laughter. These imperfections bring us closer together, even when we’re apart.

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#TogetherInService by TwitterStripes

Veterans Day is a time to honor service members for their service and sacrifice. On November 11, Twitter Stripes led the celebration, inviting Tweeps and allies to share in our stories and feel the camaraderie within our diverse community. We led with #TogetherInService. We’re not US only, we’re not uniform, and it’s not all about war, we’re all about joining in solidarity to work toward something that’s bigger than us - each and every day. Over the summer, we hosted a #BLM in the Military conversation in allyship and in support of Blackbirds. The work didn’t stop there. We also partnered with Twitter Faith and Twitter Asians to “#KeepTheFaith: Staying grounded in times of change.” This internal session educated Tweeps on the role of chaplains in the military and in the workplace, and offered guidance on how faith can help navigate periods of change and high stress. The willingness to serve is what connects us to our countries, our work, and each other. There are still places around the world where people aren’t free to use their voices, so at Twitter we serve the greatest good by giving people a platform to speak.

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#EveryWoman by @TwitterWomen

The arrival of COVID-19 shuttered IRL plans for Women’s History Month, so instead, we were the first BRG to pioneer a fully virtual launch party featuring the stories of women from intersectional backgrounds worldwide. Flexibility was key, and our Twitter Women leaders rose to the challenge without missing a beat. The session was extraordinary and emotional, reaching more than 400 Tweeps across the globe. All throughout the year, Twitter Women delivered programming and guest speakers focusing on empowerment and development. This happened through an intersectional and celebratory lens of #EveryWoman. Throughout the year, we hosted conversations with Minda Harts, hosted a Lead with Strengths Workshop, and joined for Growing Together, a listening session for Women and nonbinary Tweeps across our global offices.