Warby Parker is striving to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Here’s why you need to work for them.
For many companies, the pandemic caused sudden chaos for organizations that were almost immediately forced to switch to virtual hiring and managing teams remotely. While this may have put a rift in hiring plans for most companies, Warby Parker was ahead of the game when it came to managing its team and culture. They’ve developed a collaborative culture that helped make the transition to virtual hiring smooth by asking for honest feedback so they could consistently fine-tune processes, and be sure they’re working as well as they’ve intended.
The company prides itself on being a stakeholder-centric ethos, which means they take their customers, employees, community, environment, and partners into account of every decision they make. With a culture like this, it’s easy to understand why employees are so proud to come to work every day.
In addition to providing a collaborative culture, they are actively learning how to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all of their team members by providing opportunities to celebrate and explore diversity for everyone.
Warby Parker was founded with a mission to inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style. Doing good is central to the Warby Parker experience, and they’ve created a space in which everyone is encouraged to engage with their community, both in and out of the office.
Noirefy teamed up with Warby Parker to get an inside look at how a culture of collaboration and inclusion has inspired their team to keep thriving.
What makes your company a great company to work for?
We are continuously focused on fostering inclusion and belonging across our team. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Employee Engagement and Belonging team regularly host sessions to celebrate diversity, while our Learning and Development team actively provides continued opportunities to learn how to create a more inclusive, equitable workplace. From onboarding sessions to continued learning for our individual contributors and people managers, we continue to provide tools that support an environment of empathy and inclusion.
We also find that a lot of our employees are motivated by our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, which has been part of the business since our inception, and cites it as a key reason they were excited to work for Warby Parker. Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with nonprofits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need via our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. To date, Warby Parker has distributed more than eight million pairs of glasses. Through our Pupils Project, we’ve also started tackling vision care access issues domestically in schools where teachers are often the first to spot issues, starting with New York and Baltimore and expanding to Philadelphia and Boston. Since 2015, we have worked with local partners and government entities to give free eye exams and glasses to public-school children who need them.
Do you have any ERG’s or Cultural initiatives that you would like to share with us?
At Warby Parker, our Employee Resource Groups are voluntary, employee-led groups that help foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace aligned with Warby Parker’s mission, values, and goals. They give Warby Parker employees the opportunity to connect over similarities and differences, share experiences, and build community across the company.
All ERGs are open to individuals who identify within communities as well as allies. Our current groups work to empower the following communities:
- Heritage: BIPOC voices
- Inclusion in Tech: underrepresented groups within the field of Technology
- Mental Health Matters:an ERG for mental health awareness
- Roots: an ERG for Black employees and allies
- PRISM: LGBTQ+ community
- Warby Parents: Parents and caregivers
- Warby Women: Professional development and career development for our female-identifying team members
What else are you up to?
- The Tent Partnership for Refugees: Warby Parker is participating in a new LGBTQ+ refugee and asylum seeker mentorship program that Tent is launching in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign. As part of the program, companies will be responsible for developing and managing mentorship programs for at least 50 LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers over three years. LGBTQ+ employees and allies within companies (mentors) will offer professional guidance and support for one year to LGBTQ+ refugees who are seeking new employment opportunities (mentees).
- Represented Foundation: In support of our Racial Equity Goal #7 (Support Black Entrepreneurs), we are partnering with Represented Foundation—an NYC-based organization that provides tools and resources to Black and BIPOC social entrepreneurs—by providing a financial contribution to support a cohort who will receive the training, tools, and coaching they need to kick-start their social enterprises. Senior-level employees will have the volunteer opportunity to advise members of the Represented Foundation cohort.
How does your company work to provide a diverse and inclusive workspace on an ongoing basis?
We believe that without clear action to promote inclusivity and belonging, diversity is not possible. Having a diverse team is the end goal, but ensuring inclusivity and equitable opportunity requires daily proactive attention. We’ve been expanding our existing inclusion, equity, and diversity initiatives as well as our social innovation efforts as we work to dismantle systemic racism—inside the workplace and beyond. Our Learning and Development team regularly hosts workshops and learning opportunities to promote inclusion, such as training on inclusive interviewing, mitigating microaggressions in the workplace, bystander intervention, and supporting colleagues across lines of difference.
Our Racial Equity Strategy transparently outlines our promise to foster inclusivity, equity, and diversity within the company and beyond. (You can read our entire commitment on our website, and we’ll be providing updates in our annual Impact Reports.) This is an evolution of the work we’ve been passionate about since Warby Parker’s founding—and a look ahead at work still to come.
Tell us about your leadership team! any amazing stories or is there anything you would like to highlight about them?
Our four co-founders—Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Andy Hunt, and Jeff Raider—were students when Dave lost his glasses on a backpacking trip, and the cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school squinting without them. They all had similar experiences and were amazed at how inaccessible, expensive, and complex the process of buying a new pair of glasses was. They started Warby Parker to create an alternative and to make the process of buying glasses easier, more affordable, and more fun than it had ever been before.
Another fun fact we like to share is that before starting Warby Parker, Neil served as director of VisionSpring, a nonprofit social enterprise that trains low-income men and women to start their own businesses selling affordable eyeglasses to individuals living on less than $4 per day in developing countries. Warby Parker now works with VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
What does your ideal candidate look like?
Warby Parker is all about thinking big, having fun, and doing good! The ideal candidate is a hard worker who aligns with our core values. What this means: every one employee operates with integrity and wants to proactively have a positive impact on the world. We look for ways to help others, are creative problem-solvers, and are passionate about the brand.
We’re looking for candidates who are accomplished in their area of expertise, and interested in working in a fun and extremely collaborative environment, where people genuinely enjoy what they do and who they are working with.
What are the top perks at your organization?
- Health, vision, and dental insurance
- Flexible “My Time” vacation policy
- Retirement savings plan with a company match
- Parental leave (non-birthing parents included)
- Cell phone plan reimbursement / Internet reimbursement
- Free eyewear, plus discounts for friends and family
Is there anything else that you would like to share about Warby Parker?
Each employee is given 16 hours of paid leave a year to volunteer as well as paid time off to vote in national and local elections. We also celebrate employees’ third anniversaries with a very special trip to a country where our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair partners operate. Attendees travel with team members from across the company to meet our nonprofit partners, see the program in action and spend some time serving the local community—because there is nothing like seeing the life-changing impact of a pair of glasses up close.
About Warby Parker:
Warby Parker is an eyewear brand founded with a mission to inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style. Since day one, over eight million pairs of glasses have been distributed through its Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.
- New York, NY
Social Media Handles:
- @warbyparker (across all platforms)
Warby Parker is actively hiring . To view open roles please visit their Warby Parker Profile here.