Update effective October 16, 2019: DataCamp commissioned an independent, third-party review of the events of October 2017, led by Anurima Bhargava, a former Department of Justice official in the Obama administration, and Pamela Coukos from Working IDEAL. Their report also examines the company’s response in the months that followed, and the overall climate and culture at the company. You can read the report in its entirety here. Key findings from the report are also summarized on the DataCamp blog here.
DataCamp’s mission is to build the most comprehensive online learning resource for data science and analytics. To achieve this as a company, we depend on the contributions of a community that’s comprised of employees, instructors, and learners. In response to feedback from our instructor community, we would like to address an important issue. In 2017, an incident of inappropriate behavior occurred involving one of our executives and an employee that should never have happened. We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge what occurred, highlight the actions we've taken in response, and affirm our commitment to a safe and inclusive working environment.
Specifically, in October 2017, at an informal employee gathering at a bar after a week-long company offsite, one of DataCamp’s executives danced inappropriately and made uninvited physical contact with another employee while on the dance floor. The employee raised a concern with a manager a few months later about the executive’s behavior that night, at which time the executive apologized to the employee. DataCamp immediately and thoroughly investigated the incident. The investigation was conducted by a third party not involved in DataCamp’s day-to-day business with guidance from outside legal counsel. It included discussions with the employee, the executive, and other employees who were present during the incident. Its findings determined how we describe what happened and how we responded.
We are sincerely sorry that this incident occurred. To be absolutely clear, the executive’s conduct with the employee on the dance floor was entirely inappropriate, was not in line with our expectations of any DataCamp employee and was inconsistent with our policies and culture. The executive’s behavior that night demonstrated a lack of regard for the imbalance of power that exists in situations like these between members of a company’s management and the employees. There have not been any other incidents reported involving this or other executives or managers at the company. The incident was antithetical to both the true culture of our company as well as our belief of the personal ethics and integrity of the executive in question. As a company, we acknowledged then, and reiterate now, that the conduct should never have occurred and apologize for how this has affected our community.
After the conclusion of the investigation, DataCamp immediately took a number of corrective actions. For the executive, this included extensive sensitivity training, personal coaching, and a strong warning that the company will not tolerate any such behavior in the future. We also took additional steps to ensure that we foster and promote an inclusive and safe work environment for everyone, to prevent an incident like this from happening again. Some of the actions we took include:
- conducting mandatory trainings for all employees on important issues including Respect in the Workplace, Unconscious Bias and Behaviors of Inclusion
- conducting mandatory management training for the leadership team
- hiring an experienced Chief People Officer and adding more experienced managers to our team
- updating our Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Anti-Harassment Policy, which affirms that the company does not condone sexual misconduct or harassment
- implementing transparent measurement and reporting on employee culture and engagement with an emphasis on our Diversity and Inclusion initiatives (read more about these initiatives and the related employee survey results in our 2018 in review post).
We appreciate that our instructors represent DataCamp within the community every day. So, we thank you for your frank feedback and know that candid and sometimes difficult discussions and feedback are how real growth happens.
While we have taken a number of important steps, we know this is an ongoing process and will continue our efforts to provide a safe, diverse, and inclusive work environment for everyone in the DataCamp community. We hope the actions we’ve taken underscore our commitment, and demonstrate that DataCamp has grown and learned from this. Achieving our mission and living up to the potential of our community depends on it.
We hope you will all join us in writing the next chapter of DataCamp.
--The DataCamp Leadership Team