Atlassian published a statement from its co-founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes on their website on June 1, 2020. In it, Cannon-Brookes denounced racism, including the marginalization of indigenous people in his home Australia, and spoke out against the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. He pointed to specific issues of inequality he thought governments and businesses needed to address, including healthcare, economic, and social systems, criminal justice reform, and democracy. Atlassian committed to doing more to hire and retain underrepresented minorities.
Atlassian has been committed to philanthropy for some time. In 2014, Atlassian co-founded Pledge 1%, an organization to encourage companies to “pledge 1% equity, employee time, or product to make a difference in the world“.
Atlassian has been openly working on being a more diverse company for several years. This press release from 2016 announces its first diversity report, which included not only race and gender but sexuality, nationality, and age. In addition to the report, Atlassian’s diversity efforts included unconscious bias training, Employee Resource Groups, bias-reducing changes to their interview process, and relationships with organizations that would help them find more job candidates from underrepresented groups.
In 2017, Cannon-Brookes opposed then-president Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States. The ban affected Atlassian’s ability to hire international talent to work in their US offices and the ability of its existing employees from the banned countries to take business trips outside the US, but, according to ABC, Cannon-Brookes said the main reason people should oppose the ban was that “it is a blatantly discriminatory and racist executive order that we should stand up to”.
In 2019, Atlassian made a diversity and inclusion tool they had developed for internal use, the Balanced Teams Diversity Assessment, free for anyone to use. The tool helps D&I professionals and people managing large teams to assess diversity in their teams and find ways to make marginalized employees feel less isolated when they’re in a team they don’t have marginalizations in common with.
On June 22, 2020, Atlassian launched a fundraiser to support the Black LGBTQ+ community for Pride Month, matching donations up to $150,000.
Also on June 22, 2020, the Atlassian Foundation (Atlassian’s philanthropic arm) said that Atlassian employees had collectively donated $250,000 to the Atlassian Fund for Racial Justice, and that Atlassian would be donating $2 for every $1 the employees donated. They wound up donating nearly $2M to racial justice efforts.
In June 2020, Atlassian released its 2020 Sustainability Report, a document detailing what they had done over the last 12 months to support the “planet, customers, people, and community”. Highlights included switching their operations to run on 100% renewable energy, conducting a human rights assessment, hiring a new head of DEI, and logging more hours of employee volunteer work than the previous year (and during a pandemic!). Unfortunately, Atlassian did not meet their goals for creating “diverse teams, equitable outcomes, and an inclusive workplace” in 2020. In the report, Atlassian said they had invested in the organizations Thurgood Marshall College Fund and /dev/color, but did not disclose what they invested. In the future, Atlassian plans to redo their DEI strategy and help their suppliers set climate targets.