Flow State, the blog of Z1

Diversity as a magnet for talent and great results

Z1 Editors
0 min read
Diversity as a magnet for talent and great results

Software engineers and designers, but also psychologists, journalists, and musicians, among other professional backgrounds, coexist in Z1. A fertile environment with up to 11 different nationalities to create the best digital products.

Creativity and efficiency have flowed and blended in Z1 since its very beginning. The team is a melting pot of diversity in which each one opens their backpack to bring out the best of themselves. There are currently 80 of us, but the growth rate is constant. Recently, for example, Front-end colleagues welcomed María Peláez.

A psychologist by training, Maria turned her career upside down after winning an award for young entrepreneurs with which she had the opportunity to spend some time in Silicon Valley. It was there that she confirmed she wanted to evolve towards software development. Upon returning from the United States, she didn't think twice, and she joined an Ironhack Full Stack Development Bootcamp.

María Peláez, React Native Developer at Z1.
María Peláez, React Native Developer at Z1, graduated in Psychology at the University of Salamanca.

When we interviewed Maria, she only had a year and a half of experience as a developer. Her background was different from what we were looking for at first, but her attitude and desire to learn dazzled us. She left the company she was working for to come to Z1, knowing that she would begin as a junior. She found our source code, our approach to projects, and her growth prospects stimulating enough to make the leap.

María Peláez found our source code, our approach to projects, and her growth prospects stimulating enough to make the leap

Marta Caballero, part of the Marketing team, has a background in cultural journalism. After years of working in a national newspaper and coordinating communication projects, we gave her a call. "I don't know much about apps or UX writing; my background is fundamentally cultural related," she told us, betting on honesty, a principle that we hugely value. “Culture and technology must go hand in hand. You have a lot to contribute to the team,” Héctor Giner, our CEO, replied.

María and Marta are just two cases of the many different profiles that draw the map of Z1. A trip with different experiences the team members learn from and enjoy.

The greater the diversity, the greater the talent

It's proven: according to a Forbes report, 56% of companies with more than $10 billion in revenue agree that diversity, with its consequent variety of thinking, goes hand in hand with innovation. In the same way, Stanford University published a study that argued that the arrival of a socially different member of a work team favored the rest to question themselves and promote a higher level of performance.

According to Clarisa Guerra, our Head of Marketing Director, diversity is also a plus for our partners. “Our clients value that their products are built from a diverse perspective, and this is one relevant factor why they decide to work with us. If they were only looking for a team of 40 twenty-somethings with a cap, sweatshirt, and homogeneous cultural references, they would not go to Z1.”

Diversity, with its consequent variety of thinking, goes hand in hand with innovation, fostering creativity and personal growth

Z1 boasts a diversity of backgrounds: Héctor and Clarisa have played together in a psychedelic rock band, Michelle and Luc, from the sales team, are pianists, Rita, Front-end developer, comes from the world of the performing arts, Candi, Product Manager, from the Fine Arts, Sara, our Financial Controller, is also a fashion designer, and Laura, Producer, is one of the organizers of the main cinema, series and comic fest in our city, the Sevillaficción Festival. “We are all passionate about technology and culture,” Clarisa adds. “This mix of sensitivities enriches the way we approach projects, something that clients undoubtedly appreciate and value.”

Laura de la Calle, Producer at Z1
Laura de la Calle, Producer at Z1, is part of the LGBTQIA community, and organizer of Sevilla Ficción Festival.

Talent is made up of many factors and is not always found in the most apparent abilities. We are a creative digital studio with all that this implies. We are interested in powerful technical curriculums but also a differentiating character.

Diversity as an added value

By this, we mean we value university education, of course, but it is interesting to note that there are also self-taught people in Z1. Some of the technologies we use are so cutting-edge that they are several steps ahead of the university education system, which is why many candidates seek alternative training on their own. We are constantly accumulating articles and training resources on Notion to keep up to date.

Some of the technologies we use are so cutting-edge that they are several steps ahead of the university education system

And it happens that often, self-taught people come with skills that interest us, especially those not learned in any school and that are related to how you manage in the world. After all, you can always learn to be a developer or a designer, but being witty or a good partner is an entirely different story.

The case of Lili Villegas, the youngest of the team, stands out. She was the first of a process of 90 people being herself self-taught. Lili specialized in professional photography. When choosing her to be part of the Front-end team, we value her technical solvency and her background and disposition.

Bea Gutiérrez is our Head of People. Previously, she was part of a large multinational in the aerospace sector. In her career, too often, she has encountered HR departments that only move candidates forward who fit the technical requirements of the vacancy. “HR departments usually focus on skills. The cultural fit or sharing the company's values can help make the final decision, but it is complementary. Nothing to do with how we approach it in Z1 ”.

Musta Kadem, Back-end Developer at Z1
Musta Kadem, Back-end Developer at Z1, came to Spain from Iraq when he was 9.

Our digital product studio has changed the order: we are conquered by attitudes more than skills, and (surprise!) the success rate is much higher when we hire someone who fits into our open culture than when we do it solely for technical reasons. Among the attitudes we value are a desire to grow and learn no matter where you start, having flexibility and the ability to break out of the status quo, and of course, a mindset that embraces diversity.

According to our experience, the best talent quickly identifies the perks that a diverse team brings to a company, and they will look for it.

This last point is the most important to fit in the culture of Z1, Bea emphasizes. "Even if you pass all our filters in a selection process, any sexist, racist, or homophobic comment of any kind against diversity is condemned without fissures by the entire team.”

Thus, apart from the diversity of backgrounds, in Z1, we have colleagues from different origins and cultures, from up to 11 countries: from Canada to Argentina, through Cuba and Venezuela to Iraq or Australia. A trip worldwide that is completed with our participation in scholarship programs with students in countries as far away as the US and Angola, by the hand of Nasco Tech.

In addition, more women join Z1's team every day, which we are incredibly proud of, especially considering the software industry's sad average. Fully aware there is still a long way to go, we are fighting hard to knock down those numbers.

According to our experience, the best talent quickly identifies the perks that a diverse team brings to a company, and they will look for it. Benefits that go back and forward: the worker, the company, and its results grow, the customer's assessment improves, and, in the end, we all learn to coexist in a more open and tolerant world, which is what we all aspire to, right?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.