We’re committed to being a part of creating a more diverse and inclusive world of belonging. Different backgrounds, perspectives, and beliefs bring critical value to our business, and we’re driven by the knowledge that diverse talent enhances our ability to imagine, innovate, and grow.
We’re on a journey towards a diverse and inclusive work culture in which everyone feels they belong. We believe that all of us—no matter our level, location, or function—are responsible for co-creating a culture where we can each bring our full selves to work. Our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) strategy is a driving force behind how we create a different future both at Dolby and beyond.
While we have a foundation for our journey, we recognize it is only the beginning. We are eager to reinforce and expand our efforts, drawing on our successes and rethinking where we can continue to improve and make further progress.
"We want to provide – always – the opportunity and the space to bring our whole selves to work. We want to be able to have the same conversations at work that we’re having at our dinner tables. We want to listen, to learn, and to grow. That’s how we’ll continue to foster a truly inclusive culture of belonging."
- Linda Rogers, Chief People Officer
What we are doing
To invest in the talent of the future, expand our pipeline, and engage with diverse talent, we provide financial contributions, employee engagement, and in-kind support of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education and workforce initiatives at the K-12, university, and early-career levels. We also engage in strategic partnerships with universities including Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to help develop the next generation of diverse talent at Dolby.
To attract and hire a diverse mix of talent, we’ve refined our hiring processes and employer branding to attract and hire a more diverse workforce and have established partnerships with a number of organizations including AfroTech, Women’s Audio Mission, and associations representing Women, Black, and Latinx technology professionals.
To empower everyone at Dolby to be co-creators of change, we look at ourselves and what we need to do to evolve our culture. Offering employees opportunities to learn and grow through educational sessions, hands-on workshops, employee-led Employee Network events, and company-led DIB programs is part of how we enable change.
Personal and professional growth is critical in supporting the wellbeing of our employees and nurturing their aspirations and who they are. To advance and retain our employees of all backgrounds, we provide personalized resources from one-on-one coaching to professional development sessions on how to lead in times of uncertainty and how to best manage and support oneself and others during times of change. Additionally, we're developing and promoting existing talent within the company, through mentorship programs and the Talent Marketplace, which empowers employees to apply for internal projects to expand their areas of expertise and broaden their work experience.
Our Employee Networks
Dolby’s 13 Employee Networks (ENs) are at the heart of our DIB efforts at Dolby. ENs are volunteer-led employee groups aligned around an aspect or dimension of diversity that help to build community and enable our DIB strategy through networking events, customized professional development, cultural education, diverse talent recruitment, and youth outreach to expand our pipeline of talent. The value and impact of our ENs, in which over 32% of our employees participate, continues to increase as ENs collaborate and speak out against racism and engage in topics most relevant to their members.
"Having Employee Networks be so visible in the Company's strategy is powerful. As a Black employee, as the Co-Founder of Obsidian, as a person of a certain dimension of diversity, I feel safe and empowered to say, 'This is how I want the company to reach people like me—and here’s how we go and do it.'"
- Lauren Glover, Founder of Obsidian and Senior Manager, People Communications and Experiences
ENs not only impact life at Dolby, they have also helped with product development and diversifying research and testing projects since 2018. When one of our research teams built a speech database, they involved EN members to represent a range of voices. EN members also helped optimize Dolby’s headphone technology for people across genders and ethnicities by balancing the testing participant pool. In addition, ENs engage in many of our recruiting and intern programs, new hire onboarding, Dolby Cares volunteer opportunities, and company-wide events.
“When the employee networks started, you saw a shift in Dolby’s culture. People were more engaged, more friendly. Now, you get to know people from other departments and have exposure to even more diverse ideas and experiences. There’s always something fun and meaningful happening, and it is all driven by the employees.”
- Kelsey McIntosh, Co-Leader of WE, Senior Data Analyst, Intellectual Property Protection
Dolby’s ENs include: WE focused on Women's Empowerment, Spectrum supporting LGBT+, PAX focused on the Pan-Asian Experience, Obsidian for our employees who are Black or of African descent, Mundo for our Latinx/Hispanic community, DIVE – our Dolby’s Indigenous Voices Elevated group, the Anti-Racism Community, Path for new and early-career employees, the Parents Network, INxS: Inclusion at Sydney for our Australian office, a regional network for EMEA, one for China (expanding across Asia in FY22), and AGAPE for Dolby’s Christian community. Our EN program is fully global, representing each region in addition to other dimensions of diversity.
DIB in the Virtual World
In response to employees beginning to work virtually due to the pandemic, we created the company’s first global virtual community, Dolby Together, on Microsoft Teams, in order to continue highlighting our diversity and increase our inclusion and belonging. Over 40% of employees have joined the platform, where we host Virtual Coffee Breaks for trainings and networking, as well as asynchronous conversations and sharing resources.
As a leader in technological innovation and consumer experience, we recognize our responsibility extends well beyond our office walls. We take our presence in the communities in which we live and work seriously and are continually striving to find new ways to inspire and support the next generation of diverse creators, builders, and innovators.
This past year, 93% of grant funding donated through the Dolby Cares Program served underrepresented groups including girls, women and people of color.
Our most significant efforts focus on establishing more opportunities for the talent of the future—from investing science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education to early recruitment and hiring. We have long-standing partnerships with several community organizations in which we provide financial grants, technological support, and volunteer time to increase equity in education and opportunity.
“Time and time again, Dolby has demonstrated its commitment to advancing Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) through not only its financial contributions but also its leadership of other corporations, trust in our expertise, and willingness to think outside of the box. Much of WAM’s success in recent years has been because Dolby believed in us.”
- Terri Winston, WAM’s Founder and Executive Director
At Dolby, we've embarked on a journey toward change, and we're committed to making consistent progress. We're taking action to ensure that the people who work at Dolby are better connected with all of the people who love our products and services. And we're committed to transparency—so we can better show where we are and where we need to go and inspire everyone to be part of the change.
People at Dolby*
Data as of September 2020
U.S. Race and Ethnicity
*Race and ethnicity statistics represent U.S. employees only. Categories align with Equal Opportunities Commission options provided to employees who choose to provide ethnicity information.
A recent survey showed 89% of employees are proud to work at Dolby. We're continuing our journey to unite diverse perspectives, celebrate employee experiences, and create a workplace where everyone belongs.
From a young age, Lauren was fascinated by the science of language. After learning about the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which strives to make the pronunciation of languages more accurate by providing a symbol for every sound, she began to think about language — and its effects on communities and the bonds that strengthen them – in a different light.
In college, Lauren studied linguistics and neuroscience and looked at how people's brains change when encountering different languages. As she says, "It's scientifically proven. You can build solidarity and break down barriers through language."
Since joining Dolby in 2016, Lauren has brought her passion for the science of language to her role as a Senior Manager of People Communications & Experiences. Every day, she works with colleagues to effectively communicate Dolby's strategy, direction, and momentum.
She's also the proud founder and former co-lead of Dolby's Black Employee Network (EN), Obsidian. "At first, I was hesitant about leading Obsidian. The ENs were just getting off the ground, and like so many Black female professionals, I struggled with Imposter Syndrome. I didn't know if I was up to the task. Still, I pushed through the doubt because I thought it was necessary to create a space for Black voices and Black solidarity. And I'm so glad I did."
It was during one of Obsidian's first-ever events that Lauren experienced the real promise of belonging. At the time, Black Panther had just been released, and Lauren and Obsidian had proposed a screening in the Dolby Cinema. The big-budget action movie—with its all-Black cast and director—was a cultural moment, and Lauren knew Obsidian and Dolby needed to be involved.
"When people talk about belonging, I think about walking into the packed Black Panther screening, hearing Kendrick Lamar playing, seeing the Dolby Theatre lit up in purple, and realizing just how meaningful it was to see my culture represented. It was an unforgettable moment. People were showing up for us."
Since then, Obsidian has only grown. It now boasts over 143 members.
Still, even with the growth, Obsidian has stayed true to its mission to effect change at all levels. Whether they are partnering with the Dolby Executive Leadership Team, assisting with recruiting efforts, or driving business initiatives across the company, the group is continually thinking of new ways to impact the Dolby community.
In recent years, Obsidian members have marched in the MLK Parade in San Francisco, had a presence at AfroTech, the definitive conference for the Black tech community, and answered the country's reckoning with racial justice by leading meaningful conversations across Dolby.
As Lauren puts it, "I want to see Obsidian continue to be passionate and vocal. Obsidian’s mission is to create a community-driven, culturally-aware, and vocal community who represent the spectrum of Black identities and inspire one another to thrive in their careers. We have spoken up for the needs of our community and the actions Dolby needs to take to create an environment where we can thrive. We've always done that, and I want it to continue."
Originally from the Midwest, Kelsey arrived at the Bay Area in 2014 and quickly found a job at Dolby. "Even though my background was in accounting and economics," Kelsey shared, "I've always loved movies and music, so Dolby's mission resonated with me."
As a Senior Data Analyst in the Intellectual Property Protection group, Kelsey works to enforce Dolby's licensing compliance and protect the Dolby brand. “In other words,” she joked, “I spend a lot of time with numbers and spreadsheets.”
Kelsey has also been an active participant in many of the Employee Networks (ENs) since their founding. “It’s a great way to get to know people you might not meet otherwise and engage with Dolby’s diverse culture. Mundo, our EN for our Latinx community, hosted Spanish lessons, and PAX, our EN for our communities of Asian descent, hosted Mandarin lessons taught by a Dolby employee. And, hands down, the Lunar New Year and Diwali celebrations hosted by PAX are the most popular and anticipated EN activities of the year, so I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to volunteer at and be a part of those events. I appreciate that the ENs are inclusive to anyone who wants to participate, so employees have the chance to learn about cultures and perspectives outside of those they personally identify with.”
Still, Kelsey's primary involvement has been with the Women's Empowerment (WE) network—first as a member, then as part of the professional development committee, and finally, as a co-lead. "I'm on a team of mostly men, so being involved in the women's network provides a different environment for me at work," she explained. "I have the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences. I get to participate in planning and strategy for WE and be creative with events and marketing materials, all while developing my executive presence and public speaking skills. Also, it's just fun to work with such a great group of women."
As part of WE’s mission, the group strives to create a space for employees to discuss the unique challenges women face in the workplace. "It’s so important to hear from other women about their experiences and know that you're not alone," Kelsey shared. "Because it's not just at Dolby—technology, in general, is very male-dominated. Women across the industry and at other companies share and face similar challenges, so having the space to talk openly about them is crucial."
Most of WE's initiatives focus on creating professional development opportunities for female employees. "We host formal and informal discussion groups, training programs, and speakers on women's leadership, mentorship, goal setting, and confidence-building. We had a professor from Stanford come and speak about negotiations because it’s such an important topic for women to understand and address—not only in the hiring process but in negotiating raises and promotions."
The group also runs company-wide campaigns, celebrates International Women’s Day, and continues to grow its influence with Dolby leadership and expand its contribution to product design and strategy decisions.
When asked what’s next for WE, Kelsey said the group is planning to focus even more on intersectionality. "We are this dimension of diversity that spans other ENs. And we include a very diverse population within ourselves. We want to make sure we continue to include more women of color and elevate as many female voices within Dolby as possible."
When Dolby moved its headquarters to the Mid-Market neighborhood of San Francisco in 2015, the company worked to forge relationships within its new community. One of those became a meaningful and long-lasting partnership with Women's Audio Mission (WAM), a nonprofit dedicated to women's advancement in the audio and recording arts industry.
As Terri Winston, WAM’s Founder and Executive Director, shared, fewer than five percent of those who make up the world of audio, imaging, and voice technologies are women—and for women of color, the number is significantly lower. "Without women being at the table when these messages are being created,” Winston explained, “We're missing out on over half the population's points of view, ideas, and perspectives. So equipping these girls from vulnerable populations with this hands-on training is going to radically change what we listen to every day."
Notably, WAM’s studios are the only professional recording studios in the world built and run by women and gender-non-conforming individuals.
As Joan Scott, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, said, the partnership between WAM and Dolby was natural. "Women's Audio Mission was a perfect blend of what we were looking for in a partner. Their goal is to ensure that girls and women, especially those from underrepresented groups, have a role in the creation of the content we consume daily and Dolby is committed to supporting diverse content creators and storytellers.”
To date, Dolby has provided over $500,000 in grants to WAM with a focus on their Girls on the Mic Program (GOTM), a groundbreaking after-school training and mentoring program serving 4,000+ San Francisco Bay Area girls every year with free creative technology and digital media production training. 96% of those who participate in GOTM come from low-income families, and 92% are Black, Indigenous, girls of color.
Even more than financial contributions, WAM and Dolby are continually finding new and creative ways to work together. Over the past five years, Dolby has hired over 20 WAM graduates in part-time positions in our Advanced Technology Group scientific assessment program, and two diverse Dolby employees now serve on WAM's board.
Because of its unique partnership with WAM, Dolby now boasts an entirely balanced 50/50 gender demographic for test subjects, making it one of the only companies that can consistently provide data and feedback from female subjects.
In addition to hosting benefit concerts, sponsoring WAM’s conferences, and donating audio and computer equipment and accessories, Dolby has recently provided technical assistance to WAM as it pivots to serve a global audience with WAM’s virtual training programs, WAM Everywhere.
"As we look to the future of our partnership with Dolby," Winston said, "One thing remains clear, you just can’t ask for better partner when you are dreaming big, taking risks and truly creating a better world for women, gender non-conforming individuals and girls, especially Black, Indigenous, People of Color in the professional audio and tech sectors. Dolby really gets what it takes to create lasting change.”