iRobot has achieved many important milestones since its inception in 1990 – not only creating the robotic vacuum cleaner industry, but driving technology innovation, fortifying global category leadership and delivering strong growth over the past three decades. Those accomplishments – enormous both in scale and scope – are the result of creating a culture that permeates conviction, courage and unyielding resolve. iRobot continues to make substantial investments to attract the best and brightest in the business, harness the collective talents and skills of our people, and help individuals reach their full potential.
We have grown significantly since our beginnings. Celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2020, our iRoboteers are mission-driven builders who are passionate, determined and results-oriented about their work and in making iRobot the world’s #1 global consumer robotics company. iRobot is committed to fostering invention, discovery and technological exploration in the pursuit of practical and valuable robot products for the next generation home. As an organization, we believe in taking pride in our work, taking responsibility for our actions, being more collaborative, communicating with clarity and instilling passion into our everyday lives.
Employee Fast Facts
iRobot’s Commitment to Racial Equality and Diversity
iRobot is an inclusive organization, seeking out the best and brightest minds to help us meet the new global requirements of our business. We are excited to welcome a variety of perspectives, ideas, skills, and cultural backgrounds to our global iRobot family.
iRobot stands firmly against racial discrimination and social injustice. We are committed to equality, inclusiveness, respect and kindness. Around the globe, iRobot has been and will continue to be a safe, inclusive environment for all, supported by our values as an organization and as individuals.
The iRobot community is built upon the diverse perspectives, beliefs and backgrounds of incredibly talented people from around the world who actively participate in shaping who we were as an organization. Strengthening diversity within our global workforce enables iRobot to bring our collective ideas together to cultivate a future that seamlessly fits the unique, personal and diverse needs of our global consumer base. We have and will continue to act and hold ourselves accountable in fostering equality and diversity on a global scale. Each day we learn from each other, grow and evolve, seeking out new opportunities to strengthen our support for all employees and the communities in which we work. During 2020, we held a Diversity Dialogue series for employees, providing them the opportunity to learn about and ask questions on issues spanning racism, discrimination, LGBTQ+ and disability biases, and further build a culture of support (Allyship).
iRobot has and always will be committed to racial equality and diversity, but that does not mean that we are sitting idle. As a symbol of our commitment, iRobot Founder, CEO and Chairman Colin Angle signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge on Juneteenth 2020 and is participating in MassTLC’s Tech Compact for Social Justice and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. We remain committed to our values and beliefs, and are creating opportunities to have an ongoing dialogue with employees. During 2020, we established four Employee Resource Groups (“ERGs”) for our Women, Black & Brown, Latinx and LGBTQ+ employees. Each ERG includes a member of the executive leadership team as a sponsor. In conjunction with this initiative, we created an iRobot Diversity Council, co-chaired by our CEO, CHRO and Diversity Manager, that is engaged with all ERG leaders and their executive sponsors to ensure our leadership is well connected with and aware of the perspectives and issues facing these different employee bases.
We have also prioritized a series of training programs to educate and empower our team, including Creating an Inclusive Workplace and Unconscious Bias. To continue our efforts to expand our diverse, talented workforce, during 2020 we established new partnerships with, amongst others, The Partnership Inc., and the National Society of Black Engineers, which enhance our ability to source mid-career and management-level African-American, LatinX and Asian-American talent. These efforts helped enable us to expand our base of Black and Latinx employees by 20% during the second half of 2020. Additionally, we continue to focus on developing new capabilities and programs that will continue to raise awareness and education around racial equality and discrimination.
iRobot Education is built upon the principle that all students should have access to high quality STEM education resources. iRobot is working with community and education leaders to prioritize and deliver STEM educational resources, curriculum and Root programing robots to students in underserved communities. During 2020, we expanded our STEM Education program through new partnerships with community-based children’s organizations supporting underrepresented populations including The Clubhouse Network @ Movement City (Lawrence, MA), Kids in Tech (Lowell, MA), Discovering Hidden Gems (Framingham, MA) and the National Society of Black Engineers (Boston, MA). In order to support students with social emotional learning, we are developing tools to help families and classrooms facilitate conversations about social justice and to make these discussions a staple of the education experience.
We are also putting our economic resources to work as well. In June 2021, we invested $100 million in J.P. Morgan Chase’s Empower money market funds distributed by four Minority Depository Institutions: Harbor Bank, Liberty Bank, M&F Bank and Unity National Bank. The fees earned on our investment by these banks are invested in an array of areas that will strengthen their businesses, including advancing digital technology, hiring staff to further expand their lending activities to local small businesses, and community outreach and education about predatory lending.
We continue to listen and remain committed to continue to create mechanisms for positive change within our company and across our communities.
Women comprised 34% of iRobot’s global workforce in 2020 with representation at every management level including the Board of Directors. In 2020, approximately 41% of all new U.S. hires were women, up from 36% in 2019.
* % levels based on 2020 global employees except Board of Directors
We continue to invest in adding talented women to our company at all levels and in all functional areas. These investments include:
• Modified R&D Hiring Practices: In 2020, iRobot instituted a practice to ensure at least one woman will be interviewed for all R&D openings at manager level and above. In cases where a woman is being interviewed, at least one member of the interview team will be a women.
• 2020 Progress: iRobot increased the representation of women within R&D at the manager level to over 20% and made improvements in representation of women within R&D at the individual contributor and support levels. As a result, our R&D gender diversity is now largely in line with broader market representation benchmarks.
• Recruiting: Participated in recruiting events specifically aimed at attracting women candidates through Grace Hopper and Women in Technology.
• Training and Development: iRobot promotes gender diversity and supports career advancement by women iRoboteers in a variety of ways including:
• Annual participation for our company’s women leaders in the Strategies for Success program by the Commonwealth Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to advancing businesswomen in leadership positions.
• iRobot sponsors its women employees to attend Bentley College’s annual Gearing Up Conference, which is dedicated to women professionals in the first decade of their career.
• Robot is a corporate sponsor of AnitaB.org, a nationwide non-profit that supports women in technical fields, as well as the organizations that employ them and the academic institutions training the next generation. A full roster of programs helps women grow, learn, and develop their highest potential.
iRobot’s workforce prides itself on perpetuating a culture that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in consumer robotics in order to improve our quality of life. Changing the world requires embracing diversity to ensure that we attract and retain the best and brightest in our field. As of December 31, 2020, the company’s U.S. workforce includes 27% of employees who identify as Black, LatinX, Asian or two or more races. Our policies and practices support equal opportunity where all iRoboteers can thrive, regardless of race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military or veteran status, disability as well other classifications protected by applicable state, federal and local laws. Our workforce continues to expand in terms of diversity with local employee resource groups aimed at fostering community among our women, Black and Brown, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ employees.
iRobot is committed to ensuring that its employees, customers and suppliers are treated with dignity and respect. The safety and health of our employees is also of paramount importance. Our policy is to provide a safe and healthy workplace and comply with applicable safety and health laws and regulations, as well as internal requirements. As detailed in the company’s global human rights policy, we compensate employees competitively relative to the industry and local labor market, and strive to comply with all applicable laws, including those pertaining to freedom of association, privacy, collective bargaining, immigration, working time, wages and hours, as well as laws prohibiting forced, compulsory and child labor and employment discrimination. Additionally, we are committed to maintaining a workplace that is free from violence, harassment, intimidation and other unsafe or disruptive conditions due to internal and external threats.
In addition to women-centric development programs, iRobot provides a broad range of leadership and professional development programs to foster the next generation of senior managers and leaders.
• Leadership Training – Approximately two dozen senior leaders (director-level and above) from across the company’s global operations are selected to participate in a multi-day leadership workshop that focuses on helping these individual better understand their current management styles, learn how to work more effectively across functional areas and refining the skills necessary to lead teams. This program is now in its second decade.
• Management Training – One to two times per year, dozens of first-time and junior managers are selected to participated in a multi-day management workshop in which they learn skills and gain the insights necessary to improve their overall time management, oversee teams of varying sizes and advance cross-functional problem solving. Entering into its second decade, this program also includes respectful workplace and bystander training. In addition to this workshop, in 2020, the company has added specific training sessions for managers who have needed to adapt to the impact to COVID-19 to manage remote teams.
• Quarterly Business Reviews – These full-day executive leadership team briefings are opportunities for the senior leadership of the company to align on key issues and develop and refine plans for achieving short-term and longer-term goals. Rising stars are often asked to participate in these forums and provide updates on key projects.
• Mentoring Program – This program is aimed at promoting professional development by linking an employee with a more experienced senior-level manager who will focus efforts to help the mentee grow and advance in his or her career.
• Educational Assistance – Eligible employees will be reimbursed for successfully completing job-related courses up to a maximum of $6,000 per calendar year.
• Chairman’s Awards – Every year, outstanding work by both individuals and teams that best exemplify the company’s culture and values is recognized at a company-wide meeting with winners receiving a commemorative plaque and an equity grant in front of the colleagues.
We invest meaningfully in our advertising and promotional initiatives in ways that drive consumer awareness of and interest in our robotic floor cleaning products, drive sales through our retail and direct-to-consumer channels, and build the iRobot brand. We also remain committed to inspiring a new generation of builders through our STEM outreach programs. To complement these activities, we are actively forging stronger ties with the relevant U.S. regulatory agencies and federal, state and local politicians who are shaping the policies and programs that impact our company and its products, people, performance and customers. In 2020, our efforts on this front played an important role in receiving an exclusion to the Section 301 tariffs on products imported from China. To further support our lobbying efforts, we have since formed an iRobot political action committee.
iRobot created the robot vacuum industry back in 2002 and has continued to set the pace for the consumer robotics industry as a category and technology leader ever since. We have assembled a global team of the best and brightest in our industry by providing our people with unique opportunities to make a tangible impact in helping our company thrive while also advancing careers. As iRobot continues to expand its global workforce, we remain committed to complying with all laws, including those pertaining to freedom of association, privacy, collective bargaining, immigration, working time, wages and hours, as well as laws prohibiting forced, compulsory and child labor and employment discrimination. Just as critical as compliance with all relevant local laws and requirements, we plan to continue to evolve our approach to attracting and retaining our talent – from having a well-defined process for hiring to providing competitive compensation packages complemented with a wide-ranging set of benefits.