Life at Gem

Gem earns another Great Place to Work certification

Lauren Shufran

Lauren Shufran

Content Strategist

Posted on

June 22, 2021

We’re delighted to announce that Great Place to Work® has certified Gem for the second year in a row.

The 2021 award follows Gem’s certification as one of Fortune’s 2021 Best Workplaces in the Bay Area, and GPtW’s recognition of us as one of 2020’s Best Small & Medium Workplaces

Great Place to Work® is a global people analytics and consulting firm and the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver employee retention, increased innovation, and (therefore) market-leading revenue. This prestigious award is based entirely on what current employees say about their experience of working at Gem. This year, 99% of employees said that Gem is a great place to work—40 percentage points higher than the average U.S. company:

great place to work certified

“Great Place to Work Certification™ isn’t something that comes easily—it takes ongoing dedication to the employee experience,” said Sarah Lewis-Kulin, Vice President of Global Recognition at Great Place to Work. “It’s the only official recognition determined by employees’ real-time reports of their company culture. Earning this designation means that Gem is one of the best companies to work for in the country.” Great Place to Work evaluated more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job—including the extent to which employees trust leaders, the respect with which people are treated, the fairness of workplace decisions, and how much camaraderie there is among team members.

“I’m humbled every day by this team, by what I’m learning from them, and how we’ve navigated these last 18 months together,” says Gem’s co-founder and CEO, Steve Bartel. “There’s nothing more rewarding than the camaraderie that’s been created as we’ve continued to build a product, and a team, amidst this whirlwind of external circumstances. Nick [Bushak, co-founder] and I have kept our ears to the ground, asking constantly what our Gems need. We’re sending out quarterly surveys. We’re answering all employee questions candidly in weekly All Hands meetings. There’s no Gem without every member of this team; so of course, that’s our priority. Does the recognition feel good? Sure. Do I also know there’s no resting on our laurels, ever? Absolutely.” 

In the transition to working from home last year—and in the wake of George Floyd’s death—we implemented everything from monthly wellness days, to teletherapy stipends, to a promise to continue to pay for Gems’ lunches even though we were no longer eating at the same table together. We established our first employee resource groups (ERGs), including Obsidians (for our Black Gems), Prisms (for LGBTQ+ identified Gems and allies), and Jades (for our AAPI-identified Gems); they’ve been holding happy hours and virtual events for the entire team. We piloted a mentorship program called “Shine” to ensure all Gems have equal access to internal promotion. And we asked our leadership team to commit to three coffee chats with underrepresented professionals every quarter, to increase the diversity in their own professional networks.

Since January, Gem has grown by nearly 60%. Some of the things we’ve been attending to on the People side through that growth include:

  • Unconscious bias trainings and DEI forums to continually reaffirm our commitment to a diverse and inclusive team (diversity has been one of Gem’s four core values from the very beginning)

  • A bystander intervention training to build awareness around harassment, hate, and violence, and to provide tools that Gems can use to take a stand and intervene when others need it most 

  • Feedback training for the entire company for a stronger feedback culture

  • Manager coaching and training for leaders at every level

  • An equitable compensation program through which every role and employee is evaluated fairly

  • Development of performance management to increase transparency about how promotions happen and to help employees understand how they can grow in their careers 

  • Thoughtful leadership and decision-making regarding plans for our return to the office in 2022 (we regularly administer employee surveys and analyze feedback to understand concerns and to ensure employees feel heard and safe when they return)

  • Ongoing attention to video conference meeting fatigue and optimizing meetings while we continue to work remotely

  • An annual employee L&D stipend

  • Paid parental leave for both birthing and non-birthing parents

  • A visa sponsorship program

  • Investments in onboarding with new tools and systems that create a welcoming and enjoyable transition for our new Gems. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about best practices for onboarding remotely… and 100% of our new employees told Great Place to Work that those efforts have paid off:

great place to work

If you’re interested in learning more about the Great Place to Work Certification, visit If you’re interested in working for Gem, and growing your career at a company that puts its people first, we’re interested in talking to you! We’ve got plenty of open roles; so if you want more details about what it’s like to be a Gem (or what’s currently open, or how to join our talent community for future opportunities), check our careers page... or just reach out. We’d love to hear from you. 


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