Companies you'll love to work for





Head of RISE (Chief Diversity Officer)



Denver, CO, USA · San Francisco, CA, USA · New York, NY, USA
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023

About Gusto

Gusto is a modern, online people platform that helps small businesses take care of their teams. On top of full-service payroll, Gusto offers health insurance, 401(k)s, expert HR, and team management tools. Today, Gusto offices in Denver, San Francisco, and New York serve more than 300,000 businesses nationwide.

Our mission is to create a world where work empowers a better life, and it starts right here at Gusto. That’s why we’re committed to building a collaborative and inclusive workplace, both physically and virtually. Learn more about our Total Rewards philosophy.

RISE (Representation, Inclusion, Social Impact and Equity) work is foundational to everything we do at Gusto. As our business grows and our needs become more complex, it’s vital we continue to evolve our approach to RISE; identifying and enacting proven practices that drive successful business results and increase inclusive and equitable outcomes. The Head of RISE will be a key partner to the Head of People and work closely with the Head of Gusto and other organizational leaders on Talent Strategy and RISE related program/policy initiatives. This role is an opportunity to be a true leader in our organization, with a high level of responsibility as well the full support of our executive team. The position is full-time and based in San Francisco, New York City, Denver, or in one of our Centers of Gravity.

Here’s what you’ll do day-to-day:

  • Internally, you’ll lead Gusto’s RISE efforts, driving improvements in Representation, Inclusion, Social Impact, and Equity. This includes creating, aligning and executing Gusto’s RISE Strategy for the next chapter of company scaling and building.
  • You will be responsible for setting and guiding progress to RISE Aspirational Goals for each organization, alongside the leader who is accountable for them.
  • You will create and execute programs around RISE for the broader company, including, but not limited to, our RISE learning journeys for leaders, managers and Gusties, strategic partnerships, our RISE annual report, and more.
  • Support Gusto’s nine affinity groups through providing resources, guidance and counsel as these communities grow.
  • You will work cross-functionally across the People team to ensure our People programs and processes (hiring, onboarding, development, promotion, job architecture, total rewards) drive inclusive and equitable outcomes.
  • You’ll serve as Gusto’s Chief Diversity Officer, externally. As a company that makes a People product, this role is highly visible and you’ll be called on to influence + inform Product development, represent Gusto to our customers, and be a highly engaged and visible thought leader on People topics.
  • Starting direct team size will be 4 full-time RISE professionals, with room to grow in the future.

Here’s what we're looking for:

The Head of RISE must excel at leveraging data to create innovative solutions and have the interpersonal skills required to drive successful outcomes across our portfolio of offerings. The following background is strongly preferred:

  • Demonstrated Industry Comprehension
    • The Head of RISE will have a combination of professional experiences that could stem from many backgrounds, but always involving DE&I strategies and focus. They will be able to fly at multiple altitudes, leveraging their experiences as an operator to lead a team of executors while being able to influence senior leadership members on RISE initiatives as they apply to Gusto’s business initiatives and internal teams. Having a background from a variety of industries plus experience in software technology organizations with a deep partnership with Engineering, Product, Design, and Data Teams will allow for this person to make an immediate impact on our RISE journey.
  • Data Driven Problem Solving & Influential Partnership
    • The Head of Rise will drive influence when working with Gusto Leaders. You will leverage your data-driven skills and DEI expertise to educate leaders on RISE practices, facilitate discussions, make recommendations, and provide solutions to the business. This role will be leveraged to thoughtfully and effectively act as a sounding board for decisions and for rolling out company changes to ensure they are inclusive and welcoming to people of all backgrounds. You will also take charge in ensuring that all Gusties are aligned with the RISE goals and that we are collectively fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
  • Builder Mentality
    • The Head of RISE has a builder mindset and sets ambitious RISE goals while enabling the company to accomplish those goals. You will own, improve, and drive our RISE programs across the company and be the leadership liaison to our Affinity Groups. You will partner with our communications team on internal and external narratives as the primary spokesperson for our RISE program. You will also facilitate diverse hiring practices in partnership with our Talent Team to ensure the entire Gustie experience is disciplined on our RISE practices and goals to create a consistent Gustie experience that reflects our culture.
  • People Leadership
    • Build and engage a diverse team of equity and inclusion officers. The Head of RISE finds joy and fulfillment from mentoring and developing their team.
  • Create Clarity
    • The Head of RISE is an expert communicator and has the ability to help the company navigate sensitive issues. Having the ability to create clarity in the way they communicate and operate will be a key attribute to be successful in this role. Beyond creating clarity, the Head of RISE will thrive on building deep relationships with all organizational leaders and be able to drive thoughtful and strategic partnership on RISE initiatives. This person will be the face and voice of RISE at Gusto, for Gusties, Gustomers, and outside parties. It’s important that the Head of RISE strikes a balance between being direct and real with finesse and tact to inspire the masses.

The Following Experience is Required:

  • 10+ years of deep People Team work, with 5+ years running DEI teams at scale - experience building and managing high performing teams across multiple disciplines of DEI
  • Proven leadership in People domains with high operational complexity and in fast-growing, dynamic, change-heavy environments
  • Experience as the Head of RISE/Diversity efforts or as a strong #2
  • Track record of building representative companies at all levels, from the Board & the C-Suite, to the broader manager and employee population
  • Deep understanding of how race and its intersections have impacted tech and corporate environments; and how to enact lasting, systemic changes in representation and equitable outcomes for historically underrepresented populations
  • Ability to build strong, effective cross-functional partnerships across the business and drive leader-led progress on RISE
  • Results oriented but also employee-focused: You care deeply about the people on your team, helping them to achieve their personal and professional goals, and enabling them to do the best work of their lives.

At Gusto, we strive to provide rewards that empower employees to achieve their financial and personal goals. We offer competitive compensation packages with a strong emphasis on equity based compensation (ownership in Gusto). To learn more about Gusto’s compensation philosophy and benefits offerings please view our Total Rewards Approach page.

Our cash compensation range for this role is $164,000 to $275,000 per year in Denver & most major metros, and $192,000 to $275,000 per year in San Francisco & New York. Final offer amounts are determined by multiple factors, including candidate location, experience and expertise, and may vary from the amounts listed above.

Gusto has physical office spaces in Denver, San Francisco, and New York City. Employees who are based in those locations will be expected to work from the office on designated days approximately 2-3 days per week (or more depending on role). The same office expectations apply to all Symmetry roles, Gusto's subsidiary, whose physical office is in Scottsdale.

Note: The San Francisco office expectations encompass both the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas.

When approved to work from a location other than a Gusto office, a secure, reliable, and consistent internet connection is required.

Our customers come from all walks of life and so do we. We hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it makes our company stronger. If you share our values and our enthusiasm for small businesses, you will find a home at Gusto.

Gusto is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate in hiring or any employment decision based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or other applicable legally protected characteristic. Gusto considers qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law. Gusto is also committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures. If you require assistance in filling out a Gusto job application, please reach out to