PDT’s success has been the result of a huge cumulative effort to understand how markets work and why. But our utility function isn’t just about making money. It is, as much as possible, aligned to the conditions that create long-term happiness for PDTers. Everything starts with having talented, motivated people in an environment in which they can flourish. A culture that works must be able to inspire human motivation: it gets people excited about working on something and sustains that excitement over a long period of time.
We are a community where we believe everyone, regardless of gender identity, race, ethnicity, or any other class protected by applicable law, should feel like they belong. We work hard to ensure fair and equitable hiring practices. We evaluate, promote, and pay PDTers based on their merits, while at the same time recognizing that there are many different ways to be excellent. PDTers host internal and external talks, trainings, book clubs, discussion groups, and events to raise awareness, reduce unconscious bias, and foster a culture where everyone has a chance to thrive and succeed.
"We all have a shared utility function. We work together almost like a family, like a community.”
— PDTer in Research
Giving to others in need is a fundamental part of our culture. PDT Give, our philanthropy program, goes beyond grants and donations by also sharing resources, expertise, and a personal connection. Our mission is to alleviate poverty through education and workforce development – we’re especially committed to increasing the numbers of underrepresented individuals in STEM fields. A majority of PDTers actively participate in PDT Give on an ongoing basis by volunteering in person with partner organizations. There are countless and ever-changing ways to get involved, from pro-bono consulting, volunteering, and one-on-one student mentoring to matched giving and employee donor-advised funds. An annual PDT Give Week each summer helps us evaluate new partner organizations, maximize our collective impact, and make it easier to get involved.
c. Growth Mindset
Learning should come from mistakes as well as from successes. At PDT, having a growth mindset means a constant desire to test, build, and stretch one’s abilities. Our feedback culture is grounded in honesty, trust, and mutual respect. We provide regular opportunities throughout the year to step back and check-in on individual performance and encourage PDTers to share informal, in-the-moment feedback as often as possible.
“You’re not going to find a collection of smarter people to learn with and grow from.”
— PDTer in Business Operations
If you ask PDTers to describe our culture in one word, they will often say “collaborative.” We love solving problems together. It helps that PDTers are not only smart but also kind and considerate. Collaboration works best when ideas can be freely shared, analyzed, and respectfully debated.
When differences of opinion occur, it’s essential to have a supportive environment to discuss and reconcile different points of view. At the same time, we deeply value intellectual freedom. PDTers honor collaboration while also working to build careers that align with their interests and fit with their principles.
It’s important that the time PDTers spend at work gives them energy back. Whether we’re absorbed in solving a complex problem, walking and talking with a teammate, or celebrating a company milestone together, we want working at PDT to be as energizing as a job can be. We do this by crafting a culture that is a mix of freedom, trust, growth, competition, partnership, and integrity. That’s why so many PDTers choose to spend their careers here.