Ladies First: Asana is One of the Best Workplaces for Women
Below is an article originally written by Emilie Cole at PowerToFly Partner Asana, and published on September 14, 2017. Go to Asana's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Today, Asana is proud to be named one of the Best Workplaces for Women by Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE. As a fast-growing company that's constantly striving to be the change we want to see in the workplace—which is radically inclusive—Asana believes building a diverse and inclusive company isn't just a moral imperative, but also key to our business success.
The work to achieve this vision rests on everyone's shoulders; each employee contributes to our success in creating an empowering and welcoming workplace culture. This is especially true in the employee resource groups (ERGs) at Asana, which focus on building a trusted and safe community, adding value through involvement in the wider community, and serving as a resource for professional development.
AsanaWomen ERG: On a mission to lift up the work of women in tech
Established last year, AsanaWomen has since grown into an active group, hosting internal and external events that range from monthly structured group discussions to candid conversations with industry leaders such as Ellen Pao.
To celebrate today's news, we sat down with women from across all areas of the company, including members and leaders of the AsanaWomen ERG, for an open discussion on everything from empowerment to why ERGs need to stay focused on intersectionality.
Why do you think Asana is a great workplace for women?
Kayla Treister, user operations agent: As a woman who came to Asana from a non-tech background, I've found it really encouraging to see that women around me have been given opportunities to grow and thrive; my manager is a woman and I've watched her career growth as well as my own. We both have a lot that we want to do, and Asana gives us the support to allow us to better ourselves.
Bella Kazwell, web engineering lead: A lot of focus goes into making sure quiet voices in the room have a chance to express their opinion. For example, our CEO pointed out that it's important to limit the meeting size so that quiet people can speak up. I was a beneficiary of this, which has allowed me to grow a lot more at Asana than at my previous company.
Nikki Henderson, marketing copywriter and co-lead of AsanaWomen: So many issues for women in the workplace don't get solved because there is no space to discuss and find solutions for them in the workplace. Because Asana has built diversity and inclusion into its business model, I'm comfortable building my career here. At a larger scale, it also gives me hope that we can help set the new standard for women at work, and inspire them to demand (and actually get) what they deserve.
Devon Watts, product marketing lead: There's minimal 'bro' culture and a lot of encouragement to 'bring your whole self' to work.
AsanaWomen's mission is to showcase the work and passions of women in the tech industry by providing a platform to celebrate their talents and spotlight role models. Can you talk more about the role of AsanaWomen in your workplace experience at Asana?
Lily Guy, customer success manager: I feel more empowered being a woman in a professional setting. The shared experience of AsanaWomen has become so important to me; being able to talk about all the highs and lows and navigating the waters together is incredibly powerful.
Joanna Miller, head of learning & development and co-lead of Gradient: AsanaWomen has done an excellent job of creating multiple entries points for female employees to connect with their community—from the more structured monthly lunches with facilitated discussion, to the Women's Saloon (a monthly co-working event)—that allows women from different teams in the company to interact as we grow.
Kaitie: AsanaWomen has become a valuable resource within the organization by providing safe places for judgement-free discussions and by connecting shared voices on issues and concerns that can be hard to speak up about alone.
ERGs are becoming a core component of workplace Diversity and Inclusion programs, especially in tech. Any tips for your peers in the industry hoping to activate or lead ERGs within their organization?
Joanna: The women's movement and by extension women's ERGs tend to be dominated by white voices. In many cases, women of color have different experiences and perspectives on gender-based issues but are rarely invited to share them. I encourage women's ERGs to self-audit their events, discussions, and assumptions by continuing to ask the question, "Who isn't in the room?"
Nikki: To echo Joanna, you have to stay intersectional. Women are at the heart of your group, but you need to understand that what a 'woman's experience' is, is radically different across all kinds of groups.
Kayla: Make sure that you're really careful to keep them inclusive; you don't want to end up cliquey.
Lily: Don't take it too seriously. This isn't to invalidate the real struggles women face professionally or personally. But you need to bring a little lightheartedness into the story. I think we do this pretty well and would encourage other ERGs to do so, too.
Finally, what's the one piece of advice you'd give other women in tech right now?
Bella: Pay attention to stories of women's equality or women not advocating for themselves; maybe they will inspire you to advocate for yourself and others. But, all this is for naught if you don't also spend the time becoming really good at your work.
Kaitie: Speak up more often, and find other ways to use your voice if you can't do that directly in every meeting. Diversity of opinions is important to innovation and to doing the right thing, and I think everyone would benefit if more women had a voice in the conversation.
Devon: Be your badass lady self. And when you see other women slaying at their jobs, lift them up. Congratulate them publicly for a job well done, reach out to their manager to share how much value they provide, and thank them personally for their contributions.
Kiana Labuhn, Recruiter at S&P Global, shares an exclusive take on the most important tips to keep in mind when preparing for an interview.
How Bumble’s Director of Engineering Learned to Be Herself at Work—and Encourages Team Members to Do the Same
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She told the team at the social media and dating app and that didn't change their plans to hire her. "They were completely fine with it, really supportive," says Rose.
You've met some of them—maybe they're your family, friends, classmates, or coworkers, or perhaps you identify as neurodivergent yourself.
Sharing inclusivity, not stereotypes, at Raytheon Technologies<p><br></p><p>"Raytheon Technologies and our Raytheon Alliance for Diverse Abilities (RADA) Employee Resource Group (ERG) is committed to trying to bring focus on invisible disabilities, as they are among the most misunderstood. Autism/neurodiversity isn't a mental illness and we recognize how important it is to bring awareness, be inclusive of everyone and avoid stereotypes. During Autism Awareness Month RADA is featuring a multi-regional presentation about Autism Awareness & Acceptance, as well as neurodiversity overall. The presentation is focused on educational information, including what Autistic people want in terms of inclusion and meaningful work, as well as dispelling common misconceptions."</p><p><em>Learn more about </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/raytheon-technologies" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Raytheon Technologies</em></a>.</p>
Hiring a world-class workforce at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency<p>"The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency recently launched the Neurodiverse Federal Workforce (NFW) pilot program, a collaborative effort between NGA, MITRE, and Melwood. The NFW pilot aims to help government agencies hire neurodiverse talent for U.S. Federal Government agencies. 'NGA mission success is contingent on a world-class workforce with a wide diversity of opinions and expertise,' said NGA Deputy Director Dr. Stacey Dixon. 'Neurodiverse talent can bring new perspectives to the NGA workforce and make important contributions to the mission.' The pilot is a great learning opportunity for NGA to continue to grow and improve our first-class workforce."</p><p>Learn more from the podcast "<a href="https://www.podcastone.com/episode/The-National-Geospatial-Intelligence-Agency-takes-workforce-diversity-in-a-new-direction" target="_blank">The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Takes Workforce Diversity In A New Direction</a>"</p><p><em>Learn more about the </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/national-geospatial-intelligence-agency" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Supporting each individual's preferred environment at Elastic<p>"We distribute anonymous surveys that allow anyone, including neurodiverse folks, to address potential barriers that we should address.</p><p>Our accessibility working group acts as an employee resource as well as an equity-seeking team that works to create and develop a disability inclusive workplace at Elastic.</p><p>The majority of our Elasticians work from home. Our hope is that this empowers neurodiverse employees, including those who may be on the spectrum, to have more control over their environment so that they can manage noise and light sensitivity, control their personal space, and manage their own schedule to reduce anxiety."</p><p><em>Learn more about </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/elastic" target="_blank"><em>Elastic</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Pioneering neurodiversity at Freddie Mac<p>"Freddie Mac values the insights and different perspectives that result from employees bringing their authentic selves to work. Our Office of Inclusive Engagement works with several organizations to identify qualified candidates, consider them for suitable roles and pair them with mentors who can help them adapt to an evolving new normal. In 2020, we evolved our neurodiversity internship initiative into a more robust training, education and hiring process called 'Neurodiversity at Work' to directly place candidates with Autism Spectrum Disorders into full-time roles."</p><p><em>Learn more about </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/freddie-mac" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Freddie Mac</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Decoding inclusion at MongoDB<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTk0NzE2OC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDY3MTY2MH0.Q-ko6g65MC-epHBrx_vr6k9v-lSawHH5jfhPWOVTozI/img.png?width=980" id="a4487" width="1112" height="626" data-rm-shortcode-id="a686a88d639ff3a91a5a4f6b455ce0cc" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>"MongoDB supports the neurodivergent community through interview accommodations, providing new hires the opportunity to select equipment and denote special requests, and onboarding checklists broken down into useful sections. To raise awareness about neurodiversity in the workplace, we have a learning and development (L&D) platform which has content on collaborating with different working styles. Our L&D Program focuses on building skills in managing teams inclusively. We also host Decoding Inclusion, a series of events aimed at building community and sharing foundational knowledge about D&I topics, including neurodiversity, to further our understanding of differences."</p><p><a href="https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/why-now-cool-time-different-steph-johnson" target="_blank">Read more about how MongoDB celebrates difference in this interview with their VP of Corporate Comms</a></p><p><em>Learn more about </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mongodb" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>MongoDB</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Encouraging allyship at Folsom Labs<p>"At Folsom Labs, we are passionate about building a culture of acceptance and inclusion. Our goal is not just to spread autism awareness but to strive to be allies and elevate the voices of those with disabilities. Now more than ever, this is important as many are facing the added weight of mental health and wellness challenges due to the pandemic. Encouraging allyship throughout the community and building a culture where everyone can thrive are at the forefront of our current initiatives. We are proud to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month — to set a stage where we can celebrate our differences and continue to create a space of inclusion and support."</p><p><em>Learn more about </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/folsom-labs" target="_blank"><em>Folsom Labs</em></a><em>.</em></p><em><br></em>
Recruiting for diverse problem solvers at Dell Technologies<video controls id="7ebf6" width="100%" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d5c114fad218a953432630dfe99716b2" expand="1" feedbacks="true" mime_type="video/mp4" shortcode_id="1617842842194" site_id="17377755" url="https://roar-assets-auto.rbl.ms/runner%2F23124-Neurodiversity_Shortform_0325.mp4" videoControls="true"> <source src="https://roar-assets-auto.rbl.ms/runner%2F23124-Neurodiversity_Shortform_0325.mp4" type="video/mp4"> Your browser does not support the video tag. </video><p>"Dell's Neurodiversity Hiring Program provides professional development training, internships, and full-time career opportunities for neurodivergent job seekers. The program rethinks the traditional interview process by removing barriers that may limit an individual from fully showcasing their skills and capabilities. Additionally, program participants benefit from job coaching and mentorship provided by our community partners and True Ability ERG members.</p><p>A variety of critical positions across the company have been filled through the program. In doing so, we are bringing in diverse perspectives for problem solving that have helped us differentiate ourselves within the marketplace all while cultivating a culture of inclusion."</p><p><br></p><p><em>Learn more about </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/dell-technologies" target="_blank"><em>Dell</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Supporting professionals with autism throughout their talent journey at Deloitte<p>"At Deloitte, everyone contributes to our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Our inclusive culture, empowers all of us, including those with diverse abilities, to connect, belong, and grow. Deloitte's Autism@Work program supports our professionals with autism throughout their talent journey. A customized, autism-friendly assessment process helps draw out our candidates' strengths. Our employees have an internal Coach, an Onboarding Advisor, and access to external job coaching. Our Onboarding Mentor/Buddy Program pairs professionals with autism with other Deloitte colleagues/allies. Through Neurodiversity Training, our professionals can help support and manage our differently-abled professionals. We also have our Abilities First Business Resource Group for people with disabilities plus allies."</p><p><em>Learn more about </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/deloitte1" target="_blank"><em>Deloitte</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Sharing stories to support awareness at Lockheed Martin<p>"Lockheed Martin shares employee stories internally to help others understand Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and hosts internal events to support ASD awareness and education. The Able & Allies business resource group, whose mission is to build an environment that empowers employees with disabilities, has recently partnered with ASD advocacy organizations to offer resources to assist with managing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with persons who have ASD and their families. Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) is a member of the Florida Ability Inclusion Network and strives to educate employees and leaders on disabilities and recommend best practices to promote a disability-friendly workplace."</p><p><em>Learn more about </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/lockheed-martin" target="_blank"><em>Lockheed Martin</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Kate Jhaveri does one thing every day that she suggests you try: belly laughs.
The EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at the NBA credits her two kids with much of that levity—"They're very silly and they, at least once a day, make me laugh out loud," she says—though she seeks to make those lighter connections with her team at work, too.