How 16 Companies Are Honoring Black History Month to Encourage Open Dialogues, Promote Inclusivity, and Support Employees of Color
This month marks 50 years since Black History Month was first celebrated at Kent State University in 1970, six years before President Gerald Ford officially recognized it in 1976. Since its inception in the United States, Black History Month has helped open up dialogue about the contributions of people of African descent to our communities and country.
We asked our partner companies what they were doing this February to celebrate Black History Month and support their employees of color, and they did not disappoint! Here is how these 16 companies are honoring Black History Month at work, in their own words:
1. Launching a Black History Month Campaign - Google
Google's viral Black History Month video
"In honor of Black History Month, we're celebrating the icons and moments that have been searched more than any others in the United States.
Google.org believes in the next generation of Black leaders and in 2018, committed $25 million to help Black and Latino students develop the technical skills and confidence they need to succeed in career and life. As part of this commitment, Google.org will provide a $3 million grant and enable volunteering support to help scale the NAACP's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) over the next three years."
Learn more about Google and their open roles here
2. Hosting Over 30 Events Throughout the US - Dell Technologies
"Dell Technologies' Black Networking Alliance employee resource group has 30+ events planned throughout the U.S. this February. The events are in every area of the nation (TX, OK, GA, TN, NC, CA, MA) and feature service events, historical education opportunities, personal growth courses and more. In addition to team member events, Dell Technologies will be hosting a roundtable event at Morehouse College to discuss building a more representative technology industry. Collaboration is key, so Dell leaders, professors from local historically black colleges (HBCUs), HBCU students and state/city leaders will all be in attendance."
Learn more about Dell Technologies and their open roles here
3. Highlighting Achievements in Tech by African Americans - Cloudflare
Logo for Cloudflare's Black Employee Resource Group Afroflare
"Cloudflare offers various opportunities to celebrate Black History Month in our Austin, San Francisco, and New York City offices through Afroflare, a Cloudflare employee resource group, comprised of members from Black African, Afro-American and African-Caribbean descent. Afroflare's mission is to help build a better, global Afrocentric tech community. Afroflare's lead members have organized activities ranging from Afrocentrically themed lunches, television and film screenings, and internal presentations to celebrate, educate, and foster awareness of Black culture. Afroflare has also produced a social media campaign to highlight the technical achievements of prominent African-Americans on Cloudflare's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Keep an eye out, some surprise events may be coming your way!"
Learn more about Cloudflare and their open roles here
4. Hosting a Talk With a Tech Non-Profit Founder - Nextdoor
Photo of member's of Nextdoor's Black Employee Resource Group, BAND
"This year in honor of Black History Month, Nextdoor is kicking off the month with a blog post featuring a few of the members of the Black employee resource group BAND (Black at Nextdoor) where they are sharing what Black History Month means to them and why it matters to everyone. Later this month, Nextdoor is hosting Lajuanda Asemota, co-founder of dev/color/ - a non-profit organization that aims to advance the careers of Black software engineers. The talk will be about diversity, inclusion and the hurdles faced by Black software engineers at tech companies."
Learn more about Nextdoor and their open roles here
5. Sharing Content Inspiring Inclusivity and Intersectionality - Avanade
"As Avanade prepares to celebrate its 20 year anniversary in 2020, the INSPIRE | Black Employee Network celebrates Black History Month encouraging people to become Allies.
The FY20 theme for Black History Month at Avanade is "INSPIRE to be". At Avanade, we INSPIRE to be inclusive and intersectional. Black History Month at Avanade includes curated educational content, guest speakers, presentations, and local-regional events designed to engage communities. Avanade partners with Junior Achievement and other organizations to INSPIRE civic engagement and foster a culture of service. We INSPIRE you to join the discussion starting with an Avanade inclusion and diversity blog here."
Learn more about Avanade and their open roles here
6. A Month of Programming Celebrity Diversity of Customers and Employees - CarGurus
Photo of CarGuru's Employee Resource Group, People of Color
"This year we're excited to celebrate Black History Month with CarGurus' newly founded People of Color employee resource group, bringing together a month-long of programming that highlights and celebrates the diversity of our customer base and our employees. As we enter Black History Month, we aim to amplify underrepresented voices and perspectives to make tangible changes and forward progress that allows our company to continue to grow and adapt in today's marketplace. Follow us on Instagram (@cargurusculture) or LinkedIn to learn more about our events and how we're celebrating BHM@CG!"
Learn more about CarGuru and their open roles here
6. Hosting Inclusive Career Workshops - Vrbo
Image from Vrbo's career workshop in partnership with Code2College
"This year, Vrbo kicked off Black History Month by hosting an event in partnership with Code2College to provide underserved students in our community with a career workshop on interview skills and resume building. Vrbo is continuing to celebrate by changing the colors of our logo displayed on the outside of our office buildings to reflect colors indicative of Black History Month; we are also displaying influential black historians on electronic wallboards throughout our offices to educate and inspire our employees. Beyond Black History Month, Vrbo has an active business resource group dedicated to mentoring, networking, recruitment and retention opportunities for black employees, as well as giving back to charitable initiatives supporting black students and professionals year-round."
Learn more about Vrbo and their open roles here
8. Chat and Chew Events - Kin + Carta
"Black History Month is an opportunity to discuss the culturally diverse community that identifies as Black/African American. For us at Kin + Carta, we're doing this through a few ways: a Chat & Chew where we'll discuss topics that impact the African American community, a night of R&B Soul with a live-performance, a cooking class to explore the diversity of Black food, and a panel over lunch to listen and learn from the experiences of a few of our Kin + Carta changemakers.
At Kin + Carta we understand that Black History is our history, so we're both educating and celebrating together over the next month."
Learn more about Kin + Carta and their open roles here
9. Hosting a Summit - Autodesk
Autodesk Black Network at a recent visit to Howard University in Washington D.C.
"For the second year in a row in celebration of Black History Month, Autodesk will be hosting a summit for one of our longest-standing employee resource groups – Autodesk Black Network (ABN). During the summit, members from around the world will converge at Autodesk San Francisco to network, share experiences, connect with Autodesk executives and listen to guest speakers. To kick-off the first day of ABN Summit, we'll also be participating in the Oakland Black Joy parade."
Learn more about Autodesk and their open roles here
10. Hosting an Event with Local Congresswoman - S&P Global
Photo of event for Employee Resource Group BOLD ( Black Organization for Leadership and Development0
"In honor of Black History Month, BOLD, S&P Global's Black Organization for Leadership and Development Employee Resource Group, and the S&P Global Political Action Committee will host Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12). Employees will gather for a dynamic conversation on the achievements of African-Americans throughout history. In addition, throughout the month of February, S&P Global will share profiles of Black employees on internal and external media as part of its ongoing awareness month profile series."
Learn more about S&P and their open roles here
11. Hosting a 1920s Harlem Swing Event - WW
"For Black History Month, a WW planning committee curates a series of events that help celebrate, honor and drive awareness to the importance of black history and heritage. This committee plans various events and activities including movie nights, dance classes, and a celebration that highlights our theme of the 1920s.
Committee members choose movies and documentaries and share a message about why they are meaningful and important to them. To bring our theme of the '20s to life, we are bringing in the Harlem Swing Society to teach employees the Lindy Hop and Charleston. Our main event will feature a 5-6 piece swing band, food catered that celebrates various African diaspora, and the dances we learn with Harlem Swing will be brought to light during the celebration."
Learn more about WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and their open roles here
12.. Lunch and Learn with Former NASA Engineer - Viasat
Photo of members of Viasat's Black Employee Resource Group, Black Professional Alliance
"Viasat is proud to celebrate Black History Month alongside its employees and our Black Professional Alliance Employee Resource Group (ERG), and champion Black and African American contributions to technology. From hosting Lunch N' Learns with Shelby Jacobs, a retired NASA engineer, in 2019, to professional networking and fundraising initiatives for our Black and African American communities this year, we hope to continue the conversation on the importance of celebrating Black History Month and provide a platform for all employees to collaborate and be voices for inclusion in our industry."
Learn more about Viasat and their open roles here
13. Events and Workshops on Black Art, Mental Health and More - New Relic
"Over the past few years, we've had the honor to bring impactful speakers to our stages and spotlight our own stunning Relics. This year past year we lost a great leader of ours, Mikey Butler, and wanted to put forth programming in his legacy. This year's Black History Month is more than just a celebration, it's about enrichment for our BlackRelics, Black Owned Businesses, to the Black community and enriching our knowledge of Black History. Events include a Black Renaissance Gala, lunch and learns on mental health, a summit to de Young Museum to and MLK Historical Park and more."
Learn more about New Relic and their open roles here
14. Hosting a Film Viewing and Networking Event - Relativity
Photo of members from Relativity's Community Resource Group, (BRel) Black at Relatively
"In honor of Black History Month, and as part of our ongoing inclusion and diversity efforts, we are celebrating the rich history and accomplishments of African Americans. Our Black at Relativity (BRel) community resource group will be sponsoring programs such as a viewing and discussion of the film, American Son, as well as a museum-like exhibit highlighting African American life, history and culture. In addition, we will be hosting an open-to-the-public networking event where you can learn more about Relativity and connect with members of BRel. We hope you will join us!"
Learn more about Relativity and their open roles here
15. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Year Round - Juniper
Graphic of Juniper Networks' #DrivenByDifferent campaign promoting the importance of diversity to Juniper's innovation and ultimate success.
"Juniper Networks is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting African American pioneers in their fields—from Anna Julia Cooper (early black feminist writer) and Lewis Latimer (inventor/engineer) to Ursula Burns (first African American woman to lead an S&P 500 company).
This compliments our year-round inclusion and diversity efforts. For example, we publish a regular series of articles and tips to educate and foster dialogue around the inclusion of all underrepresented groups. Recent topics have included actions to reduce bias in recruiting, acknowledging privilege, making meetings more inclusive, micro-aggressions and how to be an ally."
Learn more about Juniper Network and their open roles here
16.Building Social Value Inside and Outside the Office - Flexport
"Flexport is a workplace that strives to support people of all backgrounds to collaborate and celebrate individual strengths. BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership Development), our Employee Resource Group for Black and African-American Flexporters has organized over 15 events across our US offices to celebrate Black History month. At these events, Flexport employees have the opportunity to engage with leaders in the Black community to volunteer, learn, network, and build social value inside and outside our offices."
Learn more about Flexport and their open roles here
- 24 Ways Companies Are Celebrating Black History Month at Work ›
- How These 29 Companies are Celebrating Women's History Month in 2021 - PowerToFly Blog ›
- How These 30 Companies are Celebrating Women's History Month in 2021 - PowerToFly Blog ›
- 24 Ways Companies Are Celebrating Black History Month at Work - PowerToFly Blog ›
Not Everything is Engineering: Logicworks’ Courtney Pearce on Taking on Tech from a Sales Perspective
Courtney Pearce’s background isn’t one you’d expect to find in a tech sales position. But as a motivated self-starter, it makes all the sense in the world that she’s been so successful in her role as Solutions Specialist at Logicworks.
If you ask her what she’s most proud of about her time so far at Logicworks, she’ll say her growth over the last four years.
“Even though I came from a technology company that was selling software, selling infrastructure and infrastructure managed services is very different. There was a learning curve. And when I started four years ago, I was the only woman. So I felt like there was this uphill battle of educating myself on the cloud platform. Now, I'm one of the top sales reps and have consistent top performance. So I'm most proud of my growth over the last four years.”
Courtney has a lot of wisdom to impart to those interested in taking on the sales side of tech. We sat down with her to learn more about how she broke into the tech world by utilizing her retail experience.
An Unexpected Path Into Sales
Courtney started college as an Orthodontics major but eventually realized that science wasn’t her calling.
“Although I'm a great student, science and math were difficult subjects for me,” she admits. "I ended up taking a random textile and clothing elective and it was my favorite class.”
She enjoyed the breadth of the program and decided to become a Textiles and Clothing major.
“You got the opportunity to learn the sociology behind why people wear clothes, the chemistry behind dying, how to make fabric, then creating a line from start to finish and marketing that to the class,” she shares.
Although fascinated by the program, her career journey didn’t lead her to the fashion industry but rather to an adjacent career in retail.
“I ended up accepting a leadership position for a big box department store,” she says. “At 23 years old, I ran a 35 million dollar store. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.”
After two years of working in retail for various name brands, she found her way into a tech company through a recruitment role.
Breaking Into the Tech World
While Courtney was working at a recruiting firm, she was approached by a security tech company with a position as a technical recruiter. She was interested in the role and applied, but didn’t get an immediate response.
“I didn't hear back, but continued to follow up,” she recounts. "One night, I got a phone call that said, ‘You're not a good fit for the technical recruiter role, but we have this new group that we're building out called business development and they're working directly with sales. Based on your experience and the fact that you're willing to follow up, we think you'd be a great fit’.”
At the time Courtney knew nothing about the tech space but that didn’t stop her from interviewing for the position.
"I spent an entire week browsing the website, watching all their product marketing videos, and tried to wrap my head around what this security company did," she explains.
During the interview, she blew them away with her knowledge of the company.
“I gave my five-minute spiel and I think that impressed them,” Courtney shares. “I had taken the time to research the company, and not having had a tech background, I tried to comprehend what they do.”
Hired as a business development rep, she had the opportunity to build the team from the ground up.
Reaching New Heights at Logicworks
Courtney continued to rise in the ranks, but she eventually felt that she had hit a plateau. With a desire to try out something new, she looked to Logicworks who offered her the career advancement she was looking for.
“I had reached my potential with my previous employer. There wasn’t anything new for me to learn. I wanted to figure out what was next in my career. There was an opening at Logicworks for a Solution Specialist to be based in Boston. That was enticing for me.”
When Courtney moved to Logicworks she was able to explore job autonomy.
“It gave me the opportunity to move into a territory that I'd been working in for many years, but also run that territory like my own business,” she explains. "There was nobody else working within that space, and I could create the process that I wanted to.”
Now at Logicworks, she experiences the constant changes of a cloud system.
“I'm constantly learning,” she shares. “We're constantly evolving our services, what products we're providing, and how our services are integrated as the cloud is maturing. It keeps me interested every single day.”
Now as a sales lead, Courtney focuses on building relationships with current and potential clients.
Coincidentally, the relationship-building skills that Courtney uses on a daily basis come from her experience in retail.
“I think coming from retail, you have to be able to talk to anyone,” she says. “You're getting a lot of different customer personalities, so it allows me to be comfortable talking to strangers, which I think is key in sales.”
Along with sales experience, Courtney's internal drive has been key in propelling her forward.
“Being a self-starter and watching YouTube videos on what the cloud is, what AWS is, and taking that time on my own to learn and absorb as much as I can are, at the end of the day, the kinds of things that you can prepare you to enter the tech space,” she explains.
Ultimately, it was the skills she learned in retail and her self-taught understanding of tech that have led to her success.
Advice for Entering the Tech World Through Sales
If you're looking to enter the tech world from a sales angle, Courtney offers this advice:
- Find companies that resonate with your values. “Whether you like their product and think that product is solving a pain point in the marketplace, or you align with the company's values, work for a company whose mission you support,” Courtney advises.
- Be pleasantly persistent. “The biggest thing that helped me was when I reached out and nobody responded, and then I followed up and nobody responded, and then I followed up again and they called me. Being pleasantly persistent shows that you’re interested and invested in the organization,” she explains.
- Do your research. “Take the time to figure out what the company does and what they are all about. Educate yourself above and beyond the basic training material to ensure that you have the right knowledge base to be successful in the role.”
If you are looking to grow within the tech space, check out these open positions at Logicworks.
💎Nestlé’s manufacturing excellence team is growing. The team supports Nestlé USA factories that produce bakery sweets brands including Toll House, Libby's and Carnation, and Nestlé Professional Brands which supply food service operations. Watch the video to the end to apply and begin your career there!
📼The manufacturing excellence team seeks someone passionate about driving world-class manufacturing through continuous improvement methodologies. Jennifer Watson and Taylar Marshall, Senior Managers, give you all the information you need to join their team.
📼Join the manufacturing excellence team if you are a go-getter, someone who takes the initiative to establish cross-functional teams to eliminate losses. This also means you should be highly collaborative with a variety of people and have a curious mindset about how things are manufactured. If you fill these requirements, don’t hesitate to apply!
📼The manufacturing excellence team unlocks career path opportunities throughout different functions, locations, and brands across Nestlé USA. Jenny Watson shares her own experience: her career has included roles in three different functions: manufacturing excellence, manufacturing, and operations strategy. She was based out of three different locations: Springville, Utah, Solon, Ohio, and Medford, Wisconsin across four different categories. The opportunities at Nestlé are truly endless!
Inside The Manufacturing Excellence Team
This team is driving continuous improvement and project management routines in the Toll House factory to contribute to the overall expected business results in the bakery and sweets category. It is a boots-on-the-ground team that tries to solve complex problems with a focus on people development and operator capability building. No day is the same in their team!
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Nestlé USA? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Jennifer Watson and Taylar Marshall
More About Nestlé USA
Nestlé USA has been nourishing a growing world for generations. No matter where you work within the Nestlé organization, you’ll discover new opportunities to grow while you help them inspire healthier lives, support local communities, do what’s right for the planet, and make an impact.
From September 12-15, 2022, PowerToFly hosted a four-day virtual event, featuring a three day summit and single day virtual job fair.
To kick off the event, attendees had the opportunity to partake in a one-hour guided networking session followed by three full days of fireside chats and panels where they were able to listen and ask questions to experts and thought leaders across multiple industries.
Featured Summit Topics Included:
- The Art & Science of How to Clarify Your Best Fit Career Path
- Going Back to the Drawing Board: How to Navigate Major Career Shifts
- Pulling Back the Curtain: Understanding What’s Happening Behind the Scenes In the Hiring Process
- 4 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door to a New Career
- Nailing the Basics: How to Grow with Intention and Purpose
- How to Break Into a New Industry Without Starting Over
Companies We Hosted At The Job Fair:
- Bank of America | Hiring for: Senior Financial Analysts, Business Bankers, Senior Technology Managers, and more!
- ScienceLogic | Hiring for: Technical Support Engineers, Chief Marketing Officers, Product Managers, Executive Assistants, and more!
- PowerToFly | Hiring for: Global DEIB Strategist & Trainers, Account Executives, Support Specialists, Events Specialists, and more!
Thank you for joining 4 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door to a New Career with Flatiron School Career Coach Betsy Kent! In case we weren’t able to get to your question in the Q&A, or if you thought of additional questions after we wrapped, here are two ways you can contact the Flatiron School Admissions team directly:
- Schedule a casual 10-minute chat with a Flatiron School Admissions rep
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attending information sessions, panels, and workshops is the best way to get a sneak peek into what studying at Flatiron School is like — so don't miss what else is coming up! You can find a list of our events HERE.
Starting out as a viral trend on TikTok, the phrase “quiet quitting” has since taken over headlines everywhere from NPR to the Harvard Business Review. But what, exactly, is quiet quitting — and why are so many business leaders getting this so-called “crisis” wrong??
What is quiet quitting?
Per Psychology Today, “quiet quitting” isn’t actually quitting in the two-week notice sense of the word. It’s when employees keep doing their job, but only do the work that’s in their job description or covered by their explicit responsibilities. No going above and beyond. No late hours. No taking on extra projects that don’t come with extra remuneration.
Gallup similarly defines the trend as employees who are “not engaged” at work — people who “do the minimum required and are psychologically detached from their job.” Per their research, that’s a full 50% of the American workforce.
Why quiet quitting isn’t actually a crisis
As a burgeoning attitude toward work, quiet quitting makes perfect sense. With the challenges and stresses of the last few years impacting all workers — but especially working parents, people of color, women, and other marginalized groups — employees are looking for ways to set boundaries, disengage from work, and find working rhythms that work for them and their lives.
And that’s something companies should be supporting. Employers’ responsibility, after all, isn’t to slap a Band-Aid on the problems that are driving quiet quitting in order to get productivity metrics up. It’s to create the conditions for employees to succeed, with work that can be accomplished within reasonable working hours, and to incentivize and tangibly reward any engagement that goes beyond quiet-quitting levels.
It’s time we got this clear. Quiet quitting was never the crisis. Expecting employees to go above and beyond at work in order to maybe stand a shot at a pay raise and promotion next year was.
If you want to ensure your company culture is creating opportunities for folks to feel truly engaged, we’ve rounded up the steps to take below.
8 things your company needs to do to stop facilitating quiet quitting
Quiet quitting doesn’t mean that employees don’t want to work. It means that everyone — employees and employers alike — are recognizing, more than ever, that the workplace can and should be evolving to meet the needs of everyone involved in making work happen. Here are some ways that companies can ensure they are doing that, sourced from McKinsey research on burnout and engagement:
1. Hold your leadership accountable.
Culture is set by the people on the ground, and you need to know that your managers and leaders are creating a culture that’s supportive of mental health. This looks like incorporating mental health questions into regular employee satisfaction surveys, so you have data to track, and including the management of employee well-being as part of how leaders are evaluated and compensated. It also means getting rid of toxic leaders.
2. Destigmatize mental health and boundaries.
Most employers know that stigma exists at work, despite best intentions to fight it. But when employees are afraid to ask for help with mental health needs or to request accommodations so they can do their best work, everyone suffers. Companies can work to destigmatize the issue by highlighting senior leaders’ own experiences with mental health. Vulnerability can help promote psychological safety, as can rewarding employees for setting boundaries and using mental health and wellness benefits.
3. Evolve the kind of benefits you offer.
45% of people who have recently left their jobs said that their care responsibilities were a big part of their decision. Do the benefits your company offers reflect that reality? For instance — if employees must be on-site, can you offer on-site childcare? If not, do you offer a childcare stipend? Do you know what issues they are most struggling with, and are you responding?
4. Promote sustainable working hours.
Do your employees need to be at work — whether online or at the office — from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.? Or can they set those hours to fit their own schedules? Do you have flexible work policies that are available to everyone, no matter their level of seniority? Hybrid work can facilitate unfair treatment when policies aren’t clear and universally applicable.
5. Provide opportunities for employees to build social ties.
Another reason employees are disengaged at the office? Lack of social support. It can be hard to make connections over video calls and chat, especially for new employees or those who haven’t worked remotely before. Investing in team building can help give employees access to social connections that make their work more meaningful over time.
6. Enable right-size workloads.
As employment has ebbed and flowed over the pandemic, and especially now during the Great Resignation, many companies are finding themselves short-staffed. But piling more work on the people who have stayed isn’t a sustainable solution — it just speeds up their own burnout. Creating
7. Facilitate upskilling and reskilling at work.
Per the McKinsey study linked above, employers who offer reskilling and upskilling opportunities end up with more engaged employees. It pays off for everyone involved: giving employees the chance to laterally move into a different job in order to learn a new set of skills can predict employee retention 250% more than compensation can, for instance.
8. Strengthen your commitment to DEIB.
Employees don’t want to work somewhere they don’t feel like they belong. McKinsey calls out five key action areas when it comes to making a DEIB commitment real: ensuring representation, holding leadership accountable, increasing transparency (like with analytics on promotions and pay), tackling issues with a zero-tolerance policy, and embracing intersectionality.