On a given weekday afternoon, you can find Cindy Batang working from the parking lot of a golf course while her younger daughter practices her swing.
She did the same thing for her older daughter. That dedication paid off not just for that daughter, who now plays college golf, but also for Cindy's career. She rose through the ranks of Zynga while raising two children, and is now the Manager of Governance, Risk, and Compliance at the gaming company.
"You learn how to multitask," says Cindy of managing both her work and her home life over the last decade at Zynga. "You find a way to get everything done."
Cindy started her career at Zynga in IT, then transitioned into security and then into management. Over the years, her daughters have worked on her lap while she fixed computers, begged to come into the office to play the arcade games, and "grown up at Zynga," says Cindy.
We sat down with her to learn more about that path, as well as how she juggles being a working parent—and what parts of Zynga's culture, including their flexible work policies and their parent-focused ERG, zParents, have supported her throughout the years.
Finding Fulfillment in Tech
Cindy and her husband have been married for 22 years and together for even longer. She credits him with a lot of what she loves about her life—including getting her into tech.
While she was still in college, he suggested that Cindy take a Windows certification course. Even though Cindy had been exposed to computers from an early age—her dad built them at home (and, when he lived in Nicaragua, also had his own shop where he would rebuild radios and TVs)—it wasn't something she considered exploring as a kid. "It's kind of funny to me that his hobby became my job," says Cindy of her dad's influence.
Cindy took the course and ended up getting a contract IT job, then leaving school to enter the workforce full-time. This was right as the dot-com bubble was heating up, she says, and when the economy crashed a few years later, right as Cindy and her husband welcomed their first daughter, Cindy decided to leave tech for a bit and become a real estate agent.
"I felt like I needed more time with her, and I couldn't do that with a nine-to-five," she explains.
In that job, Cindy recognized how much she loved working with people. But when the real estate market crashed, too, she decided she'd go back into tech—but ideally in a more flexible, more people-facing role.
She got started in a contract tech support role, then worked for a small gaming company where she really enjoyed the more laid-back culture. As a big Words With Friends fan, she'd heard of Zynga, and when someone in her husband's network said Zynga was looking for IT support analysts, she applied.
Because she'd been at a much smaller company where she wore a lot of hats, Cindy quickly took on a management role on Zynga's team. She worked in access control, which gave her exposure to Zynga's security team. She knew the company's CSO and told him she was interested in learning more about cybersecurity—and had another new role a few weeks later.
"He fast-tracked things and created a position for me as a security analyst," she says. "I wasn't expecting that!"
Cindy credits her diversity of experiences at Zynga with the long-lasting career fulfillment she's found there. "One of the reasons I've been here for so long is that I haven't been doing the same thing for ten years," she says. "I've been able to grow and expand. Now I'm in management, I'm able to take what I've learned and work with my team to give them that same kind of flexibility."
Experiencing a Family-Friendly Work Environment
Cindy's daughters were three and nine when she joined Zynga, and now they're in high school and college, respectively. As her career evolved, Cindy says she always felt like her family was welcome at work.
"I'd bring them to the office, especially when I was working in support and didn't have somebody to watch them," she says. "Zynga was a big playground for them, with the pool table and the snacks. My managers never had any issue with me bringing them to work as long as I got the job done."
"[My kids] would ask me, 'Mom, can I go to work with you?'" remembers Cindy, smiling.
Beyond an open and kid-friendly office, Cindy enjoyed getting to set her own hours. If she needed to take an hour off to do school pick-up, she was able to finish her day at home later in the evening. "I liked that they let me step out and understood that at the end of the day, I'd get the job done," she says.
She also took full advantage of zParents, Zynga's ERG for working parents.
"zParents events were the highlight of [my kids'] day," says Cindy. "When the opportunity came up for volunteers, I immediately jumped on board." She currently plays a leadership role for the ERG, which includes putting on family friendly events and supporting employees by sharing available company resources.
Over the pandemic, zParents expanded to Zynga's global offices with virtual resource-sharing and events. "In our Slack channel, you'll find a very active parent support group," says Cindy. "From new parents asking for advice on how to get babies to sleep through the night to parents asking for help with complicated math homework!"
It's the community that Cindy values most when it comes to finding support at work. "When you have your first child, you don't know what to expect. You don't know what's going to happen. You have this life that relies on you heavily, and it kind of stresses you out," she says. "But you know what? It's okay. We've all been new parents and you figure it out."
4 Tips for Paying it Forward as a Manager of Working Parents
Now that Cindy's own children are older, her day-to-day is a little easier to manage (golf practice parking lot laptop sessions aside).
She knows that's not the case for her whole team, though.
"I know that things come up at the last minute, so I focus on giving [employees] the flexibility that I also received," says Cindy. "I encourage people to take the time with their kids, because they're only young for so long. Work will always be here, you know? It's important to spend time with your family."
Cindy also shares advice with working parents on her team, including:
- The importance of communication. Cindy highlights that this should go two ways: communicating with your kids, and letting them know you're there to support them and that they come first even if work responsibilities need to be worked around; and communicating with your management, to set expectations upfront around schedules and flexibility.
- Spend time wisely. There will always be more work than there are hours in the day, says Cindy, who suggests making daily and weekly priority lists and tracking project deadlines against them.
- Don't compare yourself to other working parents. "It may seem that other parents have everything under control. But don't compare yourself. Everybody has different circumstances and a different style of how they manage things. What works for them may not work for you."
- Take care of yourself, too. "People struggle with trying to take care of everybody else and then they fail to take care of themselves," she says. "If you need downtime, take a nap, read a book, go for a walk, do something just for yourself. Something as simple as that can change your perspective for the rest of the day."
She would add one more tip: apply for a role at Zynga! "This is a great company to be at for raising kids," she says. "I can't speak highly enough about the ways that Zynga enables you to be able to manage your work-life balance."
💎 How to build trust in your team? Watch the video to the end to find out!
📼 How should you work to build trust in your team? Play this video to get three top tips that will help you. You'll hear from Veronica Setzke, Senior Director of People Ops at Pax8, who shares tips and tricks she learned through years of coaching.
📼 How to build trust with peers in your team? Tip #1: Relationships. There's no better way to start forming relationships than having regular one-on-ones. It doesn't have to just be with your supervisor. It can be with your coworkers. It can be with those people that you collaborate regularly with. And it's really important in these one-on-ones that we're spending time listening. Take the time to be present and listen. Also, spend time together not working. Have lunch together. Go for coffee. Take a five-minute walk around the building and just have a conversation. Relations are a key element to trust!
📼 How to build trust? Open yourself in your team Tip #2: Vulnerability. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Ask for feedback, whether it's feedback about a project, a process, or even maybe a leadership behavior that you're trying to master. This allows those on your team and those around you to see you as willing to be vulnerable. Trust and vulnerability go hand in hand. It doesn't mean that you’re weak, but rather that you’re open. It allows your team to understand that it's a safe place for them to also be vulnerable.
How To Share To Build Trust In Your Team - Tip #3: Clear Is Kind
Keep the team informed and say as much as you can about what you know. There are times that we hold information that could be shared. We could share that information that impacts others' work and have them have the opportunity to use that to do better. If you've learned something that could help your colleague make a better decision, share that! Try to ensure that your communication with others is clear. When you make the effort to be clear about your intentions, your work, and your roadblocks, it opens others up to do the same.
📨 Are you interested in joining Pax8? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Veronica Setzke
She works as a People professional because she sincerely believes that people want to be excellent, and it is her role to help move the obstacles to their achieving success. She believes the employees deserve a culture that values their work and will respond to such a culture by creating amazing results. If you are interested in a career at Pax8, you can connect with Veronica on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Pax8
The company simplifies the way organizations buy, sell, and manage cloud solutions, empowering its partners to achieve more with cloud technology. At Pax8, they know that they are only as great as their people. They realize that every individual has unique personal and professional aspirations, which is why they strive to offer a complete and competitive Total Rewards offering for their members and family.
💎Want to implement change in your team or organization? Watch the video to the end to do it successfully.
📼 To implement change you need to follow certain steps. Play this video to get three top tips on how to do it the best possible way. You'll hear from Kyle Lisboa, Support Operations Manager at Esri, who shares her experience with you!
📼Why implement change? Tip #1: Identify the reason. Think about the business reason for the change. If you understand why change is needed, it helps you explain it to others. Avoid making change for change's sake and implement solutions that solve problems.
📼Plan to implement change! Tip #2: Develop a plan. Create a detailed plan to help implement the change. If you create steps and timelines, this will guide the process. It also helps others understand how you are progressing towards the implementation and what the next steps are.
To Implement Change You Need Others - Tip #3: Seek Feedback
Gather feedback from those affected before, during, and after any changes are implemented. Allowing others to provide their feedback helps to create an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels part of the solution.
📨 Are you interested in joining Esri? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Kyle Lisboa
Kyle is an experienced Strategic Operations Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. She’s skilled in Arcgis Products, Databases, Management, Geography, and Cartography. If you are interested in a career at Esri, you can connect with her on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Esri
At Esri, they build cutting-edge geographic information system (GIS) technology that customers use to solve the world’s most complex challenges: slowing climate change, stamping out disease, designing a better city, fighting crime, and much more. Their ArcGIS software is helping communities around the globe respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by monitoring the surge, managing testing sites, aiding essential workers in finding childcare, mapping food and essentials, and keeping residents informed and safe.
Nearly 80% of workers want to work for a company that values diversity, equity, and inclusion, per a CNBC survey.
But how do prospective employees — and, for that matter, current ones — know whether an organization takes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) seriously?
Metrics can help.
What are DEI metrics?
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging metrics are measurements of how a company is doing against its stated DEIB goals. They help track progress, light up problems, synthesize momentum over time, prioritize investment, and allow a company and its employees to have accountability over DEIB intentions.
How can DEI metrics help my overall DEI strategy?
Creating a DEIB strategy is the first step in making your workplace more equitable. But having DEI metrics is a vital second step in ensuring that progress happens.
DEI metrics help a company actualize their strategy, live out their values, meet employee expectations, and make the workplace more fair for all employees.
10 examples of DEI metrics
1. Hiring: the diversity of your candidate pipeline.
How diverse is your applicant pool? Have your candidates self-identify and track what representation looks like in your candidate system.
2. Representation: the demographics of your current employees.
Many companies put pressure on their new hires to make up for gaps in their existing employee population — so make sure you’re benchmarking against data on what your current workforce is made up of.
3. Representation: the demographics of your leadership team.
People need to see that there is a path for success for people who look like them at your organization. What does the makeup of your board look like? Your directors? Your managers? And what does the promotion pipeline look like into those roles?
4. Representation: the demographics of your suppliers.
The money that you spend can significantly impact communities around you — so you should be measuring whether you’re doing that in a way that challenges bias and champions equitable treatment.
5. HR systems: pay equity.
Do all employees, regardless of gender or race, make the same amount of money if they’re doing the same job? If not, what’s your gender / race pay gap and how quickly are you closing it?
6. Employee experience: HR issues.
It’s important to track wins when it comes to DEIB, but it’s also vital to track times when your organization falls short. How many HR / People issues related to DEIB, including allegations of unfair treatment or bias, has your organization dealt with in the past year? What was the result of them? How quickly did issues get resolved? These metrics are key to know.
7. Employee experience: satisfaction with DEI progress.
When you send out employee satisfaction surveys, make sure you include questions on how employees perceive your current progress on DEI goals. They’re the ones most impacted by your strategy — and their opinion matters.
8. Employee engagement: participation in communication platforms.
How often do employees participate in Slack? What about by-channel participation? Looking at data on who talks to who and when can help highlight issues with inclusion or culture. Some companies are using AI-enabled text analysis tools to look for signs of frustration or for problematic language.
9. Employee participation: ERG membership.
Employee resource groups can be hugely helpful in creating community around different identities, interests, and demographics. They can also provide guidance on how to actualize your organization’s DEIB goals. (Which is part of the reason you should pay ERG leaders for their efforts, but that’s a topic for a different blog.)
10. Brand reputation: customer perception.
We’ve talked about key groups for whom DEIB metrics matter — prospective employees, current employees, leadership — but they matter to your customers, too. Whether you add a DEIB component to your existing NPS process, conduct 1:1 customer interviews, or get feedback some other way, it’s important to see whether your customer base is seeing progress on your DEIB goals, too.
Have you ever been so exhausted that you quit your job?
You may have been experiencing burnout.
Burnout is characterized by overwhelming exhaustion, detachment from your work, and a sense of ineffectiveness.
And while anyone can experience burnout, if you have ADHD, you may be more susceptible to it.
Before you get to the point where quitting feels like your only option, there are steps you can take to set healthy boundaries and start feeling more like yourself again. Read on to learn how you can recognize burnout in yourself, and what to do if you’re experiencing it!
How Does ADHD Burnout Feel?
There are some clear signs that you’re burning out, but ADHD can make the descent to burnout harder to detect. These warning signs include:
- Lack of motivation - not wanting to do the things you need to do or the things you love.
- Exhaustion - feeling overly tired both mentally and physically.
- Irritability and mental fatigue - feeling short-tempered, mean, or like you snap easily.
- Physical discomfort - body aches, low energy levels, and general pain.
- Negative outlook - the tendency to find something wrong with nearly everything.
- Emotional dysregulation - feeling weepy, sad, or unable to smile or connect with others.
Generally, burnout starts with taking on too much. Exhaustion creeps in, and you feel like every day is working against you because you are constantly overwhelmed. You may start to feel like the entire world is spinning out of control, or like no matter what you do you can’t keep up (or catch up).
If this resonates with you, you might be on the road to ADHD burnout.
Why People with ADHD Can Be More Susceptible to Burnout
So why does ADHD make some folks more susceptible to burnout? There are a few common ADHD traits that often result in behaviors correlated with burnout (taking on too much, working too long, etc.):
- Hyperfocus - ADHD is not exclusively about attention deficits. In fact, hyperfocus is the opposite – a deep, intense concentration to the point of being oblivious to your surroundings. Per WebMD, hyperfocus is a state of highly-focused attention that lasts for an extended period of time. You concentrate on something so hard that you lose track of everything else going on around you. When hyperfocus sets in at work, it can be hard to unplug or be aware of the people and environment around you.
- Time Tracking - Losing track of time is one thing, but if you find yourself losing track of hours without realizing it, that could be related to burnout. People with ADHD perceive time not as a sequence of events the way others usually do, but as a diffuse collection of events viscerally connected to the people, activities, and emotions that fill them.
- Difficulty Prioritizing - Do you take on too much and then struggle to prioritize it? When someone asks for help, does everything often go to the wayside so you can jump in? Or maybe the daunting anticipation of the tasks ahead prevents you from starting. Per ADDitude, ADHD impacts your temporal processing abilities, which can affect executive functioning.
Combating ADHD Burnout
If you think you may be suffering from ADHD burnout, there are a few ways to take back control. Here are three tips for combating ADHD burnout:
Reserve Your Yeses - Pump the brakes when you recognize the early signs of ADHD burnout. Start reserving your yeses right away. Say no, and practice not apologizing. It is okay to say, "I have a lot on my plate right now and cannot take that on. Thanks for thinking of me." Saying no is nothing to apologize for, and it should be celebrated! You are working to protect your energy above all else.
Practice Over-Estimating - If you think you could knock something out in a day, give yourself a week. Overestimate on time and allow yourself the grace to have a little more time than usual to complete projects. Slowing down when starting a new job or role will help you produce high-quality work and prevent ADHD burnout.
Drop the Mask - Be honest with your employer and friends. Let them know that although you seem to keep up internally, you struggle. Identifying ADHD burnout from the outside can be extremely difficult. Your honesty and transparency will position you to determine if your environment is supportive and inclusive.
How to Support Colleagues Dealing with ADHD Burnout
The experiences above may not resonate with you personally, but perhaps you’ve noticed other people you work with describe or experience them.
If you’re a manager, there are several ways you can support colleagues with ADHD (as well as neurodivergent employees more generally) to help prevent burnout. Ask for clarity on when they have felt the most supported at work. Discovery questions like, “how did you feel at that time?” or “how was the pace of that project?” can help you to understand their actual capacity.Download this free guide if you’re looking for more ways to support your neurodivergent coworkers. Work with your DEIB and HR team to develop new neurodivergent inclusivity standards to help you stay ahead of the ADHD burnout cycle.