How To Celebrate Pride at Work
What These 11 Companies Are Doing to Celebrate Pride & Support The LGBTQ+ Community
With Pride Month in full swing, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the LGBTQ+ communities at PowerToFly and our partner companies.
Here's how 11 of our partner companies are fostering inclusivity and celebrating Pride - this month, and all year round.
1. Build a Culture of Belonging & Authenticity - Autodesk
Why are you proud to work at Autodesk?
"At Autodesk, our culture is built around a sense of belonging and authenticity. I am proud to work here because there is no expectation to fit into a box, and endless support for being your truest self in all aspects of your life."
- Charlotte Hollingsworth, Autodesk LUMA Program Specialist
How does Autodesk's Pride Network support LGBTQ+ employees?
Autodesk Pride Network supports a positive working environment in which LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable and valued, and can contribute to their full potential.
Learn more about Autodesk and their open roles here.
2. #BeYourself - Dell
Why are you proud to work at Dell EMC?
"I am proud to work at Dell because working here provides the environment to be open about who I am. Dell has given me the strength and empowerment to stand up, have a voice, and be a leader in our Pride Employee Resource Group. This is the first employer in my career that I have been able to be totally comfortable and feel supported." #beyourself #Iwork4Dell
- Gabe Rodarte- Miller, Talent Acquisition Sales Recruiter and North America Dell Pride ERG Culture Lead
"Diversity is the fabric of Dell Culture Code. It's not what we do, but it's who we are. Dell Pride is celebrating Pride Month, not just as an ERG, but as a company. A company that wants to empower everyone to #beyourself, creating a culture where all team members belong and encouraging innovation in new ways."
Learn more about Dell EMC and their open roles here.
3. Show Compassion and a Desire To Learn - Symantec
Symantec Employees Marching in the Pride Parade in Pune, India
Sudhanshu Pandit, VP of HR, Sandeep Kanabar, Principal Software Engineer, and C Moulee, Principal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist
Why are you proud to work at Symantec?
"As a queer transgender man I am proud to work at Symantec because I am valued for who I am and what I bring to the table – not any of my identity labels (real or assumed). Because when I transitioned on the job 10 years ago they embraced me fully and were committed to making my process as smooth and easy as possible. Because they have shown compassion and a real desire to learn so that they can do the right thing. Because I started in this company as an antivirus phone technician and am now a Global Program Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This type of internal career change is only possible when a company sees value in developing an employee's natural skills and interests – creating a culture where people can truly feel like they belong. I have pride in Symantec because Symantec has pride in me."
- Cass Averil, Global Program Manager
How is Symantec celebrating Pride?
Symantec has pride and we're excited to let our employees show you how. Our active and engaged LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group is celebrating pride across the globe this year through activities such as: having LGBTQ+ movie screenings, hosting fireside chats with LGBTQ+ leaders, organizing LGBTQ+ history informational campaigns, partnering with local organizations to host workshops around LGTBQ+ inclusion, and walking in pride parades around the globe. We don't just say we have pride, we act on it.
Learn more about Symantec and their open roles here.
4. Celebrate Uniqueness - BuzzFeed
Why are you proud to work at BuzzFeed?
"Celebrating individuality and personal identity is built into the DNA of BuzzFeed. I see it every day when I get to work with a diverse group of brilliant creatives who make content that not only connects with a massive global audience, but also represents and celebrates their uniqueness."
- Tommy Wesely, executive sponsor of OUT NY
How is BuzzFeed celebrating Pride?
BuzzFeed's OUT ERGs in LA and NY are sponsoring Pride Month happy hours for the office and are coordinating meet-ups at various citywide parades and festivities. OUT NY is also sponsoring a party with Twitter & BuzzFeed to celebrate AM2DM's weekly Pride Episodes throughout June.
Learn more about BuzzFeed and their open roles here.
5. Take Pride in Yourself - L3 Technologies
L3 lives by the motto, "Pride in ourselves. Pride in our company. Pride in our community."
How Does Pride3 Support LGBTQ+ employees?
"Pride3 unifies and celebrates L3 CSW's LGBTQ+ employee base by providing a safe and welcoming environment through education, development, recruiting, and resources to advance our personal and corporate success."
Learn more about L3 and their open roles here.
6. Bring Your Authentic Self to Work - Yelp
Why are you proud to work at Yelp?
Because I can bring my authentic self to work every day.
- Shannon S., Technical Recruiter at Yelp
Yelp supports the LGBTQ+ community year round with their OUTburst ERG.
Learn more about Yelp and their open roles here.
7. Build a Community of Tolerance, Acceptance, and Education - Zynga
Why are you proud to work at Zynga?
"My time at Zynga is spent driving marketing moments for one of our largest forever franchise games in the Zynga portfolio. While marketing is a passion of mine, being able to lead the zPRIDE ERG at Zynga has allowed me to focus on driving change for my community and lead initiatives that can improve the experience for all LGBTQ+ Zyngites. An additional win is the ability to drive conversation and assist in educating allies on the LGBTQ+ topics that often aren't discussed and how they affect the community. The ability to be involved and provide value outside of my day to day role is why I love working at Zynga!"
- Giuliano Formilan
Can you tell us more about zPRIDE and how you're celebrating?
zPRIDE is an inclusive LGBTQ+ employee resource group at Zynga focused on building a community of tolerance, acceptance, and education around LGBTQ+ topics that support the Zynga workforce. Activities zPRIDE is currently working on are building community relations with organizations such as Equality California and HRC, professional development and internal policy opportunities, along with education for allies of the community around LGBTQ+ topics.
Learn more about Zynga and their open roles here.
8. Express Yourself & Speak Up About What Can Be Done Better - Vrbo
Why are you proud to work at Vrbo?
"I'm proud to work at a company where I feel comfortable to express myself and encouraged to also speak up when I feel like there are ways we can continue to improve our culture."
– Juliana Leon, Software Engineer
Can you tell us more about the Vrbo Pride affinity group?
Vrbo Pride is an inclusive group of employees who identify with or are supportive of LGBTQ+ issues. The Vrbo Pride affinity group encourages employees to bring their full, authentic self to work, allowing for a safe and inclusive working environment that enables people to perform at their best. This group gives a voice to, and advocates for, the LGBTQIA+ members of our workplace and welcomes allies. Vrbo Pride also creates possibilities for networking and community within a safe and supportive work environment
It aims to:
- Foster an environment of inclusion, safety, and understanding at Vrbo.
- Provide an anchor in the community to advocate and educate our colleagues at Vrbo and in those in our local communities.
- Promote diversity and recognize the value each person brings to the Vrbo team.
- Attract and retain a diverse workforce.
- Give back to the Austin community through service projects, hosting events at our offices, and other inclusive activities.
What are some of the activities that the Vrbo Pride affinity group participates in?
- Partnered with Maven, a non-profit that empowers LGBTQ Youth through tech, to host 20 students at Vrbo to introduce them to a career in technology
- Hosted the Startout HackOut Hackathon, one of the only LGBTQ hackathons in the country
- Participates in the Austin Pride Parade annually
- Organizes and participates in panels and important discussions about diversity
What's something the Vrbo affinity group has done that you're really proud of?
The group worked with our Facilities team in the planning and design of our new office. There are gender neutral bathrooms available on every other floor to provide a better experience for our transgender and non-binary employees.
How is Vrbo celebrating Pride?
- Vrbo Pride is displaying historical LGBTQ+ figures and facts around the office to educate and inform employees
- Expedia Cares, Expedia Group's global philanthropy and corporate social responsibility program, declared June Pride month with double-matching on LGBTQIA donations
- Vrbo has updated our social media avatars with a rainbow Vrbo logo to celebrate Pride
- Vrbo will once again participate in the Austin Pride Parade that takes place in August
9. Provide an Inclusive Space - Fidelity Investments
Why are you proud to work at Fidelity?
"I am proud to work for Fidelity Investments, a company that not only values employees' individual differences, but celebrates diversity and authenticity. The Fidelity Pride ERG has provided a network and space of inclusivity for both me and my family."
- Jacqui Lucero, Fidelity Pride Employee Resource Group - National Co-Chair
Can you tell us more about Fidelity Pride?
Fidelity Pride is more than a connection to other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allies at Fidelity. Our work impacts the entire business, providing guidance on reaching new LGBTA markets and influencing our consumer campaigns. We're an engine of change, a force for continuing acceptance and a powerful light, helping members gain visibility for developmental and leadership opportunities. Here, you can network, support other LGBTA organizations, mentor and reach your full potential – all while being uniquely you. This is the very definition of pride.
Learn more about Fidelity and their open roles here.
10. Make Respect a Core Company Value - Raytheon
Why are you proud to work at Raytheon?
"I'm proud to work for company that values its employees and has shown visible support of LGBTQ people again and again, not only within the company but out in the communities where we live."
- Sr. Mgr
"I love working for Raytheon where leadership and company values require that you treat all people with respect. I'm judged based on my work, not who I am married to. Working for Raytheon has enabled me to be very productive and much more successful in my career because I can bring my whole self to work."
"I am proud to work at Raytheon because of the importance of the work we do, the commitment our senior leadership demonstrates regarding diversity & inclusion, and the personal support I feel in bringing my entire self to work every day."
- Vice President
Learn more about Raytheon and their open roles here.
11. Do It Every. Single. Day. - Cloudflare
Why are you proud to work at Cloudflare?
"The best part of working at Cloudflare is that I get to be myself at work, not just during Pride, but every day of the year."
- Elisa Durrette, Head of Legal - Commercial Transactions, Cloudflare
Can you tell us more about Proudflare?
Cloudflare's LGBTQIA+ group is Proudflare. This group supports and provides resources for the LGBTQIA+ community both within and outside of Cloudflare to ensure the company is a welcoming and an inclusive place for all. Some activities include:
- Organizing and hosting discussion events, monthly lunches, external mixers, and pride celebrations at its headquarters in San Francisco as well as offices around the globe.
- Publishing LGBTQIA+ stories on Cloudflare's blog.
- Participating in pride celebrations and marches.
- Volunteering at local LGBTQIA+ community centers.
- Sponsoring events and conferences such as Lesbians Who Tech (LWT) San Francisco, and LWT Austin.
Learn more about Cloudlfare and their open roles here.
- LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group At Cloudflare - PowerToFly ... ›
- How These 20 Companies Are Celebrating Pride (Virtually!) in 2020 - PowerToFly Blog ›
- Supporting Transgender Employees - PowerToFly Blog ›
- LGBTQIA+ Inclusion In The Workplace - PowerToFly Blog ›
- Learn About PowerToFly's Pride at Work summit speakers - PowerToFly Blog ›
- Learn About PowerToFly's Pride at Work summit speakers - PowerToFly Blog ›
According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.
That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.
As we reflect on recent events and how they fit into a much larger history of discrimination, we're also taking time to celebrate and acknowledge the many achievements of the AAPI community.
We asked several of our partner companies what they're doing to honor AAPI Heritage Month at work, and we were inspired by the range of responses, covering everything from campaigns to #StopAsianHate to educational events on AAPI history.
Here's what they're doing, in their own words:
Empowering authenticity - LogMeIn
"Our theme this year is AIM to Be Real. We are embracing our new company values and celebrating those who bring their authentic selves to work, who help create space to celebrate diversity of thought, and who give back to the API community. Our Asian ERG, Asians in Motion (AIM), is hosting several events: a discussion about bringing your authentic self to work with Jerry Won (Dear Asian Americans podcast); a refugee-led virtual cooking class; ERG Movie Club discussions featuring Bollywood films, and a virtual volunteer event where we will offer career development mentoring for young women across Asia."
Learn more about LogMeIn here.
Educating on current events — Raytheon Technologies
"Raytheon Technologies is honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with an enterprise-wide global town hall event – Real Talk: Building CommUNITY Together. Organized by the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) employee resource groups across the company, employees will share their personal experiences and discuss ways to support Asian American Pacific Islander communities. The event will also feature prominent leading advocates from renowned civil rights organizations to provide insight into the national context surrounding recent events. We will also feature AAPI employees internally and on our social media channels."
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
Encouraging awareness, growth, and learning — Moody's
"Moody's is encouraging awareness, growth, and learning during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the following activities, led by our Multicultural Business Resource Group and DE&I team:
- Weekly newsletters featuring AAPI employee profiles and cultural resources
- Video screening and small-group discussions supporting #StopAsianHate
- Cultural panel discussion featuring employee stories
- Professional development activities
- External speakers speaking about Asian leadership"
Supporting professional development — Freddie Mac
"Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Freddie Mac – Together, We Are Stronger
Freddie Mac supports the professional development of Asian and Pacific Islander employees while promoting an increased awareness of the value they bring to the organization and our local communities. Our InspirASIAN Business Resource Group is hosting various activities throughout the month such as:
- Personal development session on empowerment led by a coach from our Employee Assistance Program.
- "Stop Asian Hate" lunch and learn geared toward discussing the hurdles facing the AAPI community.
- Fireside chat about racial injustice with leaders from our InspirASIAN and ARISE (employees of the African diaspora) BRGs."
Fostering inclusion, learning, and belonging – Nestlé USA
"At Nestlé USA, the Pan Asian Network (PAN), one of our many employee resource groups that support our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives, will host a variety of events to honor and acknowledge Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. These activities will foster greater inclusion, enhanced learning, and belonging for the AAPI community. PAN will highlight women's development in Asian cultures, Asian leadership and what their culture means to them, culinary innovation of Asian cuisine, intersectionality of LGBTQ+ and Pan Asian community, as well as an enhanced learning watch party of the PBS movie 'Asian American.'"
Learn more about Nestlé USA here.
Promoting cultural literacy – Relativity
The Community Resource Group at Relativity
"For Relativity, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportune time to not only celebrate the rich AAPI cultures represented within our company, but to also foster awareness and allyship amidst the current rise of AAPI hate. RelAsians, our internal community resource group, has organized a few activities for May: a book club focused on AAPI heritage—because we feel it's never too early to gain cultural literacy, a weekly spotlight on AAPI Relativians, and a virtual event that takes attendees on a tour through an Asian grocery store, introducing native vegetables and staple ingredients for traditional home-cooked Asian recipes."
- Contribution from Neha Pant, Sr. Performance Engineer & Angie Ocasek, Sr. Specialist, Partner Enablement – Co-Chairs of the RelAsians Community Resource Group at Relativity
Learn more about Relativity here.
Creating transformative experiences – Facebook
"At Facebook, our APIs employee resource group's mission is to create transformative experiences for all APIs at Facebook, Inc through key cultural awareness and engagement highlighting the API community. To kick off APIHM, we will host a series of events and conversations for the community and its allies designed to support the API community around the theme, The SUM of Us, including:
- Letting Others In: a mindful discussion series that privileges intersectional voices, storytelling, feedback, and vulnerability as tools for building empathy and inclusion amongst organizations.
- Racial Healing Learning Session: specific to the API Experience focused on naming of experiences and emotional responses, understanding the body's responses to racial trauma, what the audience can do in the moment for self-care, and long-term strategies to overcome the effect of the traumatic experience.
- Bystander Training/self Defense Workshop"
Learn more about Facebook here.
Extensive and exciting programming — 2U
"At 2U, Inc. we'll be honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with extensive and exciting programming coordinated by our employee-led Asian Pacific Islander Network (APIN). In a year marred by exceptional challenges APIN has centered activities around the ameliorating themes of joy, culture and wellness. Be it delighting in a ukulele mini concert, reading an interview highlighting an API coworker, winding down after too much screen time with a somatic healing session or engaging in a panel discussion with API tattoo artists, we have a packed month ahead with opportunities to support oneself and the API culture! Follow along @Lifeat2U on Instagram for more!"
Learn more about 2U here.
Amplifying voices and educating others – Smartsheet
"During APAHM, the API at Smartsheet community will be hosting several events and activities to educate others, amplify AAPI voices, and celebrate the AAPI community! We plan to kick off the month with a documentary viewing and discussion to learn about AAPI history, and hope to share personal stories from our AAPI employees throughout the month. We'll end with an opportunity for the community to celebrate itself by gathering together for fun and games, while eating food from local Asian-owned restaurants."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
Rising together in sports and culture – NBA
"For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, APEX is proud to present a multitude of celebratory activities, headlined by an NBA Family Virtual Town Hall and, with the NFL and MLB, an Asians in Sports & Culture Symposium themed "Together We Rise" featuring prominent Asian personalities from the sports world. We are also launching a PSA with an NBA star, honoring Eid-al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, offering a bystander intervention training led by AAJC, and – because the celebration wouldn't be complete without food – hosting a sushi making class for our members."
Learn more about the NBA here.
Creating courageous conversations – Commvault
"This May, we are celebrating all our Asian/Pacific Islander employees, not just Asian Americans. We will spend the month learning about and celebrating the diverse cultures of Asia through weekly events and activities led by our Multi-Culture ERG. Vaulters and external guests will teach us the history of practices such as yoga, origami, and Asian cuisines. We will also discuss topics like the rise of hate crimes against Asian people and the recent spike in COVID-19 in India. These activities and courageous conversations will engage our workforce and create support for our Asian and Pacific Islander communities around the world."
Learn more about Commvault here.
Honoring history through virtual events – Collins Aerospace
"Collins Aerospace supports our AAPI colleagues not only in May, but all year. Our parent company Raytheon Technologies hosted a virtual Town Hall last month to provide a safe space for open dialogue about recent events targeting Asian Americans in the U.S. In addition to this entity-wide event, our Asia Pacific ERG at Collins is hosting events that educate and honor the importance of Asian Pacific American history such as virtual Lunch & Tours spotlighting South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and India; and Thoughts & Support sessions. Site-specific events include virtual cooking class, and viewing PBS docuseries Asian Americans."
Learn more about Collins Aerospace here.
Highlighting new perspectives – MongoDB
"MongoDB will share daily historical facts, highlights of Asian American pioneers, and perspectives from our AAPI employees in a dedicated Slack channel. We will also be providing access to an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month webinar, organizing a trivia night, and holding Processing Together sessions for our internal AAPI community due to recent hate crimes happening across the globe. These sessions are a safe space for employees to share their stories and sentiments of what it is like as an Asian American in America today. (Read MongoDB employee Monica Lu's story about being an Asian American woman in tech here.)"
Learn more about MongoDB here.
Spotlighting diverse communities – Bumble
"At Bumble, moments like heritage month celebrations are often our anchor to ensure we are spotlighting diverse communities. In alignment with AAPI Heritage Month in May, Bumble is rolling out a series of thoughtful programming to encourage internal education and around how to support the Stop Asian Hate movement and better serve the Asian community globally. The lineup of initiatives include:
- BuzzWord DEI Discussion Series with featured guest speakers: This conversation will focus on the Asian community within the context of larger cultural issues such as dating app experiences, fetishization, masculinity, and representation.
- Bumble will be inviting employees to join a virtual Vietnamese coffee-making class. Created in partnership with Phin Bar, an urban brew-bar that offers Vietnamese-style steeped coffee combined with house-made ingredients, Bumble hopes to facilitate a deeper cultural learning and community bonding experience for the team.
- Bumble will also be activating channels across social media and our product to educate our community about bystander intervention and raise awareness around the importance of supporting the Stop Asian Hate movement."
Engaging in daring conversations – Procore
"In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Procore recently organized an internal event to recognize and support the AAPI community. The event was hosted as part of our ongoing internal speaker series, 'Daring Conversations & Allyship,' to create space for an open dialogue around diversity, inclusion, and belonging. All employees were invited to tune in as employees from our AAPI communities shared their unique experiences, addressed anti-Asian hate, and discussed actionable ways to support our AAPI community."
Learn more about Procore here.
Taking action to foster change – SeatGeek
"This month the POC ERG will be meeting and hosting different activities to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This includes creating a safe space to discuss current events, and what actions our communities can take to foster change, sending out a newsletter which will highlight the Asian community in every aspect, and lastly, we will be hosting a guest speaker.
We hope with these planned activities and meetings, we can highlight, and uplift the Asian/Pacific American community, as well as bring awareness to the horrible ongoing attacks they are facing."
Learn more about SeatGeek here.
Uplifting and inspiring the community – Okta
"Okta's People of Color (POC@Okta) ERG is planning to commemorate AAPI Month with a series of fireside chats and iconographical facts posted internally in the #poc and #all diversity Slack channels! These chats will feature Dion Lim of ABC7 News and Comedian/Actor, Ronny Chieng. We will conclude the series with a partnership with Pride@Okta featuring supermodel, TED speaker, and transgender advocate Geena Rocero. The goal of this series is to educate, uplift, support, and inspire! The Okta leadership supports its AAPI employees, customers, and community."
Learn more about Okta here.
Empowering cultural diversity and leadership – Quip
"Salesforce will be celebrating through multiple virtual events, such as a leadership panel on the power of cultural diversity, a tea tasting, a tai chi class, a haka workshop, and more! Members of the Quip team have also compiled an extensive list of resources to support AAPI communities, including ways to donate, take action, and learn more."
Learn more about Quip here.
Focusing on lived experiences – Mindbody
"The Mindbody United ERG focuses on a different heritage or history each month, with May devoted to Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This ERG seeks to provide a platform to both celebrate and learn together. This will manifest in two ways: As a newsletter and a Zoom meeting. The newsletter will feature contributions directly from team members, while the meeting will feature Assembly member Evan Low as our speaker. It is our goal to focus on the lived experiences of the AAPI community, address discrimination, and how to chase after the part of the world we can make better."
Learn more about Mindbody here.
Promoting harmony and unity – T. Rowe Price
"T. Rowe Price is aware and appalled at the recent spike in hate crimes against the Asian community. In response, the firm will center Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month efforts around harmony and unity, in alignment with the Hawaiian value, Lōkahi – Forward as One. To share best practices, successes and areas of opportunities, T. Rowe Price will co-host a Leadership Panel on Asian Leadership Challenges with Baltimore Asian Connect, a consortium of Asian business resource group leaders at local corporations. The firm will also host a book club and restorative listening circles for Asian American associates and their allies."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Celebrating Asians globally
"May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. Although traditionally a US celebration, at Autodesk we are celebrating Asians globally. The Autodesk Asian Network is hosting Innovative Leaders, including Lori Mukoyama and Jonathan Zee. Lori Mukoyama is redefining experience-driven design globally at Gensler. Jonathan Zee has an extensive portfolio of buildings that are helping to shape cities around the world at Goettsch Partners. Lori and her husband Jonathan combine design, architecture and engineering in their work while simultaneously manage a family together during this pandemic. This event is hosted by AAN, as part of a monthlong series of APA Heritage Month events."
Learn more about AutoDesk here.
Your guide to preparing for virtual career fairs and making a great impression with recruiters
According to a LinkedIn survey, up to 85% of jobs are filled via networking. For job seekers, virtual job fairs make networking with recruiters more convenient. You can interact with potential employers from all over the world, ask them questions, and apply for jobs. Every event is different, but they most often include video conferencing features, chat rooms, and Q&A sessions.
Dilyara Timerbulatova, Virtual Job Fair Coordinator at PowerToFly explains that, "virtual job fairs have many benefits, namely connecting top talent and recruiters that would otherwise never cross paths. These events are a tool to help companies build well-rounded, diverse teams that align with the company culture and business vision."
10 steps to standing out at a job fair.
Virtual job fairs are different from the in-person experience that we're used to, so it's important to adapt and prepare for this new setting. Here are some key ways to put your best foot forward and make a lasting impression with a recruiter.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and resume. Start by making sure that your work history is up to date. Make sure to include any experience relevant to jobs you are applying for.
- Do your homework. Find out which companies will be attending the fair and learn more about what the company does, their mission and values, company culture, and skills they're looking for. At this stage, you can begin preparing questions for the recruiter(s).
- Practice your pitch. During the virtual job fair, you may have to introduce yourself to recruiters. Prepare a short pitch talking about who you are, your skills, and relevant experience. (Not every virtual job fair will provide an opportunity for this, but better safe than sorry. If you do get a bit of time to introduce yourself, you want to make it count.)
- Look the part. YES, you still have to dress professionally, even though this is all happening online. Plus, studies show that dressing up can increase confidence, which might be the boost that you need to score the job.
- Prepare your space. Find a quiet area with a strong wi-fi connection and do your best to make sure your background is clean and distraction-free. We recommend sitting against a neutral wall, preferably near a power outlet, just in case your computer battery runs low. Don't forget to turn your phone and computer on 'do-not-disturb' mode.
- Be on time. As they say, five minutes early is on time, and on time is late. Showing up early demonstrates that you are dependable and consistent. Remember to leave some extra time for potential technical difficulties or connection issues, and log into the fair a few minutes early. Who knows, you might get the chance to snag a few extra minutes with recruiters while you wait for the rest of the fairgoers to arrive.
- Use strong body language. Since the interactions between recruiters and talent are virtual, the ability to read a person's body language is limited. Introduce yourself with a smile, maintain focused eye contact, and nod your head in agreement (even when your microphone is muted). Using strong body language will help you demonstrate interest and confidence.
- Communicate professionally. One of the best ways for a candidate to stand out is through good communication and grammar skills. During a virtual job fair, a lot of communication will be done through written interactions, whether in the chat function or follow-up messages/emails. To make a great first impression, you'll want to demonstrate strong written communication and avoid using slang or excessive abbreviations.
- Ask the right questions. Come up with questions that can't be found on the company website. Think of questions that would allow you to get deeper knowledge about the organization's culture, learn about ways to move up in that organization, or discover what you might be able to contribute to the company.
- Follow up. Once the fair is over, connect with recruiters on LinkedIn and include a personalized message thanking them for their time and further expressing your interest in working at their company. Keep in mind that recruiters come in contact with many candidates, so you can use this opportunity to refresh their memory and remind them about why you're a promising candidate, or to properly introduce yourself if you didn't get a chance to do so at the fair. Try and offer a specific example of information they shared that you found valuable to jog their memory and make your thank you feel extra sincere! Don't forget #8 on this list! Always proofread your message before you hit send.
Ready to give it a go? Sign up for PowerToFly's upcoming Virtual Career Fair here.
Learn more about our amazing speakers and sponsors at our June 2021 virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Pride At Work, three days of conversations and panels plus an interactive virtual career fair.
Our Pride At Work summit certainly made us proud! PowerToFly was thrilled to present talks by members of the LGBTQIA+ community alongside some amazing allies. Our conversations ranged from leaders at the highest levels of government positions to visionaries in the worlds of business & tech to artists from the music and entertainment industry. If you tuned in, and celebrated our speakers, thank you! And if you missed the summit or would like to re-watch any of the talks, those conversations will all be available to watch for free on PowerToFly.
If you can, please consider donating to some of the amazing organizations we highlighted at the summit including GLITS, fighting for the health and rights of transgender sex workers; Garden State Equality, the largest LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization in New Jersey, with over 150,000 members; National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, including people living with HIV/AIDS; and NYC Anti-Violence Project, empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy.
Plus, don't forget to visit our Merch Store and grab yourself some PowerToFly apparel. 100% of the proceeds from our sales will be going to TransTech Social, supporting transgender and non-binary people in tech.Finally, registration for our July 12th - 15th virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Tech For Social Impact is now open! Join us to learn about founders from mission-driven organizations and their social impact. Register for free here
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Datadog's Lucy Williams-Jones' Unconventional Path through Enterprise Sales and Why She Wants You to Join Her Team
Like many of us, Lucy Williams-Jones' life has been deeply impacted by COVID-19.
Unlike many of us, that impact took the form of a four-day period of time where Lucy was so sick with COVID that she was sure she'd never recover—and a permanent career change when she somehow did.
Now healthy and resettled into a completely new role, the Regional Sales Director for cloud application monitoring platform Datadog chatted with PowerToFly from her home office in England's Cotswolds—"Where Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet were in The Holiday," offers Lucy, gesturing to the idyllic countryside outside her window—to share more of her story.
The individual contributor comfort zone
When Lucy got started in sales, she was 18 and figured she'd be in the field for the length of her gap year. She then planned to go to university and pursue her goal of becoming a sports therapist for a rugby team.
"Then I found out in that first year that I could make a lot of money!" says Lucy, who ended up staying at that company, Quest, for over a decade.
During that time, Lucy was almost always an individual contributor. She liked the feeling of being in charge of her own destiny, and in pushing herself to consistently beat her goals and keep pushing for more and more success. "I was really happy smashing my number every quarter and enjoying the kind of benefits that come from that from a monetary standpoint," she explains.
Ten years in, she did transition into a leadership role and found some success there—but two things got in her way.
First, her lack of experience. "I didn't have all the tools necessary to equip my team members with," she says. "That's why I did everything rather than teach other people. I'd basically just take on their workload and change everything so that it was fit to go out."
And second, her lack of desire to keep living in Cork, Ireland.
"I wanted to come back to London and the only way to do that and earn a lot of money, which is what drives me, was to go back to an IC role," explains Lucy. She did that, and worked at a few different companies before Datadog reached out and she took an enterprise sales role with them.
"The struggle I've had with other technologies previously is that you can't demonstrate them real-time," says Lucy. "If you have an awesome platform like we have [at Datadog], when you show it to someone, you can see their eyes light up, they can see the value right away."
She was excited by the product, by the market opportunity—"it's a product everyone needs, especially as they migrate from on-prem into the cloud," she says—and by the real-life implications for clients. "When I get an Uber and the app doesn't work, I know that if they've got our software, they're going to figure out exactly where it is and it's going to mend soon, so I'm not going to get my hair wet whilst waiting for a cab—English weather, you know—while I'm waiting for the app to reboot!" she says.
Taking advantage of her second chance
When Lucy got sick with COVID in early 2021, she immediately knew it was serious. Her blood oxygen was down at 82%—the NYC health department suggests immediately going to the hospital for an oxygen level of less than 90%—but she wanted to stick it out at home. "I decided not to go to hospital because I didn't want to not come out," she says.
Lucy says that she was lying in bed, wondering what her legacy would be if she died the next day, when it hit her: she wanted a chance to pass on all she'd learned from her 22 years in enterprise sales to the next generation.
"I've learned a lot of skills that have enabled me to be successful, to have the cash to buy a forever home, go on nice holidays, explore, and travel. And when I was lying there, I realized, 'I really want to transfer these skills to young women in tech, because I think that we're an underrepresented group, and I could actually get those young women living their best lives and earning the cash that they deserve," she says.
So she reached out to her manager and told him she was ready for a leadership position. He'd been asking her to consider taking on a leadership role for a while. It wasn't until she hit her annual number at the end of the first quarter, right after recovering from COVID, and told him she was still serious about leaving behind the responsibilities she knew so well for the more complicated and less immediately gratifying world of management that he knew she was serious.
Now, three months into that transition, Lucy is sure she made the right move. "So many people have been touched by COVID this year in negative ways," she says. "For me, I feel I'm super lucky every morning when I wake up; I've taken a positive from it."
"There's been lots of learnings, but I know this is the right career choice right now. I know Datadog will support me and that I'll earn my stripes as a true enterprise leader," she says. "My focus is on passing the knowledge that I've got to other people."
To do that, Lucy has to first shore up her own knowledge. She spent her first month on the job looking closely at the business and her team and implementing changes to help everything run better, and the second month focused on measuring the impact of those changes. Additionally, she's had to get comfortable giving up control of her own accounts—"my little family," as she calls them—and managing outcomes through others.
To help her on this journey, Lucy is also brushing up on sales leadership techniques with a few favorite books, including:
- MEDDICC: The ultimate guide to staying one step ahead in the complex sale by Andy Whyte
- The Qualified Sales Leader: Proven Lessons from a Five Time CRO by John McMahon
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
- Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
3 ways she's building a positive culture
As an enterprise sales leader, Lucy has both the power and the responsibility to create a positive environment for her growing team. To do that, she's focusing on:
- Being thoughtful about why she's engaging. Lucy doesn't respond to emails immediately anymore. Instead, she thoughtfully considers a three-part framework before crafting her response: "I'm analyzing, reviewing, and then offering advice."
- Not saying "I need." Communication from Lucy to her team has absolutely no unnecessary urgency, she says, which is why she expressly doesn't use the word "need." "I try to make it really about, 'This is the reason why I'm asking for it, this is the benefit it's going to bring, let's work together to get something that's going to be amazing,'" she says.
- Mentoring ICs. When a SDR in Datadog's Dublin office reached out to Lucy for career advice, Lucy jumped on the chance to help her. "She's at that roundabout of, 'Do I want to go into leadership? Do I want to be an enterprise seller?' Coaching her to be the best she can be has been really, really lovely...she's successful now, but she could be exceptional."
The 3 things she's hiring for
Lucy is doubling her team size and is looking for the next generation of sales leaders to bring onboard. If that sounds like you, make sure you've got these three traits she's looking for:
- Coachability. "That's the number-one trait I look for in someone," explains Lucy. "It's the ability to take on advice and feedback and adapt. It's not saying that my way is always the right way, but it's making sure that you understand that there are different approaches. [One] of the toughest but most important parts of life is receiving feedback."
- High EQ. Lucy is looking for people who are self-aware. "You need to understand how people are perceiving you, to understand what kinds of playbooks work for you."
- Affinity for pipeline generation. "You've got to do cold outreach to new logos, but you've also got to do it in a creative manner. I've seen people doing videos and stuff, which I think is really cool; you've got to stick with the cadence and actually do it. If you don't like PG, enterprise sales at Datadog may not be the job for you," says Lucy.
Lucy has a simple motto that she has internalized throughout her career thanks to her first MD, Simon Perce: "Leave no stone unturned."
If you'd like to give 100% in pursuit of your goals alongside Lucy, check out Datadog's open roles! "I would love to build a team of strong, capable, amazing, female enterprise sales execs," says Lucy.
HR pro Rockie Lehman has two hot takes on resumes: bullet points are a must, and one-page resumes aren't.
"I'm not a big fan of squeezing everything into one page," says the Talent Manager at aerospace giant Collins Aerospace. "Don't shortcut. List all of your relevant work experience. Most applicant tracking systems nowadays automatically reformat your resume, so you can't really tell that it's two pages."
And the bullets are easy: they're a quick way for Rockie to evaluate if candidates are qualified for the job.
We sat down with Rockie to hear more tips from her 20-year career in recruiting and human resources, especially around one key principle that has greatly enriched her own career: learning to grow beyond your comfort zone.
Finding her fit
Rockie originally thought she'd be an accountant. "But after a year of nothing but numbers and statistics, it was horrible," she says, laughing. "I went to my advisor and started discussing options where I could actually talk to people and my advisor suggested management and human resources. I loved it, and I've been in that field ever since."
She first joined what is now Collins Aerospace in 2000, when it was Rockwell Collins. After 9/11, the aviation industry slowed down, and Rockie was concerned about its volatility, but she stuck it out and ended up working at various regional sites for the next 19 years.
Being embedded in different offices meant that while Rockie was focused on recruiting, she got to really expand her knowledge as a full-service HR business partner. From serving as an advisor on succession plans to working towards building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, she's taken on a wide range of projects.
Now, Rockie's main focus is on technical recruiting for the company's avionics division, bringing in new talent to join the 15,000 engineers across Collins' 300 sites. "Engineers drive our company," she says. "They're the bread and butter of our company."
Why growth matters
Candidates, whether at Collins Aerospace or other companies, have a fine line to walk, says Rockie. Hiring managers are looking for people who are excited to come in and do the job they're hired for—but also for someone who wants to grow with the organization, in whatever way is best for them.
"Leadership is an important part of our succession plan," she says. "In order to progress within our organization, you need to display leadership, in people or projects. We need people to do a job, but we need to develop people who have aspirations to grow into leadership roles."
At Collins, high-potential early-career leaders are tapped for the EnTeR program, a two-year rotational program that gets them exposure to different parts of the business.
But no matter where you're working, Rockie suggests being purposeful about how you pursue that growth and how you develop your own sense of leadership.
"In order to progress in an organization, you have to stand out. You are the only one in charge of your career. No one's going to direct that for you," she says.
Her favorite tips to do that include:
- Network outside of your immediate group. "If you're a software engineer, you might want to mentor or network with someone in systems engineering for opportunities that could lead you into a project engineering position, a technical project management position, or even management of people," she says.
- Practice executive presence. You'll look more ready for extra responsibilities if you're thoughtful about how you show up in the world, says Rockie, who suggests remembering to talk clearly and concisely, to ask questions, and to look people in the eye (or in the camera, on Zoom!).
- Join relevant professional organizations. Rockie recruits from groups like the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers, and has seen how the conferences, trainings, and events that those groups put on keep people connected and top of mind for future job opportunities.
- Talk to higher ups. "They're just like you and me," she says. "They're probably more happy than your current leader to talk to you about their career, their successes, their failures. They're happy to mentor talent within the organization."
- Don't be afraid of failure. Rockie's a believer in "failing forward," a piece of advice she got from one of her own higher ups that's stuck with her. If you try something and it doesn't work, you can go back to your regular responsibilities more prepared for the next challenge.
- Know when to say no. Not all growth opportunities are created equal, says Rockie, and some projects just won't be right for you. For example, she was asked to do an extra three-month assignment and was excited to do it, but a family emergency happened at the beginning of the assignment. Rockie chose to keep the assignment, but with hindsight wishes she'd escalated out of it instead. "I really suffered from tremendous burnout and exhaustion," she says. "The biggest thing is to be mindful of how much you're willing to do, and the time that will need to be invested in the opportunity you're pursuing." If you find yourself in a similar position, try saying, "I'm not able to take this on right now, but would it be okay to revisit this in six months?"
Ultimately, Rockie has taken her own advice, explaining, "I started with Collins as a technical recruiter because of my passion for talent acquisition, but I also seek out opportunities and assignments that broaden my overall HR experience. So if and when the time comes for me to explore other options, I have the skills and knowledge in my tool belt for that next opportunity."