Stephanie J. Larosiliere has a career she enjoys in an industry she didn't even know existed when she was a kid—and the resilience to stay in that industry, even when she looks around and doesn't see many people like her in her field.
She has her grandfather to thank for that.
"My family has greatly affected who I am today, and my journey," says Stephanie, whose grandfather emigrated from Haiti to Michigan in the early 1950s to pursue a degree in agronomy, where he was the only Black man in his program. "Nothing I could go through today could come close… this helps to drive me to fight to be represented in spaces where I may not be welcome."
We sat down with Stephanie, whose long career in financial services has led to a role as the Head of Municipal Business Strategies & Development at investment firm Invesco, to talk about her personal and professional journey. Read on to hear why she decided to pursue a career in financial services, and her top piece of advice for other people who aspire to find success in a field they have to navigate on their own.
Paving the Way
Faine Jean-Baptiste, Stephanie's maternal grandfather, and his class at Michigan State University, then Michigan State College, where he ultimately received his degree in Agronomy from what was widely regarded as the best such program in the U.S. Photo circa 1953.
Stephanie's parents were born in Haiti. She is a first-generation American, but thanks to her grandfather, her family already had a history of attending American institutions of higher education. When it came time to decide what she was going to do with her life, Stephanie says she felt she had "no choice but to continue the legacy."
"Being Haitian I've always known that I come from a brave and bold people that established the world's first independent Black republic. Haiti has a very rich history; that history gives us a sense of ownership over our being, over who we are, and that has resonated in the way that Haitian people engage in the world."
Stephanie sees that ownership in her grandfather's story. He came to the U.S. when he was 45, a married father of seven daughters, and was the only Black man in his class. "There was somewhat of an audacity on his part to think that he could leave Haiti and go to Michigan. And why not?" says Stephanie.
Why not, indeed?
Stephanie asked that same question of herself when it came time to plan her own career.
No one in Stephanie's family knew anything about financial services. She only found out about the industry through the cooperative learning program offered by her New York City high school.
Through the program, she was matched with a company during the summer between her junior and senior years of high school. Stephanie was matched with JP Morgan, and stayed working with them through her senior year, switching off weeks at work and at school.
"As a 16-year-old, I knew you went to the bank to deposit money, and that's it. I'd heard of trading, but I didn't quite connect how that even worked," says Stephanie. She soaked in everything she learned on the job—especially when it came to the incoming class of post-college analysts.
"These were people who were five years older than me. They were not so old that it felt like a far reach. I remember looking at them and saying, 'I want to do what they do,'" says Stephanie.
So she kept working for it. When her manager at JP Morgan asked her to stay on during college, Stephanie withdrew from the out-of-state school she was planning to go to and enrolled in a NYC program so that she could stay employed during undergrad.
"Now that I think about it, I have no idea how I did it, but I worked 40 hours a week and I had a full-time schedule at school," says Stephanie, laughing. "I just ran around the city. I would take early morning classes, go to work, take evening classes, get home at 10, do my homework, and get up and do it again. It's the benefit of being 20 years old. And I would do this all in heels, which is insane to me."
Stephanie's hard work paid off. After finishing school, she was offered a full-time role at the bank. She was proud of what she'd accomplished, but it didn't come easily, and entering the world of full-time work in financial services was a whole new challenge.
"Not only was I a woman, a Black woman, but I was also the child of immigrants," says Stephanie. "I always feel like I don't belong here. I happened to have broken my way through to get here, but I'm not the person that is supposed to be here, based on how this normally goes."
Two things have helped Stephanie deal with those feelings. The first is remembering her grandfather's story.
"Whenever I feel like an outsider, or when someone treats me with less respect than I think they should because of the color of my skin, I think back to him and his bold choice to educate himself in a country that made it clear he was not welcome," she says. "He was so brave to do this and it makes me wonder how much he dealt with as the only Black man in his class. Nothing I could go through today could come close… this helps to drive me to fight to be represented in spaces where I may not be welcome."
The second thing is leaving environments she felt she couldn't change.
Finding a Place to Grow
Stephanie stayed at JP Morgan, and later JPMorgan Chase, for six years. She struggled with figuring out how to take up space, especially when an early manager told her that she was too outspoken. But Stephanie realized that was more of a comment on the manager's leadership skills than it was something for her to deal with. "I have always made it clear that I had a voice. I have value to add. I've made it my business not to let people quiet me and silence me in rooms where I feel like I should be speaking," she says.
When Stephanie realized risk management wasn't for her, she decided to switch to a smaller firm. That was "less of a rat race," she says, but also felt like a fast-path to "a cushy life and a mediocre existence." So she went back into big banks for a job at Goldman.
"My time there molded me and shaped me a lot into the person I am today," she says. But her time there wasn't without its challenges: "There was a hierarchy in place. You know, 'you don't speak before your boss' kind of thing. Although I loved the company, my career path felt unclear, and I knew it was time for a change."
When an opportunity at Invesco came up, Stephanie took it. She hadn't heard of the standalone asset manager, but was interested in the opportunity, particularly in the chance to do something completely new to her: be client-facing. When her boss's role, which required plenty of client interaction, opened up, Stephanie decided to go for it. "I kept thinking that if I have to report to someone new, I'm always going to know that I could've been that person, but because I let fear stand in the way, I'm not," she says. So she overcame that fear and now is both a senior client portfolio manager and head of a team of product managers and client portfolio managers covering the Municipal Bond business.
And she gets to do it in an environment that really works for her.
"Invesco has been extremely supportive of me, and of women in general, having a voice. That's not something that I necessarily had in my previous roles," says Stephanie. "At Invesco, I feel like I have much more ownership of my narrative than I ever had, and that has allowed me to progress in the way that I have in the last decade."
Looking back on her career, Stephanie has one piece of advice for others who are trying to build a career that fulfills them, especially in places they don't feel welcome: you don't have to have all the answers.
"People assume that I have a very specific vision," she says. "A lot of the time, I just know what I don't want. And by knowing what I don't want, it allows me to see the things that I want. So those things kind of shine a little bit brighter, and help to attract me to the things that make sense for me."
While there is some merit to the phrase "work hard to play hard," the positive impact of time away from work only occurs if employees actually use their PTO.
PTO gives employees a chance to step away from daily work demands and focus on resting and recharging. It also helps combat burnout and boost employee productivity.
Having a hard time taking advantage of your PTO?
Read on to see how our partner companies are encouraging their employees to take vacation.
"Doing your best work means being your best self. To help, Uber offers a wide range of benefits and perks, including unlimited paid vacation for many roles. Employees are encouraged to use paid time off as they see fit, whether it's to vote or attend a parent-school activity, and only need approval by their direct manager."
Learn more about Uber here.
Here's a message from Okta's CEO, Todd McKinnon:
"I talked with the company about this in a recent weekly All Hands. I discussed the changes we're all navigating & emphasized that I know how hard everyone's working. I needed to do a better job acknowledging that, showing gratitude, and (the key) reminding people to TAKE TIME OFF. This includes me! I'm taking 3 weeks off this summer to spend time with my family. I asked every employee to email me directly with their summer vacation plans. I've received about 300 emails so far, which tells me a lot of employees are still planning their PTO.
Our vision to enable everyone to safely use any technology is ambitious, long-term, and will take a lot of work to bring to life. We have a tremendous, $80B opportunity but I don't want people to be so fried that they can't finish the race. I always encourage Okta employees to be builders & owners and take responsibility for what they need, but I also recognize that it falls flat if the example set by managers and by me doesn't provide space for balance. We have to get this right to meet our potential.
We've hired a lot of incredibly smart people who work hard and care deeply about Okta. What I'm trying to reinforce to employees is that caring about Okta also means caring for yourself, and taking time off. Amazing work can't happen without rest and recovery."
Learn more about Okta here.
"The well-being of PwC's people is a top priority! The firm recently launched new "Shared Success" benefits as a way to thank their people for a year of hard work. Employees can now receive $250 each time they take a full week's vacation, up to four times throughout the year. The program has the potential to continue into the future if there is wide adoption. The firm also launched 'Fridays Your Way,' which encourages their people to protect their time on Friday afternoons this summer to focus work without interruption, vacation time, development/upskilling or volunteer work."
Learn more about PwC here.
"At Automattic, time off is unlimited. To be sure vacation days get used, we recommend that folks take at least a minimum of 25 days off every year … and encourage them to take more. In addition, we encourage folks to take a three-month Sabbatical every five years."
Learn more about Automattic here.
"Relativity has an unlimited time off policy as well as two, week-long office closings throughout the year to ensure employees have time to recharge. To make the most of time off and truly unplug , set yourself and your team up for success before you leave. Ensure you have any ongoing items in an a-sync collaborative space so that work can continue while you are away. Set your out of office on emails, slack and any other messaging platform and establish a point-person for critical activities. Then go and have fun, relax and recharge!"
Beth Clutterbuck, CHRO
Learn more about Relativity here.
"Here are three big pieces of advice when going on vacation: First, take your work chat program and email off your phone—fully delete them or you'll just want to sign back in. Next, don't put in your OOO that you'll respond to all emails the day you get back; just say that you'll begin responding. Finally, explicitly lay out the only (few and far between) reasons anyone should interrupt your vacation, but be clear that you may not be reachable, and that it should be an absolute last resort. It's OK! Things won't crumble in your absence."
Learn more about Guru here.
"To get the most out of your PTO, we suggest letting co-workers and managers know the dates you'll be out of office a week or two ahead of time. This ensures they get to you with any needs prior to your being off. Always set up your Out of Office autoreplies and adjust your IM settings to "away" or "vacationing". Lastly, STOP CHECKING YOUR EMAIL AND IMs ON YOUR PHONE! We've cut off access to email in the past for people on maternity/paternity leave, to ensure they stay focused on their leave and family."
Learn more about uShip here.
"We have an unlimited vacation policy and an internal calendar that showcases public holidays in all 45+ countries where Hopineers live and work. Johnny, our CEO, speaks frequently about how balance and making the time to rest and recharge is the best way to make sure that we're always bringing our best selves to work. These things combined mean that we are building a culture of respect around PTO that empowers people to unplug and use their time however is most impactful for them. We also have a #Hopinstagram slack channel where people post pics of their holiday activities!"
Learn more about Hopin here.
"SoftwareONE promotes the health benefits of taking time off – reduced stress, heart health, better sleep, and increased productivity. Be the best version of yourself!
Here are a few tips and tricks:
- While still in the office, practice moving your work to your backup plan. You will gain confidence in your ability to disconnect if you know that your backup plan works.
- A few weeks before your time off, add a vacation notification to your email signature. "PLEASE NOTE UPCOMING VACATION DAYS: JULY 2 to JULY 7."
- Make time off planning and preparation a part of the ongoing conversation in your 1:1s with your leader and team meetings.
- While you are on vacation, turn off your work email off from your devices. Remember that you have a backup plan and they know how to reach you in an emergency. Seriously unplug and enjoy!
- We post picture of our employee's personal interests including hobbies and vacations on our social media accounts. This encourages employees to share and pursue interests outside of work."
Learn more about SoftwareOne here.
"Our recommendation is to truly unplug when you are on vacation. Even our CEO takes vacations, so we encourage all of our employees to use their PTO as needed. LogMeIn offers Unlimited PTO (we call it MeTime) to give our employees the flexibility to take time off without worrying about how many hours you've accrued. We respect each other's time off, so if we see someone has an out-of-office message or a "PTO" emoji on Slack, we think twice about pinging them and don't expect them to respond until they are back in the office."
Learn more about LogMeIn here.
"Plan ahead but not to the minute! Know where you're going and where you're staying but leave some time to explore and do things on a whim.
With BlackRock's Flexible Time Off, employees can take as many paid days off per year as they need to relax and recharge. Plus, through the Perks at Work program, employees can find travel inspiration as well as take advantage of discounts on car rentals and hotel rooms – so they can more fully enjoy their time off."
Learn more about BlackRock here.
"At Raytheon Intelligence & Space, we offer a competitive paid-time off program and encourage our employees to take time off to rest and recharge – which our employees embrace."
"A great tip for making the most of your time off is to communicate to your teams early that you will be completely unreachable and actually be unavailable – turn off the phone and email! Be fully present with your family to unwind and relax in the time you have together."
- Amber Kreceman, principal engineer, Raytheon Intelligence & Space
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
"Time off is crucial to a healthy work-life balance. At Lockheed Martin, our Paid Time Off program includes hours that are awarded at the beginning of each year, in addition to hours you can earn, to spend how you like. Enjoy using your hours for vacation, doing community service, taking care of personal business—pretty much anything you want. Remember, taking time to rest and rejuvenate is essential to better wellbeing. We also offer a variety work schedules, from night shifts to Fridays off to remote capabilities. Your role's business needs, and your leader can help you determine the possibilities."
Learn more about Lockheed Martin here.
"At MongoDB, we support our employees by offering a flexible PTO policy to encourage employees to take as much time as they need to recharge. We offer benefits like Headspace and our discount and perks program to help our employees relax and have peace of mind as they vacation.
We suggest employees plan for PTO as early as possible and identify colleagues as point-person for backup so they can feel comfortable not checking in during their time off. We also recommend planning something fun for the end of your first week to help avoid the post-vacation blues!"
Learn more about MongoDB here.
"Here at Clarus, providing good work life balance and adequate PTO are key pillars of our culture. Taking time to refresh and renew is important. We provide an adequate amount of PTO and we give all new hires all of their PTO upfront.
See our PTO benefits below:
- 15 days of vacation, roll over up to 5 days
- 5 days of sick time
- 2 floating holidays (can be used at any point for any reason)
- Close every Friday at 2pm (Don't need to make up the time)
- Generous paid holiday schedule. Includes that we're closed between Christmas and New Year's."
Learn more about Clarus Commerce here.
"At Equinix, our efforts in service to the company and customers have wide-ranging impact. We are encouraged to find balance by taking time to unplug and enjoy doing the things we love outside of work. We have an internal social channel to post, share, and celebrate the vacations and time away we treat ourselves to. This year, Equinix implemented a two day company wide shutdown knowing it's a little bit easier to recharge when your colleagues are also shutting down. We have a collective responsibility to create a culture where actually taking PTO is welcomed and embraced."
Learn more about Equinix here.
"To help our employees make the most of public holidays we provide adjacent additional paid half-days off, company-wide. Many will take this opportunity to dip into their personal PTO allowance to extend what was an extra long-weekend into a full week (or more!) vacation. The longer break definitely encourages our employees to fully unplug from work.
We believe in encouraging employees to utilize their PTO and share best practices on how they find their balance. Different departments have developed creative ways to encourage this too. For example, employees on the US Regional HR team who used 5 consecutive days of PTO and then shared a picture of their time off were entered into a drawing to win a gift card. Here's one of the entry photos!"
Learn more about Munich RE here.
"At SoundCloud, we value taking time away from work and believe it's essential to mental health and overall wellbeing. We stress the importance of taking opportunities to rest, reset and encourage time off by having our leaders lead by example. With this strategy, we have created a company culture that encourages and normalizes the use of PTO. We have found success in categorizing our PTO into specific areas such as vacation, learning and development, or volunteering. This ensures our employees use their vacation time for themselves, free from any work distractions."
Learn more about SoundCloud here.
"At Netskope, we offer unlimited PTO to our employees and encourage them to utilize this time for themselves as needed. We have even launched a Global Wellness Day initiative in which our company observes our newfound holiday a few times a year, so all our employees can enjoy a day off to focus on mental health, spend time with family and friends, or just relax and refresh!"
Learn more about Netskope here.
"Veracode offers employees a generous 'take what you need' vacation policy. In each of the last two years, our CEO has provided employees with Summer Recharge Days, two paid days off in recognition of the passion and drive our employees demonstrate every day. We encourage employees to fully take their time off with family and friends doing whatever brings them joy so that they come back to work refreshed and energized."
Learn more about Veracode here.
"Vacation time isn't just getting away from work, it is about refueling and reenergizing. As easy as devices make it to check emails, it's essential to unplug. Use the time to reflect on past experiences, the challenges you've overcome and recent successes – and celebrate them! Focus on your own well-being, spend time with your loved ones and don't let thoughts of work distract you from being present in the moment."
- Gretchen Kelly, Vice President Enterprise Communication & ERP/HR Systems at Spectrum
Learn more about Spectrum here.
"Work life balance is an integral part of our Culture Code which defines how we work. Autodesk offers discretionary time off (DTO) for U.S. salaried employees, and three weeks of vacation for hourly employees. Additionally, employees get the "Week of Rest" from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day as paid holidays. And what better way to truly take time off and disconnect from work than to be eligible for a six-week paid sabbatical every four years of continuous service. We realize there's a strong correlation between stress, mental-health, and burn out. Therefore, we encourage all our employees to take time off to rest and re-charge."
Learn more about Autodesk here.
Here's their advice for making the most of your time off — and some insight into the ways they help their employees enjoy their R&R:
"How to make the most out of your time off:
- Get familiar with your company's PTO policy
- Plan your time off for the year and request it in advance
- Don't use all of your PTO at once, spread it out throughout the year to avoid burnout.
- Delegate responsibilities, overcommunicate with the team before going on PTO to avoid coming back to a lot of work.
What we offer:
- 15 days of PTO
- 10 paid holidays
- Additional leaves and flexibility based on circumstances
- Expectation of 100% work disconnect during PTO
- Easy and transparent PTO approval process
- Visibility into others' upcoming time off"
Learn more about Unstoppable Domains here.
"Time off is an essential part of self-care. Taking time away from work helps people recharge, catch up with family and friends, prevent burnout and increase productivity.
Having a plan and coverage helps you have as much peace of mind as possible while away. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time and lean on your team for help.
Despite best efforts, you might not finish everything you want before your time off, which is ok. Create your out-of-office coverage plan. Your plan should list critical tasks, determine/assign who on your team can cover and support them, and adding an out-of-office for your email and slack. Partner with everyone listed in your plan to ensure they understand the coverage plan, work, and how they are helping.
Lastly, make sure your peers, team, and business partners have access to and know about your coverage plan. Your plan should provide the current state of the projects/work and the point(s) of contact while you are out of the office. If you're diligent about making preparations before your time off, you can rest assured that essential/critical work is being completed. Enjoy your time away!"
- Andrew Cho, HR Manager
Learn more about OfferUp here.
"At Moody's, we know that it is essential for our employees to be able to take time off and recharge, especially after a particularly difficult time for everyone during the pandemic - managing to both deliver in our jobs and take care of ourselves and family. Our people managers are encouraged to specifically support our employees to ensure they feel comfortable taking time off and we encourage our leaders to role model the same. At Moody's, we foster a supportive and collaborative work environment, and this continues when our colleagues have planned time off to relax, spend with family or friends, or go on vacation and travel where safety permits!"
Learn more about Moody's here.
"At JW Player, we want you to be at your best and avoid burnout. So, we offer an open PTO policy to our full-time US Employees! While out on PTO, we encourage you to unplug from work so you can relax and be back online feeling refreshed. The best way for you to do that would be to:
1. Let your manager know of your time off in advance.
2. Prep your teammates for handoffs while you're out.
3. Block your calendar so people know not to contact you.
4. Set up your auto-reply on your email so people know who they can reach out to in your absence."
Learn more about JW Player here.
"CSL knows the pandemic has added stress to employees' lives, so the global biotech is encouraging wellbeing. This year CSL provided Wellness Days as additional time to recharge. Companywide benefits like Summer Fridays and Winter Holiday Shutdown allow employees to take time off without fear of returning to a mountain of emails. Some sites also offer a Summer Shutdown week. But the most important thing they do is foster a culture that prioritizes taking PTO. All people leaders are asked to role model by taking – and talking about – their PTO, and address factors that prevent team members from taking time off."
Learn more about CSL here.
"Karat offers flexible time off benefits and 18 weekday holidays, including two longer break periods (Summer Break and Winter Break) so everyone can truly reap the mental and physical benefit of time off. The extensive holiday calendar also means we're off at the same time and encourages everyone to actually unplug.
Tip: Lead by example. Taking time off is difficult when you know others on your team are still working. Giving the team coordinated breaks helps people reduce the anxiety that comes from others picking up the workload."
Learn more about Karat here.
"Last year we learned how effective days are to improve morale and combat burnout, so we're proud that we had introduced "Recharge" days--an approach that aligns with our culture and philosophy of putting people first. We've recently introduced additional recharge days to be a company-wide holiday at least once a month for the rest of the year and next year. We've leaned into the magic of when most of the company has the same day off and making sure we take care of our people."
Learn more about Lattice here.
"One of the biggest keys to making the most of your time off is fully disconnecting from work. This requires having good systems in place and a high level of trust within your team. Strong systems allow teammates to easily step in and support your work while you're away, which in turn helps build trust among colleagues. If you feel supported by your team while you're out of the office, you're more likely to fully unplug and then happily return the favor when a teammate is away, allowing them to do the same."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
"Maintaining a healthy work-life balance has been especially challenging with the impact of the global pandemic. In a recent video to employees, Invesco's President and CEO Marty Flanagan encouraged employees to take their vacation time, emphasizing the importance of rest and self-care.
Taking a vacation, even a "staycation," is proven to help increase work productivity up to 31% while also helping stimulate a more positive frame of mind. That's especially critical given the added stress of COVID-19. Not unplugging from the office to take time off time creates burnout, fatigue, and can impact your health and personal life."
Learn more about Invesco here.
"GameChanger offers teammates unlimited vacation time because we know how important it is to refresh and recharge. To encourage our teammates to take vacation, we make it easy for them to plan with a simple process to request the time off and by providing the team support needed while they're out. Additionally, though we have many paid holidays throughout the year, we empower teammates to use vacation time to recognize or celebrate any holidays outside of our list. GameChanger also provides the opportunity to work remotely, which makes planning your next adventure even easier."
Learn more about GameChanger here.
"ServiceNow is taking a fun and innovative approach to ensuring employees focus on their health and well-being every week with "Recharge Half-day Fridays". The world pandemic has put a spotlight on employee health and well-being and the need for a better work/life balance. ServiceNow leadership came together to introduce this program as a collective way for every employee worldwide to carve out much-needed time to recharge and refocus themselves and their families.
Running from the first week in June through the first week of September 2021, the program has been wildly popular and offers a great way for employees around the world to share the creative ways they are using their time, including some examples below.
- Taking up sketching and improving tennis game
- Spending every Friday afternoon attending music lessons with daughter
- Sharing sushi every Friday with a friend
- Working on renovations to backyard garden
- Having a swim with new ServiceNow swags!"
This summer, as the extrajudicial murders of Black Americans prompted renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, companies and organizations across the United States started to center the experiences of their Black employees and prioritize conversations about race in a real way.
Some companies already had robust diversity and inclusion initiatives that combated some of the systematic injustice Black workers face. Many more, though, realized they had to invest in building them. That work started with learning what it takes to be a truly anti-racist—not just non-racist—workplace. Many companies have gotten quieter about Black Lives Matter since June, so we wanted to know what companies were doing to make good on the promises they made earlier this year.
Here at PowerToFly, we're lucky enough to partner with industry-leading companies who really believe in creating equitable work environments where diverse talent can thrive. We interviewed several of our clients to learn about the ways in which they're working to build anti-racist workplaces. We hope that their answers provide some transparency to the ongoing work companies are doing to ensure that their stated commitments to DEI translate into meaningful action, and inspire other companies to follow suit.
Mindbody empowers employees to act
"It is not effective to be 'not racist.' It hinders change and slows the momentum needed to break down long standing barriers individuals experience. Mindbody believes we must be 'anti-racist' and lean into this topic and lead by example. We have focused our attention on educating our team, through formal education such as small group trainings and larger webinars teaching us about our Unconscious Bias, How to be an Inclusive Leader, How to Cope with Civil Unrest, and Raising Diversity in the Home, and through informal education such as fireside-like conversations with our team members, hearing their specific experiences with racism. One key learning we have had recently at Mindbody is around a word we commonly used to use, 'ally.' We have had to shift the meaning of being an ally, as something active vs. something passive. We have asked our employees to be active allies and stand up and share their thoughts and experiences on these topics. We have given our employees a new volunteer day off to be used July-September 2020 to volunteer for an organization of their choice and focus on a way they can actively create change. If all 1,200 employees give 8 hours, this will give almost 10,000 hours of active work to create the change we need in this world."
Learn more about MINDBODY here.
Moody's invests in community-building events
"Moody's is committed to a diverse and inclusive culture. We aspire for Moody's to be a place where everyone feels comfortable being their true selves, where we demonstrate empathy and civility – and where we celebrate the differences that make us stronger. To further our commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion at Moody's and racial justice in the communities where we live and work, we proudly share an array of events we held in June and July 2020.
Thousands of employees attended one or a mix of 43 events we've held across the world on racial justice, including our racial justice town hall, signature Juneteenth event, learning sessions from our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and Moody's Courageous Conversations and Moments That Matter series.
The reach and success of these events was made possible through strong employee leadership and participation – especially from our Diversity and Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility teams and employee-led Multicultural ERG and Black Inclusion Group."
Learn more about Moody's here.
T. Rowe Price drives awareness through conversation
"Although the pandemic continues to separate associates physically, the firm's collaborative culture and united stance on racial equity has galvanized employees to use their voices to promote equality. Bill Stromberg, President and CEO, issued a public statement on June 4 that reflects our commitment to fighting racial injustice. In addition to the T. Rowe Price Foundation committing $2 million to organizations working to fight racial injustice, the matching gift program is available to employees who are interested in financially supporting racial equity causes.
To ensure the cultural conversation continues, the firm has held dozens of Diversity Dialogues across the company. These sessions are facilitated by thought leaders and experts in diversity and inclusion and provide employees with a safe space to speak candidly about their experiences to leadership and colleagues. This comes on the heels of T. Rowe Price evolving its business resource group, MOSAIC, which helps drive multicultural awareness at the firm, into three heritage communities – Black/African American, Latinx, and Asian – to promote an even greater sense of belonging. T. Rowe Price is encouraging employees to tap into resources available on TRPConnects, an internal social media site which offers mental health and wellness information, personal accounts and stories from colleagues about their experiences with racism, and educational resources on systemic racism."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
PwC supports direct action in their community
"PwC stands against racism in the workplace, in our communities and in our country and is taking six actions to combat racial justice. The firm is taking steps to support its Black professionals, to improve diversity and inclusion efforts within the organization, and to contribute to the efforts of those who are fighting for racial justice and equality on the front lines. Specifically, this includes donating time to social justice organizations, giving employees one week of utilized time each year to volunteer with nonprofits, and supporting students and teachers in underserved communities to build a more diverse, tech-skilled future workforce, among other commitments. PwC people are encouraged to support each other and speak out against bias and stigma, to join one of our inclusion networks and to participate in blindspots training. The firm is also offering free racial trauma counseling for PwCers and their families."
Learn more about PwC here.
Invesco prioritizes listening and accountability
"After the senseless killing of George Floyd ignited protests against police brutality and racial inequity, Invesco was quick to speak out and take action. In an open letter to clients and employees from President & CEO Marty Flanagan we said forcefully that Black lives matter. Our zero-tolerance approach to racism of any kind is embedded in our existing programs, such as unconscious bias training for all managers. We implemented a series of listening sessions with clients, the Invesco Black Professionals Network, and other internal Business Resource Groups. Communications kits for managers encouraged dialogue within teams and Juneteenth was established as a paid holiday for US employees. We continue to build anti-racism programs and will hold ourselves accountable by measuring our ability to increase hiring, promotion and retention of diverse colleagues. Our CEO joined over 500 business leaders to urge Georgia lawmakers to sign the Hate Crimes legislation into law."
Learn more about Invesco here.
Snap strengthens allyship
"At Snap, creating a fairer, more inclusive, and truly anti-racist culture is everyone's job. Above all, this problem is not for underrepresented groups — or a DEI team — to solve. And so, to create a truly inclusive and anti-racist culture at Snap, we need our team members to become skilled allies.
We launched our Allyship Program in February 2020, with the objective to support Snap team members and turn goodwill into good action. The Allyship Program combines bold personal storytelling and frank conversations to inspire empathy and build awareness with formal workshops to equip team members with the knowledge, resources, skills and inspiration to be good allies in the workplace."
Learn more about Snap here.
S&P Global makes D&I a core part of business
S&P Global has most recently committed to accelerating progress through the following actions: leading courageous conversations with employees across teams to develop greater understanding around issues of racial justice; expanding our full-time staff devoted to advancing Diversity & Inclusion; doubling our financial investments in D&I initiatives and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs); expanding existing inclusion training globally to address bias and microaggressions; and contributing USD $1M via the S&P Global Foundation to non-profit organizations that support equity and racial justice. In 2018, the Company added a D&I metric to its strategic goals to track performance, and the global D&I Council leads and governs all such efforts across the enterprise.
Learn more about S&P Global here.
VideoAmp prioritizes education for their entire team
"The inflection point for us began the week of George Floyd's murder.
As a young and rapidly growing ad tech company, we paused and looked at where we could improve and grow from the Black Lives Matter movement. The VideoAmp executive leadership team spoke openly about the events during an All-Hands and from that meeting, the People Team took some immediate actions like the observation of Black Out Tuesday and making Juneteenth an annual company holiday. We felt these actions provided time and space for reflection and increased awareness of racial injustice in our country. And instead of having a purely top-down approach, we quickly launched our Employee-led Advisory Group (EAG) to create actionable, sustainable and meaningful ways to grow as an organization, ensuring all employees could be seen and heard. Over 100 employees quickly rallied together - the EAG now meets twice a week and has already formed actionable initiatives in three categories: 1.) Learn through self-education 2.) Participate in community outreach and 3.) Give Back through time and financial contributions. The group not only brings plans to life but also measures what success will look like with KPIs around specific initiatives to drive accountability for VideoAmp.
We continue to explore ways to educate our organization on the specific needs of the Black community and how to combat racism through proactive and ongoing learning and resource-sharing. We recognize that we still have a lot to learn. We formed a thought-leader speaker series with Dionna Smith from the PowertoFly team as our inaugural presenter. She spoke on power, privilege and how to be an ally for change. This first presentation drew an audience of over 100 employees which was 61% of the VideoAmp employee base. We've also launched a book club, featuring Black authors with physical books purchased from Black-owned bookstores, and have scheduled film and TV viewing events to further increase our knowledge and awareness of Black history and racial injustices in America. In addition, we share timely content related to the Black Lives Matter movement through a weekly company-wide newsletter and we have offered the opportunity to be part of Allyship Healing Circles through our partnership with Modern Health, among other mental health support at no cost to our employees and their dependents.
Lastly, through our partnership with PowerToFly, we're continuing to implement more assertive diversity hiring and recruitment practices, making VideoAmp a place where anyone can feel valued and inspired to thrive. We're on a mission to further diversify our workforce and drive a culture where all people feel they belong and are educated on how to be an ally for change in our organization and our communities."
Learn more about VideoAmp here.
Lattice partners with employees and customers to drive change
"To ensure an anti-racist work environment and help combat racism, Lattice took to company-wide crowdsourcing for different ways to help. Once we gathered a substantial list, ERG groups worked with our Leadership team to prioritize and assign items to individuals and teams. Examples include donation & support opportunities, company-wide allyship/anti-racist training, and we're finding/building ways to support our customers' DE&I efforts through our people management platform."
Learn more about Lattice here.
Kensho keeps the conversation going via continuous education
"Kensho is committed to educating our employees and fostering an anti-racist culture. Kensho employees recently attended The Adaway Group's Whiteness at Work virtual summer series. This was a four- part series addressing: Whiteness at Work, White Dominant Culture, Building Anti-Racist Skills and Operationalizing Racial Equity. After each session our Head of DEI, Shea Kerr, lead a debrief discussion to give employees the opportunity to discuss what they learned, as well as share their own experiences. This was a great way to bring these issues to the forefront and keep the conversation going with our employees. Kensho's DEI Committee is also working on bringing in additional DEI focused training that will take place throughout the year."
Learn more about Kensho here.
CarGurus creates a welcoming work environment
"At CarGurus, we strive to build and nurture a global culture where inclusiveness is a reflex, not an initiative. We are all responsible for fostering an anti-racist workplace by proactively centering diverse perspectives, amplifying underrepresented voices and deeply engaging in learning, dialogue, and action to drive forward systematic change. For us, that means investing in targeted and accessible programming and learning opportunities that enhance cultural humility, encourage growth, and promote inclusive leadership at every level. We are also striving to create more equity in our practices and policies so that everyone feels they can bring the ultimate expression of themselves to work every day despite their race, gender, or background."
Learn more about CarGurus here.
MongoDB shares resources in their team and in their community
"At MongoDB, we are committed to learning about and combating racism in the workplace. Here are some of the educational programming we have that promotes anti-racism: On August 13th, 2020, we had an internal event 'Decoding Inclusion Conversation on Race: Driving Impact with Power and Privilege' featuring Netta Jenkins (Forbes Top 7 Anti-Racism Educator), and sponsored by our CEO, Dev Ittycheria. During this session, Netta discussed the murder of George Floyd and the impact on Black people and the global community. She also discussed racial trauma and symptoms of race-based injustices
in the workplace. Members of our employee affinity group, The Underrepresented People of Color Network, shared resources for people looking to learn how to be anti-racist to support the current racial justice movement, and during our annual event, MongoDB World, we launched the MongoDB for Justice fund, in order to raise funds to enable organizations advancing anti-racism work."
Learn more about MongoDB here.
Quip centers anti-racism training across their work
"Quip believes that we have a moral responsibility to help lead the fight for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive tech industry. We acknowledge that this is a challenging and ever-changing area, and takes ongoing work. We believe that diverse and inclusive teams are essential to build the best product, to meet our business goals, and to create a work environment where people from all backgrounds can feel like they belong, which will ultimately make our entire team more successful. Quip has been actively teaching and educating team members on how to build a more anti-racist workplace through various methods:
- Hosting a book club on the book How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Creating a central repository to encourage folks to support organizations fighting racism and police brutality
- Developing a dos and don'ts messaging guide centered around racial equality
- Doing a virtual volunteering event by reading Anti-Racism Children's Book for the kids at UCSF"
Learn more about Quip here.
Relativity explores diversity within its community
"We are committed to ongoing efforts to foster a culture of inclusion and belonging at Relativity. We are proud of our new internal learning series, 'Culture Collective,' where we explore the rich diversity of identities and cultures that make up our company and the communities we serve. This is a monthly series sponsored by one of our Community Resource Groups (CRGs) called Faces of Relativity in partnership with our entire CRG community. These sessions allow us to explore cultural mindfulness and establish actionable steps for how we can make an impact as allies. In addition to the 'Culture Collective,' we host monthly deep dive conversations and learning sessions with our CRG leadership, an anti-racism toolkit curated in partnership with the CRG community, and have built out a robust internal learning curriculum for 2021 that will aim to educate Relativians on culture, unconscious bias, power/privilege, and more."
Learn more about Relativity here.
Smartsheet builds anti-racist environments, including coding ones
"A group of Smartsheet employees has been actively working to remove offensive terminology from our engineering coding language. Just like many everyday terms and figures of speech have racist roots, so too do many of the standard terms used in coding. Although this is anti-racist work that is far less visible than more common organizational initiatives (like unconscious bias and inclusion trainings, both of which Smartsheet is launching this year), it is no less important and only further highlights how ingrained racism is in our world."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
Interested in discussing what it takes to build anti-racist workplaces in real time? We're hosting Allyship to Impact, a two-day free virtual conference focused on providing resources and practical guidance to combat racism at work, this September 10-11. We hope you can join us.
It's been 109 years since the first International Women's Day, and since then, the day has become an annual call to action for gender parity. From marches and protests to advocacy and awareness campaigns, the day is an opportunity to celebrate women's achievements and continue the fight for gender equality across the globe.
As this powerful tradition and movement has continued for over a century, companies have found ways to celebrate both International Women's Day and Women's History Month by supporting and giving a platform to the women on their teams.
We wanted to showcase some of the ways our partner companies are living this year's theme of "an equal world is an enabled world" out loud. Read on to learn how they're celebrating and elevating women's voices, today, this month, and all year round:
1.Panel Discussion + Public Displays of Appreciation & Solidarity — Procore
Some of Procore's Employees Wearing Purple Hats to Celebrate IWD
"From Sydney to London, Austin to Toronto, Procore offices across the globe will be hosting celebrations honoring the achievements of Procore's hardworking women workforce. We're kicking off the month with a global panel discussion hosted by senior leaders on the importance of building inclusivity and being better allies to up-level our entire organization. We're also doing a month-long "post-it wall" where Procore employees share notes of appreciation for their colleagues, or pay homage to the women who inspire and impact them most. We'll commemorate International Women's Day together, wearing purple as a display of solidarity, a community of equality and inclusion."
Learn more about Procore and their open positions here.
2.Hosting a "Women in Cyber" Symposium — Freddie Mac
Freddie Mac's Women ERG Group Workshop
"Our Women's Interactive Network (WIN) employee resource group is hosting programs and activities throughout Women's History Month to empower and support women in their professional endeavors. The month kicks off with a 'Uniting Women in Cyber' symposium where dynamic women speakers will explore topics around retention, recruitment and acquisition of talent in the cyber arena. Later in the month, our 'Keynote Day,' featuring leadership coach Jacqueline Baker, will set the tone for embracing leadership at every level and empowering teams with actionable steps for personal, professional and organizational success."
Learn more about Freddie Mac and their open positions here.
3.Hosting a 'How I Got My Job' Panel for Women Engineers — OneLogin
"OneLogin is proud to support International Women's Day! We are hosting our first annual celebration to honor the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.
OneLogin has also hosted Hackbright's career fair, a women's only coding bootcamp, in 2020 and will also host their 'How I got my Job' panel this month to help female engineers by providing insight about what their career transition was like. It also gives graduates knowledge on the interview process and how to land their first role."
Learn more about OneLogin and their open positions here.
4.A Week's Worth of Talks, Workshops, and Networking Events — Zynga
Zynga's ERG Group Women At Zynga (WAZ)
"Zynga is proud to celebrate International Women's Day (IWD) with a week of events across our international studios. Women At Zynga (WAZ), one of the company's employee resource groups has coordinated a series of talks, workshops, networking events, makers fair, design competitions and a live-stream of the Girl Geek X conference for employees to gather, support and empower each other across departments. For IWD on Sunday, March 8th, WAZ is taking over the @LifeAtZynga Instagram channel to highlight female employees and their support for this year's theme, #EachForEqual."
Learn more about Zynga and their open positions here.
5.Facilitating #IamRemarkable Workshops — Kin + Carta
Some of the Kin + Carta Women
"Kin + Carta has recently invested in a global initiative to enhance our Inclusion and Diversity efforts, with the aim of helping all communities feel like they can bring their whole selves to work. International Women's Day is our first big collective effort not only to celebrate our women, but to give something back that helps more of our women progress to the top. We have trained-up facilitators across all of our offices to host #IamRemarkable workshops throughout the day. In addition to the workshops, we've opened up a forum for anyone to share who they feel is remarkable to celebrate our women who are doing great things daily."
Learn more about Kin + Carta and their open positions here.
6.Hosting a Panel Discussion — Greenhouse Software
Greenhouse Women Grow ERG and guest Brandi Boatner discussing imposter syndrome and covering during Black History Month
"Greenhouse is excited to celebrate International Women's Month by uplifting the incredible women in our organization. Our Women Grow ERG group will be hosting a panel with our Director of DE&I - Jamie Adasi, Vice President of Professional Services - Kristina Nieves, and CMO Carin Van Vuuren. We look forward to uniting our New York City, Denver, San Francisco, Dublin, and Distributed employees to share our experiences and learnings as women and allies in the Tech industry!"
Learn more about Greenhouse Software and their open positions here.
7.LinkedIn Recommendations Room – Quip
Some of Quip's Team Members
"On Wednesday March 11 from 11:30am-1:30pm, Quip has reserved a room in their HQ office for people to stop by and support our women colleagues by writing LinkedIn recommendations for them. The room will serve as a space for us to take a break from our busy schedules and dedicate whatever time we can to support women in the workplace. This was planned by Quip's 'International Women's Day Celebration Committee.' A few members of the committee are pictured below."
Learn more about Quip and their open positions here.
8.Mentoring, Coaching and Networking Sessions — Vrbo
Women in Leadership Event at Vrbo
"This year, Vrbo is celebrating International Women's Day by hosting a speed mentoring, coaching and networking session, distributing an employee newsletter highlighting local Women's Day events, and changing the color of our office building logos to purple. During the month of March, we'll also be displaying information about influential women throughout history on electronic wallboards and leaving heartfelt and inspirational messages in wellness rooms throughout our offices. Vrbo also has an active women's inclusion business group dedicated to mentoring and networking opportunities, providing educational resources, and partnering with community groups for outreach events throughout the year."
Learn more about Vbro and their open positions here.
9.Highlighting Employees Who Fight for a Gender Equal World — Invesco
Graphic of Invesco #EachforEqual Campaign
"The Invesco Women's Network is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month throughout the month of March, with events at Invesco office locations. On our websites, we will feature employees who exemplify the #EachForEqual theme. Each For Equal is a way of recognizing people who are challenging stereotypes, fighting bias, broadening perceptions, improving situations and celebrating women's achievements. Together, we can help create a more gender equal world."
Learn more about Invesco and their open positions here.
10.Hosting Conferences Internationally — Dell Technologies
Some of Dell Technologies' Team at #ProgressMadeReal Event
"Dell Technologies' Women in Action Employee Resource Groups will be celebrating International Women's Day with internal conferences around the globe. Each chapter will host localized events with informative sessions and guest speakers from both inside and outside the company. This format was recognized as a best practice by the global International Women's Day organizers last year. In addition to internal events, the company's EVP and Chief Customer Officer, Karen Quintos, will ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange in honor of the day. Watch for headlines and social media posts about Dell's jam-packed week of festivities."
Learn more about Dell Technologies and their open positions here.
11.Sharing Women's Stories with a Book Giveaway — Guru Technologies
Panel Event for Guru's Employee Resource Group Guru Gals
"In celebration of International Women's day Guru aims to share the stories of women by offering each employee a free book from a short-list put together by Guru Gals, our Employee Resource Group for women at Guru. Last year's list included titles such as Code Girls by Liza Mundy and When Everything Changed by Gail Collins. Our team is encouraged to select a book for themselves or to pass on to a friend or family member, so we are sure to include children's titles as well. The hope is that these reads inspire thoughtful conversations and lead to deeper understanding."
Learn more about Guru Technologies and their open positions here.
12.Creating Visibility & Supporting Women in STEM – Elastic
"In honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, Elastic will be participating in the #EachForEqual campaign, encouraging employees across the world to share what #EachForEqual means to them and how they are, as individuals, supporting gender equality initiatives in their own communities. Additionally, we will be publishing a blog that highlights projects we've supported that impact gender equality, from policies to tech community partnerships and more. Elastic will also provide a 200% giving match to STEM organizations, launching on Pi Day (March 14th) and running until the end of March. Although this is not exclusively for women, many of the organizations we've supported historically are promoting women in technology like Django Girls and Girlstart."
Learn more about Elastic and their open positions here.