Recently, Primer was named one of the Best Midsize Companies to Work For in the Bay Area. This was our first time making it on this list, and I'm especially proud because it happened in 2020 - a year when we needed to push outside our comfort zone and think innovatively about our culture.
As I reflect on how we got here, a few things stand out as being particularly impactful. Sudden changes in context forced us to reimagine every aspect of our culture, and redesign it with intention. Here are five things we got right in 2020:
We embraced change and looked for opportunities.
- We saw COVID early, so we were prepared and the transition to remote work was relatively seamless. We made sure our employees were set up to be productive and successful by offering them an allowance for home office set-up, and a $75 monthly stipend throughout 2020.
- We asked ourselves "How can Primer become an engine of job growth in 2020?" Looking for the opportunity in a dark moment changed the conversation. We didn't want to simply survive; we wanted to thrive. We decided we'd fight to win and oriented the team toward this goal. Following early successes, we fulfilled our goal of becoming an engine of job growth and onboarded more than 50 people in the latter half of 2020.
- We got creative about designing cultural moments that worked even better in a virtual world. We trained the whole company simultaneously on Unconscious Bias and Coaching by video conference. We also held a virtual Customer Day with inspiring panelists like Tony Thomas, Sue Gordon, Dash Jamieson, and Kim Kagan. It would have been expensive and logistically impossible for a small company like Primer to host events like these in person.
We doubled down on our mission.
- Primer creates the tools behind the decisions that change the world. Every day, our users are busy defending democracy, looking for cures to COVID-19, and guiding companies with our technology. When we're hiring, we screen for people who are passionate about this mission, and the result is a culture of grit, purpose, and excitement about the future.
- We used our technology to help the world in a crisis. When COVID-19 struck, our team asked, "How can we help?" Over one weekend, a small group of engineers built covid19.primer.ai to help doctors, scientists and researchers keep on top of the rapidly proliferating research on COVID. It was intensely gratifying when we received thank you notes from the people on the front lines, saving lives.
We cared for our people.
- While the country was in lockdown, Primates made the best of it by working around the clock to build and sell our products. There was a lot of energy and progress, but no one was taking time to disconnect or renew. In addition, we were carrying a heavy emotional burden worrying about economic and health security, vulnerable relatives, systemic racism, loneliness, homeschooling, and wildfires. Work was a welcome distraction from the world around us, but the pace and intensity was unsustainable. The 'new normal' had created the perfect conditions for burnout. We decided we needed to disrupt the pattern. In May, we announced a company-wide Mental Health day to encourage self-care. Everyone turned off at the same time on the same day, and we encouraged them to share photos of how they found joy. It was so successful that we scheduled monthly Mental Health Days for the rest of 2020. We shared the benefits of our approach with other companies, and saw others follow our lead and adopt the same practice.
- We adapted our routines to accommodate employees facing the biggest challenges. For example, parents were struggling to manage homeschooling while working 9am-5pm. We used a company's all hands to highlight the problem, and our CEO Sean Gourley set the expectation that it was on all of us to help each other by adjusting our usual schedules to accommodate homeschooling duties, giving colleagues space and comfort when their kids walked in on calls, and covering for parents when they were double-booked. This 'permission' changed the cultural dynamic and added a new lightness.
- We found virtual ways to celebrate diversity. We hosted impactful employee-led events to build education and awareness around Pride, the history of racial injustice in America, and Native American Heritage Month. We highlighted important muti-cultural holidays at all hands and celebrated our differences.
We articulated how to be successful
- After adapting our strategy to COVID, we quickly reprioritized and communicated new company OKRs. By articulating what success was going to look like in 2020, we freed our team to take charge of their own destiny.
- With so much uncertainty, we wanted our team to know we saw a future for them at Primer. We invested in building out career ladders and training every manager to set growth goals for their people to give them a path for advancement. This provided structure during uncertain times.
We connected and listened to each other in new ways
- Without in-person touchpoints, we needed technology to connect our people and business goals. We have a real-time pulse on how people are feeling and working.
- We implemented Lattice to track OKRs, run employee pulse surveys, and manage performance.
- We connected socially through fun Slack pop-up channels like #thejoyofcooking, #lets-socialize, and #petsofprimer to share glimpses into our personal lives from afar, and Donut to pair up randomly for getting to know you chats.
- We used Clockwise to boost productivity and optimize our calendars.
- Zenefits helped us do virtual onboarding seamlessly, and structure the first 90 days to ensure every manager and new hire are having the right check-in conversations at the right time.
We ended the year by giving our colleagues a holiday gift that was symbolic of everything we'd been through together - a Lego International Spacestation kit to build with their loved ones. Puzzles are a quirky and fun part of our culture, and we wanted to give them a puzzle that forced them to get off their screens, build something with their hands, and find joy with the people who supported their careers at Primer all year. We're proud we built a great place to work during the strangest of times, and we're sharing what we got right in hopes other companies can benefit.
If you want to join us and continue to evolve our culture, we're hiring!
Women have always had a lot on their plates, juggling their professional goals with societal expectations and responsibilities to their families, partners, and communities.
But women have never had a year like 2020.
It seemed like we couldn't go a day without a new national media outlet reporting on just how hard it is to be a woman right now. NPR said it best in their package Enough Already: How The Pandemic Is Breaking Women.
After nearly a year of job losses that have disproportionately impacted women of color, compounding caregiving expectations that have fallen mostly on mothers, and extended isolation, more likely to intensify loneliness for older women, it's hard to imagine how we're going to recover from it all.
But that's exactly what UN Women is hoping to do with their International Women's Day theme this year: "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world."
That plays into the larger theme of International Women's Day, #ChooseToChallenge, celebrated around the world on March 8, 2021. IWD organizers are asking individuals and companies to celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality.
Inspired by these themes, we decided to ask PowerToFly partner companies how they are supporting women at work through both longer-term initiatives and March-specific programming for International Women's Day and/or Women's History Month.
Read on and get inspired!
Hosting a Leadership Day — Facebook
"Our Women@ employee resource group is hosting Women@ Leadership Day on Monday, March 8 to bring together women from across the company to celebrate, empower and develop leadership at all levels. This year's theme is 'Lead with Me — Uniquely You, Uniquely Powerful.'
At Facebook, women tap into their unique background and lived experiences to define how they lead. We fearlessly live our mission inside and outside of our company, giving others the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Each woman is uniquely powerful, and together we're an unstoppable force."
Launching a Gender and Finance Hub — Moody’s
"In honor of International Women's Day, Moody's will launch a designated Gender and Finance hub featuring a range of our business offerings, leadership programs and community partnerships that center on promoting gender equality.
In addition, our employee-led Women's Business Resource Group will hold a range of virtual events and activities around the world to celebrate the accomplishments of women and address the barriers women still face in the workplace and greater society. Throughout March, we will profile leading women at Moody's to recognize their contributions and give them a platform for guiding the next generation of leaders."
Spotlight Sessions, Workshops, and a Kudos Board — MongoDB
MongoDB's 2019 International Women's Day event in NYC
"We're actively working to increase representation at every level. This is done through the investment in programs to mentor and accelerate the development of high potential talent to grow into leadership roles, enabling managers to become inclusive leaders, constantly reviewing our processes for effectiveness and fairness, and diversifying our candidate pool through internal initiatives and external partnerships like PowerToFly.
MongoDB is celebrating Women's History Month with a variety of events:
- Spotlight sessions with various internal MongoDB Women's Group speakers who will share their strengths and skills with other members
- A workshop session with four MongoDB women leaders titled 'Being a Woman Leader and Growing Your Career'
- A Women in Engineering panel with two external speakers, highlighting women with successful careers in engineering
- An internal kudos board where women and allies can give shoutouts to their women peers
- Global purple shirt day on International Women's Day
- A women and allies Yoga and Meditation session"
Celebrating the Year of the Woman 2.0 — Freddie Mac
"Freddie Mac supports the development of our community of women by providing opportunities for networking, leadership and career development using internal programming and external organizations that enable us to retain and attract talent. Our Women's Interactive Network (WIN) Business Resource Group is hosting activities throughout Women's History Month that celebrate the resilience and power of women.
- 'Get Out of Your Own Way' workshop featuring author and executive coach, Regan Walsh
- 'Women Surviving and Thriving Covid-19' roundtable with Freddie Mac leaders
- Kick-off series on refining and developing leadership skills with Jacqueline M. Baker, Principal Consultant and Founder of Scarlet Communications"
Challenging Hiring Practices — Elastic
Elastic's Singapore office celebrating the #EachForEqual theme of IWD last year
"We've been working towards wider female representation in leadership positions at Elastic. We recently doubled down on our commitment towards challenging a male-dominated field with our equal pay policy, these internal initiatives, and by filling several senior-level positions with top female professionals.
Elastic is celebrating Women's History Month (WHM) and International Women's Day (IWD) by amplifying female voices throughout the organization. First, we're releasing a variety of content on our culture blog this month including a statement from Leah Sutton, our senior vice president of global human resources at Elastic, on how we're meeting the #ChooseToChallenge in our hiring practices. We'll also release a roundup of recent blog posts featuring our female leadership. Finally, our Elastic Cares team will hold sessions throughout the month to encourage volunteering with organizations that empower women both in the workplace and in day-to-day life."
A Day of Reflection — Chainalysis
"International Women's Day is one of Chainalysis's Days of Reflection (Company Holidays focused on DE&I). To celebrate, the Diversity Committee has planned several events including a panel discussing 'Can crypto help solve gender inequality?', a Linkedin campaign featuring some amazing women at Chainalysis, 'Wear Purple' day, and a Linkedin Power Hour inspired by PowerToFly to name just a few!"
A Holistic Program to Educate and Engage — ServiceNow
"At ServiceNow, we've increased women in leadership (director-plus) by nearly 8% in just three years. We've also been intentional about diversifying our board of directors, which is now 30% women. One of our most effective programs has been our annual Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Leadership Summit). It has brought together new and established female leaders, along with male allies, to learn to combat bias and microaggressions, as well as how to combine caring with candor for powerful conversations.
ServiceNow is proud to be celebrating International Women's Day with our employees globally. We've worked closely with our Women at Now Belonging Group (ERG) to develop a holistic program that will inspire, educate, and engage employees globally, including:
- A series of events focused on dialogue around allyship and intersectionality
- Employee voices from around the world sharing what they will personally 'choose to challenge'
- Featured article in FairyGodBoss on why ServiceNow is a top company for women
- Thought leadership content and blogs shared on our social media channels focused on amplifying ServiceNow's support for gender equity and belonging."
Investing in Talent — Datadog
Female leaders and employees at Datadog's IPO in 2019
Per Armelle de Madre, Datadog's Chief HR Officer:
"In 2020, Datadog was able to increase our representation of women in leadership by 220%. And we're excited to continue building on that momentum in 2021 and beyond. While we place emphasis on better diversifying our candidate pipeline by partnering with organizations such as PowerToFly, we also aim to create an environment of education and empowerment internally at Datadog to encourage female employees to grow into positions of leadership.
At Datadog we are incredibly excited to be co-hosting an International Women's Day webinar event for both employees and external attendees featuring a panel of prominent female Sales leaders from Datadog, Microsoft and OpenView.
Internally, we wanted to promote the intersectionality of gender and ethnic diversity in line with both Black History Month and Women's History Month, and in February we were honored to welcome Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of Hidden Figures, for a Q&A with Datadog employees to learn what drove Margot to tell this story that forever changed the course of computer science at NASA, and inspired the movie of the same name.
In addition, we're excited to be partnering with Bravely for an internal presentation for employees on 'Women at Work,' a fireside chat with Sarah Sheehan and Ericka Spradley, which will be followed by career coaching sessions for Datadog's female employees."
Leading by Design — Deloitte
"We are committed to investing in our women. In November 2020, as part of this commitment, we introduced Leadership by Design, a program aimed at helping professionals shape and advance their career paths at Deloitte. Since its launch, more than 1,200 women across all levels have enrolled in Leadership by Design.
On March 8th, Deloitte will hold a conversation with champions and thought leaders in gender equity around how they each have harnessed their own power to challenge orthodoxies in their respective fields, and the world."
Celebrating with Songs, Speakers, and Support — New Relic
"To celebrate Womxn's History Month, New Relic will be celebrating through various events, social media spotlights, and non-profit donations. The list of events includes:
- Guided meditations
- Movie nights
- Womxn's History trivia games
- Guest speaker events
- Distant disco nights featuring strong womxn songstresses
- Career development in partnership with Dress For Success
We'll also be highlighting our Womxn ERG in the #ChooseToChallenge campaign, supporting Womxn entrepreneurs through Kiva, and donating to Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation."
Global, Local, and Inclusive — Smartsheet
"We're focused on encouraging our employees to stretch and grow within Smartsheet. We're working to launch an internal job board that will provide employees the opportunity to apply for roles before the role is posted externally. We're pairing this work with diverse candidate slate goals for our most senior roles to ensure we have considered diversity of talent. By giving our current employees the first opportunity at our open roles and holding ourselves accountable with representation goals throughout each stage of the hiring process, we're working to grow our talent and ensure that we're reflecting the diversity of our workforce.
Our Women's History Month and International Women's Day celebrations will be global with local tailoring:
- Sharing: Creating a montage of responses from employees on "women who inspire"
- Creating community via creating groups of women and gender minorities (3-5 people) to build bridges and support
- Creating opportunity for our employees to share an area of expertise via a TED-style internal talk
- Bringing in external perspectives: Hosting speakers on gender-equality topics
- Local (Australia): Panel of women (internal and external) across levels and experiences to share their journey"
Pushing Toward Equal Representation — Relativity
From Relativity's International Women's Day celebrations in 2020
From Relativity's CHRO, Beth Clutterbuck:
"Relativity is intentional about recruiting women in tech, particularly leadership. In 2020, we added two women to our Executive Team, one to our Board and one as the Managing Director of APAC, one of our fastest growing customer regions. We've continuously made a conscious effort to hire more women, especially in Europe where tech skews heavily to men. We increased our women headcount in Poland by 10%, and in EMEA broadly, we now have nearly equal gender representation at 49% women (22% increase YoY). Relativity aspires to reach its global goal of 50/50 gender representation in all roles by 2024."
From Relativity's Tricia Johnson, Program Manager, Field Marketing:
"Workplace (RelWoW) Community Resource Group will celebrate International Women's Day and Women's History Month with a full slate of programs during March. We offer various programming to engage employees in the ways they respond best. This year's programs include:
- An internal panel highlighting diverse career paths within Relativity
- An external recruiting panel on mentorship
- Multiple channels to discuss what International Women's Day 'Choose to Challenge' means to individuals
- A book club featuring a book by Samantha Kirby
- A blog highlighting key milestones for women in the legal industry
- A BadAss Women of History virtual tour"
Developing Early- and Middle-Career Women — CSL Behring
"A core component of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives includes a focus on the recruitment and development of gender diverse talent. Not only do we have female representation goals established for our Board, Executive and People Manager roles, but we also have multiple programs or initiatives focused on developing our female entry-level and middle management talent through formal leadership development and mentoring programs to increase women's representation in leadership.
At CSL Behring we are encouraging, developing and showcasing our female talent around the globe through various panel discussions, seminars and messages. Notable events include:
- Women in Leadership Panel discussions where senior female leaders will share their career experiences including lessons learned and advice for others who are looking to advance their careers.
- Video of leaders sharing messages on the advancement of women and recognizing IWD.
- Sponsorship of multiple IWD partner events providing networking and development opportunities for females in leadership and STEM, as well as programs directed towards engaging men to advance women in leadership through allyship."
Launching an ERG for Women’s Success — OfferUp
"Female leadership is important at OfferUp. As part of our DEI plan, we track several metrics including our promotion activity and our goal is to increase the amount of women promoted every year. Our plan also includes the launch of our first employee resource group, Women In Tech, which will educate, enable and empower women at the company through learning opportunities, mentoring experiences and employee support.
For Women's History Month, we are promoting the success of our women employees and hosting education and recognition events for our full staff, including:
- On International Women's Day, a Women in Leadership speaker panel featuring women leaders from the Puget Sound who will talk about their leadership journeys
- A launch event for the Women in Tech employee resource group
- Weekly education on prominent women in history in our all-company newsletter
- Women in History themed all-company trivia competition"
Looking at a Post-COVID World for Women — Raytheon Intelligence & Space
"Raytheon Intelligence & Space believes we are stronger together. We are focused on critical areas to increase women's representation in leadership by removing barriers to advancement, delivering purposeful development and targeted retention. We deploy conscious inclusion programs and practices to drive outcomes and attract talent. We also mitigate bias in job postings and interview questions.
In celebration of Women's History Month, Raytheon Intelligence & Space will be sponsoring and participating in the California Conference for Women, and sharing career advice from our executive team with employees. We will also be hosting a webinar focused on women in STEM, the challenges facing women in the COVID environment and the changing workplace in a post-COVID world. In addition, our Raytheon Women's Network Employee Resource Group is hosting a series of employee-focused events to commemorate the month."
Listening to Women's Stories — CallRail
"In honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, CallRail is accepting this year's challenge through their ERG, the Women's Circle. With a full week dedicated to celebrating the progress women have made in tech and challenging the road ahead, The Women's Circle is looking inward to celebrate the success of women at CallRail and the unexpected paths that led them here.
Through a virtual, company-wide Q&A panel, we'll listen to the stories of women in all positions of leadership about how they made it to these roles - from the hurdles to the triumphs and everything in between."
RiseUp and Mentor — Dassault Systemes
"Dassault Systemes has made a public statement promising to reach 30% Women People Managers by 2025. To reach this goal, a new program called RiseUp has been launched in order to accelerate women's leadership and empowerment. Currently, a high-performing group of women have been identified and are being coached and mentored in preparation of becoming people managers.
- This year the UN Women's theme is 'Choose to Challenge.' We are challenging our employees to take action for equality and have launched a social media campaign internally and externally.
- We are hosting a series of webinars highlighting our internal Women Leaders. We had a fireside chat with Michelle Ash, CEO of our GEOVIA Brand. We learned about her views on the mining industry, women leadership, and inclusion.
- In our EURONORTH Geo, a Diversity Week is being held and will include Unconscious Bias training."
Hosting Employee Panels and Breakout Groups — VTS
"VTS has made a consistent and conscious effort to increase women in leadership roles by having a promote-from-within culture, and ensuring that the company has access to coaching opportunities to get them to the next step in their career. Currently, women in leadership positions at the company make up almost 40% of that group—and it's on the rise!
VTS is hosting a panel of our employees on March 10, moderated by our Interim Head of People Margaretta Noonan, who is a member of the advisory board for the Global Summit of Women. Going along with this year's International Women's Day theme of 'Choose to Challenge,' we are hosting different breakout groups after the panel. These sessions aim to have our employees learn how to challenge themselves in order to invest in their personal brand, unlearn bias, and support women in work and life."
Cheersing to Women’s Success at Afternoon Tea — dv01
"At dv01 we have several women in leadership positions, including COO and VP of Sales, and have continued to promote women to management positions. We provide our team members with increasing responsibility and give them space to take ownership of their projects. Additionally, we pride ourselves in offering a flexible work schedule, which allows our team members to work around life's many challenges. We continue to acknowledge the hard work of women and motivate them to grow within the company.
For International Women's Day at dv01 we'll be hosting a Women's Day Party starting with a morning yoga session and a virtual afternoon tea! Throughout the month we will have several events geared toward women and female empowerment, including women's history month trivia, virtual viewings of films either directed by women or with strong female leads, and other events which highlight accomplished female writers and artists."
"Following the Sun” with Events Around the World — Ciena
"Women@Ciena is hosting a global event to celebrate International Women's Day on one continuous Zoom. Kicking off in Singapore, this year's global event will 'follow the sun' to each region, from APJ to India to EMEA and to the Americas, with unique events being hosted in all regions and live handoffs taking place in between – All in Together!
We will have exciting surprise guests including a four-star Navy Admiral to hear her thoughts on diversity and experience a live cooking demo to inspire heart healthy lunches amid our Zoom-filled days.
Also, we will offer breakout sessions like: Your Career Path is a Journey – Are You Navigating?, Choose to Challenge, Taking Grit to a New Level, Owning your Personal Brand, among others.
The day will close with an all-star Ciena panel with members from our Leadership team, highlighting the importance of allyship."
Celebrating a Culture Where Everyone Can Thrive — Autodesk
"Autodesk is proud to celebrate Women History Month by hosting a series of events. Autodesk Women Network (AWN), one of the company's many ERGs, is pleased to kick-off the month with a fireside chat featuring Herminia Ibarra to discuss diversity, authentic leadership, belonging, and the important role we all play in making Autodesk a place where people of all gender identifies can thrive. Furthermore, we have coordinated a series of talks, workshops, and a belonging circle on Belonging and Authentic Leadership. We are excited to kick-off March events and celebrate women globally! #Autodesklife"
Honest Discussions on Supporting Women — LogMeIn
Women around the world continue to be dramatically impacted by the shift in how we work. At LogMeIn, we believe we each have a responsibility to challenge gender bias and inequity in the modern workforce and find creative ways to seek out and celebrate women's achievements, especially in a remote environment. Join us on March 24th at 11:00 a.m. EST for a discussion about this year's WHM theme: explore why women need our support now more than ever, and what you can do to support women in this new flexible working era. Register here."
Coaching Circles and Leadership Forums — NBA
"The NBA's Women's Network conducts a series of year-long coaching circles. Circles are small groups of 10-12 women who want to connect, learn and grow together. This is a safe space for women to connect and share experiences and also build new skills together. This year's theme is Finding Personal & Professional Success in 2021 and each circle will meet virtually 6 times during the year.
The NBA is also hosting the 3rd Annual Women's Leadership Forum, a gathering of women from the league office and NBA, WNBA, G League, 2K League and Basketball Africa League teams. At this year's forum, we will celebrate champions and changemakers who will lead discussions that empower us to inspire one another, break down barriers and learn from our collective experience to achieve our full potential."
Leading by Example — Bumble
"Bumble is a women-led company that has an equitable gender representation within our C-suite with 54% comprising of women. Furthermore, 73% of Bumble's board is made up of women. At Bumble, we truly value cultivating a culture that's rooted in kindness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion, and growth. This means that from the very beginning of the hiring process, we actively seek diverse candidates and our careers page strongly encourages people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and non-binary people, as well as individuals with disabilities to apply.
Bumble is excited to celebrate Women's History Month this year through the following lineup of programming for our global team:
- International Women's Day Kickoff: Team members will be invited to participate in their #ChooseToChallenge social campaign by sharing their commitment to gender equality throughout their social channels.
- Throughout the month, we will host interactive events that will foster community by inviting amazing guest speakers from organizations such as PowerToFly to share why fast-tracking gender equality is essential to prosperity for all, to a panel event featuring women in leadership at Bumble about the importance of community connections and women lifting up other women."
Building a “Foundation for Progress” — Procore
"Procore is a people-first company, and we remain committed to our vision of improving the lives of everyone in construction––regardless of race, gender, background, or otherwise. At its core, our vision is founded on inclusion, with a focus on enabling every person at Procore, and in the industry, to do their best work. We have revisited our employee calibration practices and focused on hiring a workforce with more women and people of color. We've also taken steps to educate our leaders by offering mentorship and training opportunities.
As part of International Women's Day and Women's History Month in March, Procore is organizing several activities to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in the construction industry and beyond. We recently hosted an external webinar on the future of Women in Construction as part of our series 'Foundations for Progress.' Our employees and industry professionals were invited to join construction leaders as they took stock of the progress women in construction have made and the work that still has to be done. This month, we're publishing a number of thought leadership articles to provide guidelines, stories, and anecdotes that inspire action. Read more about the impact of Procore's Women in Construction efforts."
Leveling Up Skillsets — uShip
In our weekly company newsletter, we highlight different events going on in our local community as it relates to Women's History Month, that employees can attend, watch online, or read about."
Sourcing Talent from Within — Primer
"When we have an open leadership role, we intentionally source women candidates either internally or externally. We know we'll be growing and women in management positions now will be in senior leadership positions in the future. We are also building relationships between our employees, and women leaders on our Advisory board. We know mentorship is important for women as they take on leadership roles.
We are engaging with the women of Primer to understand what would be most meaningful for them. Some of the ideas we are considering are swag celebrating women at the company, events with women leadership mentors, and virtual luncheons."
Intersectional Empowerment — S&P Global
"In celebration of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, S&P Global will highlight employee testimonials internally and externally in addition to feature programming with women thought leaders. Our Employee Resource Groups play an integral role in our employee engagement. This month we are partnering with WINS: Women's Initiative for Networking and Success and BOLD: Black Organization for Leadership & Development to welcome esteemed speakers Lola Akinmade Akerstrom and Baroness Floella Benjamin to speak to our employees on the theme #ChooseToChallenge."
Video to include: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmJgm4AxmeA
Honoring a History of Women — T. Rowe Price
These pioneers brought invaluable skill sets and unwavering commitment to the firm.
Isabella Craig handled statistical calculations and accounting before becoming the Secretary of the corporation and a client counselor. Early associates credited her talents as a major influence on the quality of the firm.
Marie Walper managed administrative duties during the firm's formative years. As the firm grew, she remained Mr. Price's personal assistant and sounding board. She also helped codify the firm's ethics and served as treasurer.
We pay homage to our history as we honor women at the firm today."
Intentional Hiring & Promotion in Leadership — VideoAmp
"As a People First organization, we believe in promoting from within as our default to accelerate career growth. This philosophy has resulted in several promotions to leadership and executive roles for the women in our workforce, most recently in the Engineering department, Client Success, and on the Revenue team.
Our diversity partnership with PowerToFly has been beneficial in bringing more interest, attention, and active applications for roles at VideoAmp by women interested in the adtech space from around the country. Most recently, we welcomed a highly talented woman in a leadership role on our Engineering team, a department that historically has lacked a strong female presence, and we expect to continue this effort as a priority. We celebrate and seek out those with unique experiences to further a culture of belonging and innovation. Our business is growing and this means we expect the opportunity for women to grow at VideoAmp. Together we rise!
- Embrace wellness is a core value at VideoAmp, and to honor and celebrate the women in our workforce, this year we're hosting a wellness practitioner to take us through a guided mindfulness practice focused on self-compassion and self-care, from the unique perspective of women in the workplace. Our goal is to give back to the women who contribute everyday as a means to celebrate and give thanks."
We asked 30+ women how you can make 2021 your best year yet.
Resolutions are one thing. Goals are another.
How do you move from vaguely hopeful statements about what 2021 will mean for you personally and professionally to thoughtful plans that are likely to come to fruition?
You set good goals. Specific goals. Goals that tie back to your values, goals that can be tracked, goals that make you excited to get out and start working towards them.
We asked 32 incredible and accomplished women about the advice they'd share with anyone looking to make 2021 their year. Here's what they had to say!
1. Make goal setting a ritual.
Sure, a new year is just a change of date, an arbitrary way to mark time. But if we create meaning around it, it can become something else entirely. Carmen Kelly, Training & Development Team Leader at Quicken Loans, likes to see it as a real beginning. "I enjoy embracing the fresh, new year with hope of what could be, and a huge part of that is goal setting," she says. "Having goals in life is essential. Even creating goals for different areas of your life is key. This can help with making sure you are balancing out all critical aspects of your life that are most important to you."
Starting with reflection can help make sure that your goals are well-connected to where you are mentally, personally, and professionally. "I always start with reflecting on my past to gain better understanding of myself," says Ankita Patel, Principal Software Engineer at Clarus. "What my capabilities are versus what I really foresee myself doing in next quarter or so. It allows me to see where I stand, what difficulties I have faced, and to shift my perspective from doubting myself to believing in myself. It forms the baseline of starting fresh and helping me plan for my future."
For Jess Tsai, VP of Business Operations at VTS, the ritual of goal setting begins with a long journaling session. "I reflect on the last year and rate myself on a scale of 1-10 for how happy I am in these ten areas: health, emotional/mental, relationships (friends/family), love/romance, service, learning/personal growth, experiences, spirituality, career, and finances," she says. "In the areas where I scored lower, I reflect on why. Then I go through each area and write out in detail what my life would look like if I scored 10 in each area, and try to visualize that life and feel like I'm already there. Depending on my scores and what's most important to me right now, I set some intentions for where I want to focus for the year."
2. Build around your values.
Disparate goals scattered across different aspects of life aren't as likely to motivate you as one set of goals that coalesce around a theme, says Jac Le, a Senior Territory Sales Representative at Autodesk. "Whether or not you're conscious of it, values are the foundation of goals, dreams, character, and decision making," she says. "Instead of creating New Year Resolutions, I create a Theme that I want to focus on for the year, which is based on my values. It can be a word or phrase. From there, every goal set throughout the year is measured in alignment with that Theme to ensure that my goals are an expression and enhancement to my values instead of a stressor to check off."
If you're having trouble thinking of a good place to start from, or naming the values that drive your everyday life, Dipabali Chowdhury, a Learning & Development Specialist at MongoDB, has advice that can help. "The more self-awareness you can build, the more specific your goals will be and the more motivated you will be. Sometimes, we set goals without understanding what's important to us. We follow someone else's compass instead of our own," she says. She suggests asking yourself reflection questions: "When I was happy at work, what contributed to that joy? When and why was I frustrated at work? What mindsets held me back from achieving my goals this year? What challenges did I overcome? What are my natural strengths? What skills, knowledge, or behaviors do I want to build in the new year?"
Claire Lucas, Senior Manager, Services Operations at Elastic, suggests beginning with an end vision in mind. "I work backwards," she says. "I journal about my vision for the end of the year, trying to think about it uninhibited from any constraints. I then focus on creating a declaration for myself that will help me break through to reach my goals. The declaration ties together who I am today, and who I need to be in the future to fulfill this goal."
3. Consider making personal and professional goals in harmony.
You might have personal goals that are completely unrelated to what you do at work. That's okay! Great, even. But you do need to make sure that they are complimentary at least so far as how they'll be achieved, says Lee Ann Mangels, Senior Director of Program Management at Clyde. "Your personal and professional goals have to be somewhat aligned. If you decide to improve your time management in the new year, it will only work if the practice or process you start applies to your home and work life," she says. She gives an example: "Several years ago, I started taking 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon to review the week ahead. What meetings do I need to prepare for? What are we having for dinner? Do I have to coordinate any personal appointments for our family? Investing 30 minutes on Sunday has been a game changer for me."
4. Start big, then whittle down as needed.
Being aspirational when you make your goals is key—but so is creating a practical plan to achieve them. "I always try to look at the bigger picture [when goal setting]," says Beatriz Alvarez, Talent Acquisition Sr. Analyst - Recruitment Events Lead at Lockheed Martin. "I try to set a long term goal that seems impossible, making sure it is measurable, down-to-earth, and real—and most importantly, that it is motivating. Once I have my eyes on the prize, I strategize by setting up a group of smaller goals that will help me achieve it."
That being said, it's important to not lose sight of those aspirations, either. Amanda Fennell, Chief Security Officer at Relativity, has advice for finding the Goldilocks moment between too-easy and too-hard goals, finding the just-right pace where you're pushing yourself: "You never know how far you can go unless you set stretch goals. If I only set goals that I knew I could ace, it would be stacking the deck. I want to know how far I can push myself and in taking this approach, I have achieved some pretty amazing things. As Captain Marvel says: 'Higher, further, faster.'"
Yasameen Raissinia, APAC Commercial New Business Manager at Smartsheet, is a fan of the stretch goal, too. "I always like to push myself either personally or professionally to hit smaller attainable goals that add up to a big audacious goal. For example, I always try to set the goal of getting to the Presidents Club which typically has a goal post of 130%, which is massively difficult to achieve. In order to get there, I try and break down my weeks and my quota to overachieve, and try to give myself smaller goals around numbers of accounts, or contracts I close per week, helping me get to the major and impressive goal!" she says.
Bridget Barrot, Chainalysis's VP of Customer Success, has a three-step framework for getting that balance right. "The best lesson I've learned about setting goals is they need to be simplistic, realistic, and strategic," she says. "Simplistic: It's important to find things that are easy to measure, so that you can regularly assess them. Anything that requires too much work to analyze will set you up for failure. Realistic: Stretch goals are important, but it's also important to be practical about what you can complete in any quarter or year. When they get too lofty or too numerous, it's easy to just give up on them all together. Strategic: It's important to differentiate between goals and a 'to do' list. Goals can be a mix of big and small things, but they must be grounded in results rather than just a list of tasks to check off."
5. Write goals down.
"We're all familiar with the numerous studies that underscore the correlation between writing down our goals and our ability to achieve them," says Shavit Bar-Nahum, Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at Moody's Corporation. "The bottom line is, if it's not documented, it's less likely to happen, you are less likely to hold yourself accountable, and it's much easier to slip back into old habits and behaviors. So whether you are embarking on a new opportunity, learning a new skill, or increasing your sales objective, write it down. And not just for yourself. From documenting it in a system of record to creating a visual reminder for yourself, capture your goals in a way that you and others can see your intentions and can support you on your journey."
Going beyond writing down goals can help, too. Mary Kay Evans, pymetrics' Chief Marketing Officer, recognizes the power of writing down her own story: "One of the most challenging and rewarding exercises for me was actually writing out my story. Not goals in a bullet point list, but rather in a story format as though it's already happened. I began the year 2018 by writing the story I wanted to tell by January 2019. It was a narrative looking back on my accomplishments and challenges faced and how exactly I overcame them. By being vivid and specific, like a good narrative requires, I really had to bring my vision of the year ahead to life. It went beyond simply listing my goals to describing outcomes and how I would experience them. This preparation made all the difference as 2018 was a year of tremendous growth and accomplishment for me. It works!"
6. Find a way to track your goals over time.
The many women we talked to had different ways of tracking, but the unifying thread is that each had found a way that worked for them. Alisa Cash, Director of IT Solution Delivery at BCBSNC, sums up the key approach: "Do not set a goal that cannot be measured. This does not have to be an emphatic measurement (such as achieving 100% on time delivery = x; 90% on time delivery =y), although the more you can do this, the clearer resources tend to be."
For Sarah Morningstar, Ph.D., Data Researcher at Primer, breaking her goals into timely metrics helps. "I have found that I am more likely to achieve my goals if they include specific and actionable metrics; otherwise, it is hard to determine if I am successful," she says. "For example, one of my goals for 2021 is to practice more yoga. However, the term 'more' is vague and difficult to know when I have achieved it. Instead of more yoga, I decided I wanted that to mean that I will practice yoga at least two times per week. Over the year, I need to practice 104 times or 26 times per quarter to be successful. Each quarter I work backward from 26, I do more some weeks, and others it's less. I allow this flexibility because I know that being a mom and a working professional, I can't always control my schedule."
Amanda Sternklar, Marketing Director at State Listings, agrees, and notes that she checks in on her progress every week: "The most important thing for me is ensuring my goals are measurable, through metrics directly related to my own activities. That means that if I want to increase our blog following in the new year, my goals would look something like 'Create 3 original blog posts each week' and 'Be a guest contributor on 10 blogs in 2021.' That way, I can create a tracker—mine is a physical page in my planner, but there are also various apps that help with this—to see my progress at a glance. I review my tracker on the first Monday of each month to make sure I'm on track and figure out any steps I need to take if I'm not."
Amy Luo, Senior Product Designer at Lattice, likes identifying specific behaviors that she can easily keep in mind. "Be specific and focus on actions or behavior when defining your goals," she says. "Try setting a number you want to achieve or a completion date. It'll help keep you on track and you can clearly measure your progress toward the goal over time. For example, if you want to work on your writing skills, a general goal like 'Become a better writer' would be too vague and difficult to measure. A specific and actionable version could be 'Write for 30 minutes every day' or 'Publish an article every month.'"
For Stacey Chase, Senior Manager Internal Audit at Siemens, adding a visual element to her goal metrics is what keeps her on track. "I use a Kanban board on Trello to plan and organize my activity," she says. "In my first column I list my goals for the year and assign them a color. As I work on things throughout the year and add tasks I tie them back by color to the goal the effort is in service to. This helps me multiple ways. First, it is a visible reminder I see daily or weekly of the goals I have set. Second, I am constantly tying back my efforts and time spent back to my goals. Third, it gives me early warning that my goals or my efforts may need to be reevaluated if I find most of my energy is spent on things other than my goals."
7. Don’t keep your goals to yourself!
Many of the women we spoke to highlighted how important it is for your goals, personal and professional, to exist outside of your own head. "Be sure to share your aspirations with others and ask for feedback along the way—don't assume your supervisor knows your near and longer-term plans," says Wyetta Morrow, Executive Director, Human Resources at Raytheon Technologies. That's particularly true for goals that can be advanced at work, she notes, adding, "Our career journey includes a village and it helps to have others that can advocate for you when you may not be present."
And there's no need to limit that sharing to just your manager—what about all of the other people that care about you and want to see you succeed? Janet Higgins, Vice President of Regional Sales at Ciena, suggests broadening your circle. "Build a support group around you. Share your goals and your thinking with your trusted mentors and friends. Actively think about who you can leverage in this way. Chances are they would be more than happy to reciprocate. Seeking the perspective of people outside your industry who only have your best interests at heart and are willing to give you straight honesty is pure gold," she says.
8. Considering making your goals three-dimensional.
Writing down your goals is a classic approach, but if you have a creative bent or are a more visual learner, maybe going a step farther and making a concrete representation of your goals will help you focus on them. "Try creating a vision board that includes pictures and words of the mini goals and milestones you want to focus on to help you achieve your bigger picture goal," says Gursharn Dhami, Senior Global HR Business Partner at Stack Overflow. "If you make it visible, you may just feel more accountable to accomplish what you've envisioned for yourself!"
Brooke Kaylor, Program Manager, National Security Group at Primer, agrees with the power of seeing your goals around you. "Visualize it. Decide what it is you want to do and make it so real you can touch it, see it, taste it. When I decided to change my career completely, I put things into my workspace that reminded me of where I wanted to go. Articles, photographs — anything that kept my focus on my goal," she says.
9. Tackle the hardest things first—if that’s possible (ribbit).
There's an argument to be made for starting with easy wins, but Laura Ripans, Datadog's Director of Channels & Alliances, won't be making it. "Get the important things done first," she says. "For me, this is early in the morning when I have no distractions. Stay focused and concentrate on the things that matter most." She suggests reading Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. "There's an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're done with the worst thing you'll have to do all day. For Tracy, eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task—but also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life," she says.
As it turns out, Claudia Petrocchi, Executive Director of HR Operations for CSL, is a big fan of the frog approach, too. "Years ago, someone shared a Mark Twain quote with me: 'If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.' This quote clicked with me—it's so visual that it really helps me. Normally I would wait the whole day and think how awful this frog will be. But now, I'll eat the frog right away. For years I had a sticker of a frog on my laptop. So, if I had that crazy email or that crazy project, that would be my frog."
Sasi Murthy, VP, Product and Solutions Marketing at Netskope, has a visual trick to help you remember to keep that big, hard goal front and center: "Invest time in thinking about what you want to achieve, not how you will do it. Then find a jar and place a big rock or a few that represent these goals inside, and fill the rest with smaller rocks. This will be a reminder that we are most effective at anything we set out to do, when we give it the space in our 'mental jar' first, and follow it with the smaller goals."
That being said, make sure the hard thing you're going after is even possible. For Shelly Anderson Bodine, a Chief of Staff at SoftwareONE, remembering that she's operating in an environment where she can't control everything is key. "I once had a leader tell me you needed two things to get promoted," she says. "First, a position had to be available, and second, you had to be ready for the role when it was available. That feedback has always stuck with me throughout my career. I realized I really only had control over the latter. So each time I would move into a new role, I gave myself 6 months to acclimate. At that point, I evaluated what I could do to be better than the next person in the role I have and where do I want to go next. From there, I would create a list of things that would bring me closer to my end game, narrow down to the 2-3 most impactful, and those became my goals."
10. Goals aren’t set-it-and-forget-it.
If you set goals in January and ignore them from then on out, your chance of marking them "achieved" at the end of the year is low. "Try not to think of goal setting as a yearly activity," says Sarah Burke, Senior Director of Software Engineering at Ciena. "Achieving goals requires continual review and reassessment of priorities. Book some personal time in your calendar once a month to remind yourself to check in on how you're progressing and hold yourself accountable for re-adjusting. You are responsible for your success!"
11. Go beyond a 12-month horizon.
Many of the things you're most interested in—be it becoming a VP, launching your own company, writing a book, finishing an advanced degree moving to a different country, or any other number of goals—might not happen in just one year. Tami Early, VP and General Manager Sales—Major Accounts at Ciena, suggests breaking down your goals into "digestible and achievable bites." She uses the VSEM method: setting a 5+ year vision, a 2-4 year strategy, a 12-18 execution plan, and 12-month rolling metrics. "This method of goal setting allows me to think about my long- and short-term objectives, while holding myself accountable to measurable outcomes inside of a year," she says.
12. Treat yourself with grace.
You won't achieve all of your goals, and that's okay. As Megan Sykes, Contracts Manager at Elastic reminds us, "Don't set overbearing expectations on yourself. Afford yourself grace. While it's important to progress personally and professionally, we have to be adaptable to the circumstances around us (which can change over time) and live with integrity."
That's never been more important than after the year 2020. "I'm very goal orientated both personally and professionally," shares Amanda Eleuteri, a Sr. HR Business Partner at CarGurus. "Early on in my career, I would feel defeated if I didn't achieve my goals for the year. I try to be mindful that sometimes a goal is not achieved because priorities change. That was certainly the case in 2020 as needs in the business evolved and what I was focusing on shifted in response."
NSA's Meredith D., PhD, echoes the importance of revisiting, and revising, your goals: "Your goals are not meant to be set in stone! There are several factors that can require them to change, even dramatically at times. Be flexible and willing to change your SMART goals. Sometimes we can foresee that the goal is not going to be achieved in our original timeframe. Or we change our mind completely! This is not a failure. It is an opportunity to reflect and revise the goal given the new information at hand."
After all, it's about the journey, not the destination. "The process of working toward a goal is often more important than achieving the goal itself," says Stephanie Cheng, Product Engineer at Folsom Labs. "The shape or timeline of your goal can change as long as you check in with yourself and continue to consistently work toward them. It's okay if you don't achieve your goal on the first try. Working toward goals is really about building the muscle memory to form slightly better habits each year. With consistency, patience, and positivity you can build the tools you need to succeed."
Think you may want to work with one of the incredible women highlighted here? Check out open roles at the companies mentioned:
- Apply for open roles at CarGurus
- Apply for open roles at NSA
- Apply for open roles at Folsom Labs
- Apply for open roles at Autodesk
- Apply for open roles at Clyde
- Apply for open roles at Lockheed Martin
- Apply for open roles at Relativity
- Apply for open roles at Smartsheet
- Apply for open roles at VTS
- Apply for open roles at MongoDB
- Apply for open roles at Chainalysis
- Apply for open roles at Moody's Corporation
- Apply for open roles at pymetrics
- Apply for open roles at BCBSNC
- Apply for open roles at State Listings
- Apply for open roles at Lattice
- Apply for open roles at Siemens
- Apply for open roles at Raytheon Technologies
- Apply for open roles at Stack Overflow
- Apply for open roles at Primer
- Apply for open roles at Datadog
- Apply for open roles at CSL
- Apply for open roles at Netskope
- Apply for open roles at SoftwareONE
- Apply for open roles at Ciena
- Apply for open roles at Quicken Loans
- Apply for open roles at Clarus
- Apply for open roles at Elastic
With "back to school" looking just a little different this year, we asked our partner companies what they're doing to make the transition as smooth as possible for parents.
Being a parent was hard already. Then came a pandemic that shuttered schools and childcare facilities and added "teacher" and "round-the-clock caretaker" to the list of things that American parents must be for their kids. And with many schools not planning to open for several more months (and many of the ones that have opened finding that they need to shut their doors again), it's looking like that will be the case for a while. Working parents will have to continue to juggle the wellbeing, education, and raising of their children while also doing their full-time jobs either remotely or in-person as essential workers.
Many companies are stepping up to help make that juggling go a little easier.
Some already had generous policies to support parents and others are experimenting with what works for their employees for the first time. While parent-specific policies have caused a stir at some tech companies, taking care of working parents allows them to participate more fully at work and improves retention across an organization.
Here at PowerToFly, we have the privilege of partnering with companies who truly believe in creating work environments where everyone—including and especially women and underrepresented minorities—can thrive. We asked several of our clients to share ways that they are supporting the working parents on their teams in the hopes that their ideas and policies can shed some light on what industry-leading companies are doing in this space and inspire others to do the same.
So, whether you're looking for ways that your company can do better, or if you're a job seeker looking for your next role at a parent-friendly company, we hope you'll be inspired by some of these initiatives:
Flatiron Health is enabling flexibility
"With parents of school-age children facing so much uncertainty during the pandemic, Flatiron Health has extended policies to support employees with children. Flatiron promotes a flexible working environment, allowing parents the time and space to attend to childcare and facilitate education. All Flatiron employees have been given permission to work remotely until July 2021, which allows parents to move temporarily to a location that may be more ideal to coordinate childcare and schooling. This flexible environment includes empowering parents to block their calendars for childcare and schooling and communicate openly to their teams about their roles and expectations as their children return to school. In partnership with The Next Generation, the Parents' Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Flatiron Health, parents are also invited to take part in supportive discussions via Slack conversations and in smaller Zoom support groups to highlight and address the needs of the parenting community."
Learn more about Flatiron Health here.
Bridgewater Associates is investing in parental wellbeing
"In response to COVID-19, Bridgewater Associates has made several enhancements to our existing benefits program to help employees and their families stay safe, juggle their personal responsibilities, and support their overall wellbeing in this time of uncertainty. An area of focus has been supporting working parents and caregivers during this time. In addition to existing parent discussion groups, generous PTO, and unlimited sick days that provide flexibility to all, we added these new benefits with parents in mind:
- Flexible working hours
- Additional discounts for online academic support and tutoring
- Assistance in sourcing educators, distance learning supervisors, and childcare professionals
- Expanded back-up childcare options
To address the coronavirus itself, the firm assists in finding local testing options, provides case management to those testing positive, and will put on a drive-up flu vaccination clinic in the fall for all employees and families to mitigate against the compounding risk of both viruses.
More about Bridgewater's approach to benefits here."
Learn more about Bridgewater here.
Elastic is encouraging parents to “shut it down”
"Elastic is supporting parents by providing essential time off during COVID-19 with regular shut-it-down days. Shut-it-down days happen twice a month, allowing parents (and all our Elasticians) time to rest, reset, and deal with challenges. In addition, all Elasticians have four weeks of COVID time off to use if a loved one is ill, for spending time with family for things like homeschooling, or just to take care of themselves (sometimes parents need extra care, too). We've also invited experts such as parent educator Julie King to run 'Parenting in a Pandemic' seminars that offer strategies for handling a changing education environment. Lastly, our Elasticians support one another through community Slack channels that offer a safe space to share practical advice for new parents, parents with teens, homeschooling, and beyond."
Learn more about Elastic here.
PwC is subsidizing childcare
"PwC is offering an array of options to help support working parents in the ways that works best for them. The firm recently introduced a sabbatical option for up to six months, is offering enhanced support for those working reduced schedules, and is giving some roles the option to participate in job sharing. PwC has doubled its back-up care reimbursement amount to $2,000, which can be used to pay any caregiver—including friends and family members—to help with child care. The firm's emphasis on protected time provides working parents time to tend to homeschool needs during the work day. The firm is offering discounts on tuition programs, tutoring, and college admissions counseling. PwC also offers mental health support resources for its employees and their families at no cost. This includes access to 1-on-1 virtual coaching, community support groups, free meditation and well-being apps, trauma counseling and online resources."
Facebook is changing employee evaluation
"Facebook made several changes to support our employees during this time. We removed all performance ratings as a way to address the anxiety, uncertainty, and conditions we were all dealing with. We introduced new paid-time off programs to care for family and are offering flexibility to our employees in terms of work schedules—allowing for alternate working hours—and the ability to go offline for chunks of hours, without taking paid time off. We've also provided financial support for work-from-home set ups and childcare.
By recognizing and acknowledging the variety of circumstances impacting so many people right now, we've helped to make sure that our teams empathize with this uncertainty and need for flexibility given whatever we may be facing personally. And from a recruiting perspective, we now offer candidates the ability to split their interview over multiple days.
Maxine Williams, Chief Diversity Officer at Facebook, puts it this way: 'When people feel vulnerable, they don't need you to solve the problem for them, but they do need to know that you are there for them if they need it.'"Learn more about Facebook here.
Schneider Electric is listening to parents
"At Schneider Electric, we are focused on listening to our working parents and quickly adapting to their needs as school starts back in this challenging environment. We have encouraged parents to take advantage of existing programs like flexible work arrangements, added more options (like online, phone, chat, and video counseling options) through our EAP for those needing additional support, and introduced new programs like temporary part-time options to better manage life's current demands. We are working alongside employees so they know they are not alone; bringing in external experts for live virtual sessions, offering forums for employees to share their concerns and ideas, and providing virtual training on everything from practical remote-working tips to how to build resilience and avoid burnout. The employee feedback we gain from surveys and crowdsourcing will lead to additional programs and resources in the coming weeks."
Learn more about Scheider Electric here.
CarGurus is seeking to understand parents' needs
"We aim to create a safe space for parents to share their concerns, fears, emotions and other thoughts pertaining to back to school. We have offered the following to the parents at CarGurus:
- An employee resource group (ERG) for working parents and caregivers to give a voice for the organization's parents
- Informal roundtable discussions with the working parents and executives at CarGurus to communicate any frustrations and discuss tips, tricks, and thoughts on how to care for children as we work remotely during the pandemic
- Unlimited paid time off (PTO), which the senior executive team highly encourages the company to use
- Options to decrease or end contributions to dependent care FSAs when camps and childcare facilities closed
- A premium membership to Care.com for all CarGurus employees
CarGurus' goal is to keep discussions open with our Parent ERG and continue to be flexible in terms of receiving feedback and adapting as the school year progresses. Knowing that what works this month may not work next month, we believe that being flexible and understanding will be one of the best things we can do for the working parents at CarGurus."
Learn more about CarGurus here.
Bounteous is providing resources to make schooling easier
"Bounteous understands that the school season will look a little different this year. Whether children have opted for in-person or remote learning, we know that this is unchartered territory for our parents. To navigate through this work and school from home experience, our team has created a B: Connected Guide filled with professional resources, helpful videos, and links as well as a calendar complete with supplemental activities to support families throughout the day.
Team members can access creative learning pages and inclusive social opportunities to engage children of all ages, including college-bound students. This guide also provides parents with tips around safe social interaction and a list of extracurriculars ranging from books clubs to cooking lessons, and more. We want to put our team members at ease and provide stability in and outside of the Bounteous community."
Learn more about Bounteous here.
AAA is bringing parents together to help each other
"AAA is happy to have a dedicated Business Resource Group called Parents@AAA. Our BRG is composed of parents from all backgrounds and walks of life, who span across all levels and roles within our organization, united under the common goal of supporting working parents. We are supporting parents and their children's unique back-to-school situations by providing resources tailored to their individual needs. We have compiled information on COVID requirements and district expectations across our 7 states, in one place for parents to easily navigate. We actively provide ongoing tips and best practices for parents to navigate these uncharted waters. We provide our parents with resources through our Employee Assistance Program for needs like counseling, parenting tips, homeschooling resources, and work-life balance best practices. We stay in the forefront of these changing times by having so many of our team members actively involved in helping one another, together."
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is connecting parents with childcare resources
"We want to say to working parents: we see you, and we want to help. Nearly a quarter of our workforce at Blue Cross NC has children age 13 and younger at home. While our own onsite backup childcare center will be closed through at least the end of 2020, we're supporting our parents in many ways during this time. We're:
- Providing qualified employees with a childcare subsidy to help offset costs for tutoring, remote learning supplies and equipment, childcare, and more
- Connecting our parents virtually through a "Pandemic Parenting" group on Yammer, our internal social media platform
- Offering discounts to childcare finders, like nanny services and Sitter City, and tutoring services
- Setting the expectation that leaders and employees will be open to flexible work schedules to support this new work life"
Gainsight is welcoming family member cameos
"At Gainsight, we have set up a slack support group and Employee Resource Group for employees with children. We also have arranged for flexible schedules and have a policy that welcomes children (and pets) to say hello in Zoom meetings. Over the summer, we also set up a 'Lil' Gainsters' Summer camp with Zoom meetings that included arts and crafts, reading with our CEO and CMO, and cooking segments. It was a blast!"
Learn more about Gainsight here.
Mindbody is enabling at-home school with tech
"Mindbody is implementing several new policies and support mechanisms for our working parents. We recognize that parents need flexibility in their jobs now more than ever, and to feel confident that they will not be evaluated in an inequitable fashion to their colleagues in their work performance. We are giving parents the opportunity to work with their leaders on their schedules and empowering them to do so. In addition, to create transparency for team members and their colleagues, we have updated the default Slack status options to include a designation for childcare. This indicates to others who may be contacting working parents that responses may be delayed. Additionally, there is a designated Slack channel for parents across the organization to share and connect. Finally, Mindbody is implementing a new IT hardware recycling program where our retired functional IT equipment like desktops, monitors, and laptops will be available for team members to have mailed to their homes for their children to use for distance learning. This program will be ongoing and meant to first support team members who are in need of financial assistance for IT hardware."
VideoAmp is putting parents first
"Our People Team quickly mobilized to figure out what the top concerns and priorities were for parents at VideoAmp. We used guided questions on topics like the tactics of back-to-school, emotional concerns, work implications, and employees' goals to better understand their needs. From what we learned, we're now encouraging all employees to be mindful of their peers' calendar work blocks and to respect time set aside for family meals, daily breaks, and time spent supporting their children with things like schoolwork.
Through our ongoing health and wellness initiatives, we strongly encourage kids to join our virtual dance and fitness classes with their parents. We also partner with Modern Health and offer company-funded mental health support, education, and resources for all employees and their eligible dependents. The telehealth service offers parent circles led by registered therapists where people can openly share their questions and concerns.
From its inception, VideoAmp has had a People First philosophy. We are passionate about health and wellness, and take the needs of our parent employees to heart. To this end, we offer annual vacation cash stipends to support taking time to reset and spend time with loved ones. For parents specifically, there are resources for child care and ongoing educational needs which they are eligible for from their first day at VideoAmp."
Learn more about VideoAmp here.
Chainalysis is welcoming inverted working hours
"Chainalysis has approached the COVID-19 pandemic with flexibility and grace from the start and as school resumes, we've doubled down on that approach. This translates to flexible (or inverted) working hours for parents with the full support of our leadership team and CEO as well as an environment that welcomes impromptu cameos on Zoom from children, pets, and spouses. We have a #parentlife Slack channel that gives parents an outlet to discuss back-to-school options, day to day challenges, and the inevitable novel and often humorous situations we're finding ourselves in. While we don't know what the finale of this journey looks like, we're committed to iterating and adjusting as much as possible for our team and their families."
Primer is normalizing the challenges of parenthood
"We are supporting parents by giving them explicit permission to manage their time including homeschooling during the traditional workday. At our last all-hands, our whole executive team communicated that as long as people get their work done, they are free to do it however works best for them and to take the time they need to support their kids. Second, we created a 'guide to working with parents' and circulated it around the company. This helps non-parents empathize and understand the experience parents are going through.
The main goal is to normalize what's happening so people can live their lives openly without judgment, and to make sure parents feel they can speak up about their situation."
Learn more about Primer here.
ServiceNow is investing in a culture of belonging for parents
"ServiceNow continues to pay attention to our employees' well-being by helping them avoid burnout and being mindful of external factors. We've added a stipend for employees around the world to set up their home offices, and a Perk Allowance program so employees can purchase products or services, including childcare and homeschool resources (textbooks, education classes & supplies), as well as personal technology equipment and packages to support at-home learning for kids. Even ServiceNow's Workplace Services teams around the world got creative, coming up with ways to keep employees connected with social activities in a virtual environment. From regular fitness classes to family game nights, to virtual happy hours and even cooking classes, the employee activities served as reminders of our culture of belonging, even when people couldn't be physically together."
Learn more about ServiceNow here.
Kensho is getting creative (hello, Uber Eats family dinners and No Meeting Thursdays)
"Kensho has always fully supported working parents and this unprecedented time is no exception. It's not enough to say we have a 'flex schedule'; you have to walk the talk, and our leadership team does just that. Our CEO, Adam Broun, recently mentioned in a company-wide meeting that schools will be back in session, which may impact parents' schedules, and we will work with them to meet their needs. In addition to flexible schedules, we offer a monthly stipend for Uber Eats for families to enjoy a meal together, as well as 'No Meeting Thursdays,' which helps parents plan their schedules. We also have the Kensho Parents Slack channel where parents support each other by sharing current news articles, words of encouragement, ideas and of course bragging about and sharing pictures of our beautiful children. And on the days when flexible schedules and friendly advice isn't enough, we have our unlimited vacation policy to use to recharge. The Kensho Family extends far beyond the walls of our offices and we truly care about each individual Kenshin."
New Relic is expanding access to childcare
"To better support Relics as we continue during shelter-in-place, we have added a few more items to our support options for caregivers. New Relic is committed to supporting our employees during this challenging time and helping to bring some relief to our employees and their families. Expanded options include:
- Access to Care.com memberships to help employees find trusted caregivers
- Subsidized backup care services for emergency backup needs
- Access to Virtual Babysitter Club, a network of professional performers who immerse children in remote social entertainment for an hour at a time that allows parents to catch a break or get some focus time and can be booked with <24 hours' notice. Activities include adventure games, dance parties, trivia, interactive magic, and puppet shows
- Options to go part-time or take leaves of absence"
Learn more about New Relic here.
Quip is celebrating employees' children
"Parents have a lot on their plates, from juggling work, caring for their families, and balancing busy schedules. Here are some resources available to support parents as children resume schooling:
- "Kiddos" Chat Room: Parents can share their experiences, ask questions, and support each other as we navigate what the new school year looks like.
- B-Well Together Pandemic Parenting series: B-Well Together is a daily 30-minute webinar series, and Friday mornings are dedicated to the topic of parenting during this pandemic
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources include free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and work-life services.
- COVID-19 Global Back-up Child Care: Services include reimbursement for child care and educational support, such as tutoring and learning pods.
- And because we can always use a little more cheer, we recently hosted a Kiddos Live Show where our kiddos showcased their many talents."
Autodesk is piloting a new child care leave program
"Many Autodeskers around the world continue to work from home to stay safe with their loved ones. While working from home has its perks, it also comes with challenges for parents who are balancing both work and parenting. To support our working parents, Autodesk launched the Remote Learning Child Care Leave program in anticipation of the new school year. The program is designed to give parents the flexibility and support to spend time during the work week to focus on their child's needs. Check out @AutodeskLife to see the #AutodeskParents campaign and hear from our Autodeskers on #parentWFHtips."
Learn more about Autodesk here.
Netskope is letting parents choose what's right for them
"Here at Netskope, we understand the challenges that come with managing a workload and children's educational needs. To support health, safety, and our working parents, our offices will remain closed throughout 2020 to provide our employees with the flexibility to be home with their children. We trust that employees will manage their schedules as needed, and invite them to be creative. Some start their day later so they can use the morning to focus on school. Others are working four 10-hour days per week so they can spend a weekday focusing on the educational needs of their children. We encourage our employees to find out what works best for each of them and continue the open dialogue with their management teams. Our employees are the key to the success of our business, and with support and togetherness, we will get through this difficult time."
Learn more about Netskope here.
uShip is leaning into flexible work
"We're supporting our parents by allowing as much flexibility as possible. uShip is not requiring anyone return full time back to the office. We've actually thrived as a remote workforce, and it's really made us challenge the way we view effectiveness of in person collaboration. We're being supportive and flexible with schedules as well, asking parents to block off time when they know they'll be away for an extended period to help with personal matters and schoolwork. We've also found a way to continue providing home-cooked family meals every Friday from our chefs for touchless pick up at our office. There's also a uShip Slack channel dedicated to parents where we can share tips and provide encouragement to each other."
Raytheon Intelligence & Space is helping parents work around school schedules
"Raytheon Intelligence & Space's ultimate success as a company is dependent upon our most important asset — our people. Over the past six months our leaders have been working with their teams to create a culture that allows our workforce to thrive as we continue to adjust to our new work environment. We have listened to employee feedback around childcare challenges and particularly school schedules. Many of our employees are parents now juggling hybrid and remote schooling while simultaneously working to meet our customer commitments. While there is no simple solution, we are thinking creatively to identify solutions that meet the needs of both the business and of our employees. For example, we have made several tools available including flexible work arrangements, Bright Horizons Back-Up Care and Family Support, and our Employee Assistance Program. We are focused on helping our employees navigate these unique and uncertain times."
Learn more about Raytheon Intelligence & Space here.