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.
Flatiron Health is enabling flexibility<p>"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."<br></p><p><em>Learn more about Flatiron Health</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/flatiron-health-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p><p><em><br></em></p>
Bridgewater Associates is investing in parental wellbeing<p><em>"</em>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:</p><ul><li>Flexible working hours</li><li>Additional discounts for online academic support and tutoring</li><li>Assistance in sourcing educators, distance learning supervisors, and childcare professionals</li><li>Expanded back-up childcare options</li></ul><p>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.</p><p>More about Bridgewater's approach to benefits <a href="https://www.bridgewater.com/ceo-david-mccormick-reflects-on-the-employee-benefits-journey" target="_blank">here</a>."</p><p><em>Learn more about Bridgewater</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/bridgewater-associates" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Elastic is encouraging parents to “shut it down”<p>"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."</p><p><em>Learn more about Elastic</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/elastic" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
PwC is subsidizing childcare<p>"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."<br></p><em>Learn more about PwC</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/pwc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
Facebook is changing employee evaluation<p>"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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.'"</p><em>Learn more about Facebook</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/facebook-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
Schneider Electric is listening to parents<p>"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."<br></p><p><em>Learn more about Scheider Electric</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/schneider-electric" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
CarGurus is seeking to understand parents' needs<p>"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:<br></p><ul><li>An employee resource group (ERG) for working parents and caregivers to give a voice for the organization's parents</li><li>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</li><li>Unlimited paid time off (PTO), which the senior executive team highly encourages the company to use</li><li>Options to decrease or end contributions to dependent care FSAs when camps and childcare facilities closed</li><li>A premium membership to Care.com for all CarGurus employees</li></ul><p>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."</p><p><em>Learn more about CarGurus</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/cargurus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Bounteous is providing resources to make schooling easier<p>"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.<br></p><p>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."</p> <p><em>Learn more about Bounteous</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/bounteous" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
AAA is bringing parents together to help each other<p>"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."<br></p><em>Learn more about AAA</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/aaa" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is connecting parents with childcare resources<p>"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:</p><ul><li>Providing qualified employees with a childcare subsidy to help offset costs for tutoring, remote learning supplies and equipment, childcare, and more</li><li>Connecting our parents virtually through a "Pandemic Parenting" group on Yammer, our internal social media platform</li><li>Offering discounts to childcare finders, like nanny services and Sitter City, and tutoring services</li><li>Setting the expectation that leaders and employees will be open to flexible work schedules to support this new work life"</li></ul><em>Learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/blue-cross-and-blue-shield-of-north-carolina" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
Gainsight is welcoming family member cameos<p><span style="background-color: initial;">"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!"</span><br></p><p><em>Learn more about Gainsight </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/gainsight-inc" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Mindbody is enabling at-home school with tech<p><span style="background-color: initial;">"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."</span><br></p><em>Learn more about MINDBODY </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mindbody" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
VideoAmp is putting parents first<p>"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.<br></p><p>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. </p><p>From its inception, VideoAmp has had a <em>People First</em> 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."</p><br><em>Learn more about VideoAmp</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/videoamp" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
Chainalysis is welcoming inverted working hours<p>"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."<br></p><em>Learn more about </em><em>Chainalysis</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/chainalysis" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
Primer is normalizing the challenges of parenthood<p>"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.<br></p><p>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."</p><p><em>Learn more about Primer</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/primer" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
ServiceNow is investing in a culture of belonging for parents<p>"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."<br></p><p><em>Learn more about ServiceNow</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/servicenow" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Kensho is getting creative (hello, Uber Eats family dinners and No Meeting Thursdays)<p>"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."<br></p><em>Learn more about Kensho</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/kensho-technologies" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
New Relic is expanding access to childcare<p>"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:<br></p><ul><li>Access to Care.com memberships to help employees find trusted caregivers</li><li>Subsidized backup care services for emergency backup needs</li><li>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</li><li>Options to go part-time or take leaves of absence"</li></ul><p><em>Learn more about New Relic</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/new-relic" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Quip is celebrating employees' children<p>"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:<br></p><ul><li>"Kiddos" Chat Room: Parents can share their experiences, ask questions, and support each other as we navigate what the new school year looks like.</li><li>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</li><li>Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources include free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and work-life services.</li><li>COVID-19 Global Back-up Child Care: Services include reimbursement for child care and educational support, such as tutoring and learning pods.</li><li>And because we can always use a little more cheer, we recently hosted a Kiddos Live Show where our kiddos showcased their many talents."</li></ul><em>Learn more about Quip</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/quip" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
Autodesk is piloting a new child care leave program<p>"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 <a href="https://hrexecutive.com/what-this-software-companys-new-childcare-leave-looks-like/" target="_blank">Remote Learning Child Care Leave</a> 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."<br></p><p><em>Learn more about Autodesk</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/autodesk-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Netskope is letting parents choose what's right for them<p>"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."<br></p><p><em>Learn more about Netskope</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/netskope" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
uShip is leaning into flexible work<p>"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."<br></p><em>Learn more about uShip</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/uship-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em>
Raytheon Intelligence & Space is helping parents work around school schedules<p>"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."</p><p><em>Learn more about Raytheon Intelligence & Space <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/raytheon-technologies" target="_blank">here</a>. </em><br></p>
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.
Mindbody empowers employees to act<p>"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."</p><p><em>Learn more about MINDBODY </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mindbody" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Moody's invests in community-building events<p>"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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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."</p><p><em>Learn more about Moody's</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/moody-s-corporation" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a>.</p>
T. Rowe Price drives awareness through conversation<p>"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.</p><p>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."</p><p><em>Learn more about T. Rowe Price</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/t-rowe-price-group-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a>.</p>
PwC supports direct action in their community<p>"PwC stands against racism in the workplace, in our communities and in our country and is taking<a href="https://www.pwc.com/us/en/press-releases/what-pwc-is-doing-to-stand-up-against-racism.html" target="_blank"> six actions</a> 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."</p><p><em>Learn more about PwC</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/pwc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Invesco prioritizes listening and accountability<p>"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<a href="https://players.brightcove.net/24488480001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6165025844001" target="_blank"> embedded in our existing programs</a>, 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."</p><p><em>Learn more about Invesco</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/invesco" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Snap strengthens allyship<p>"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.</p><p>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."</p><p><em>Learn more about Snap</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/snap-inc-co" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
S&P Global makes D&I a core part of business<p>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.</p><p><em>Learn more about S&P Global</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/s-p-global-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
VideoAmp prioritizes education for their entire team<p>"The inflection point for us began the week of George Floyd's murder.</p><p>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.) <em>Learn</em> through self-education 2.) <em>Participate</em> in community outreach and 3.) <em>Give Back</em> 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.</p><p>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<a href="https://blog.powertofly.com/how-leaders-can-support-their-black-employees-2646264009.html" target="_self"> Dionna Smith</a> 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.</p><p>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."</p><p><em>Learn more about VideoAmp</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/videoamp" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Lattice partners with employees and customers to drive change<p>"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."</p><p><em>Learn more about Lattice</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/lattice" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Kensho keeps the conversation going via continuous education<p>"Kensho is committed to educating our employees and fostering an anti-racist culture. Kensho employees recently attended The Adaway Group's <em>Whiteness at Work </em>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."</p><p><em><br>Learn more about Kensho</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/kensho-technologies" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
CarGurus creates a welcoming work environment<p>"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."</p><p><em>Learn more about CarGurus</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/cargurus" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
MongoDB shares resources in their team and in their community<p>"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 (<em>Forbes</em> 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</p><p>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<a href="https://mongodbforjustice.mongodb.events/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow"> MongoDB for Justice fund</a>, in order to raise funds to enable organizations advancing anti-racism work."</p><p><em>Learn more about MongoDB</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mongodb" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Quip centers anti-racism training across their work<p>"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 <em>essential</em> 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:</p><ul><li>Hosting a book club on the book <em>How To Be An Antiracist</em> by Ibram X. Kendi</li><li>Creating a central repository to encourage folks to support organizations fighting racism and police brutality</li><li>Developing a dos and don'ts messaging guide centered around racial equality</li><li>Doing a virtual volunteering event by reading Anti-Racism Children's Book for the kids at UCSF"</li></ul><p><em>Learn more about Quip</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/quip" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Relativity explores diversity within its community<p>"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."</p><p><em>Learn more about Relativity</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/relativity" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Smartsheet builds anti-racist environments, including coding ones<p>"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."</p><p><em>Learn more about </em><em>Smartsheet </em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/smartsheet" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health has always been important, but has been an especially important topic to focus on during these last four weeks, when people of color have continued to suffer disproportionately from COVID-19 while also fighting for racial justice all across the country.
Freddie Mac partners with the experts<p>"Supporting mental well-being is more important than ever. The global pandemic and recent civil unrest have shaped an environment that is especially ripe for generating emotional stress and triggers that may exacerbate or induce mental health conditions," explains Freddie Mac manager Sarah Crump. "We are committed to a stigma-free, inclusive culture and endeavor to support employees the best we can. We developed internal campaigns to share resources—including ones tailored for the Black community and allies—from our partner the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We also have increased communications around our Employee Assistance Program and raised the visibility of our workplace counselor."</p><p><em>Learn more about Freddie Mac</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/freddie-mac" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
MINDBODY centers wellness in everything they do<p>"Mindbody recognizes the systemic inequalities surrounding an individual's wellbeing specific to mental health, especially people of a minority demographic," says manager Morgen Monie. "We are committed to providing our employees and customers an environment where you can be your authentic self as a part of our team, or when working with our team." She highlights specific initiatives available to employees:</p><ul><li>Employee Assistance Program: paid-for visits for team members to meet with a medical professional, councilor, or advisor in topics pertaining to all dimensions of wellness.</li><li>Wellbeing Day & Volunteer Day: days given to employees to take care of themselves, their families, and give back to an organization of their choice</li><li>Free telehealth access, ensuring consistent access regardless of geography</li><li>Free virtual wellness classes taught by Mindbody team members, including yoga and meditation</li></ul><p><em>Learn more about MINDBODY</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mindbody" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Relativity makes it easier to ask for help<p>"People often feel shame in admitting mental health struggles, so it's vital to normalize having open conversations about it at home and in the workplace," says Senior Wellness & HR Program Manager Cherry Mangat. "Minorities face additional barriers such as fewer resources, less dialogue and more stigma, so they're less likely to seek help. Especially today, these factors are magnified. Relativity aims to foster an environment where everyone feels welcome, safe and free to be themselves. We've focused on key areas such as launching an employee resource group focused on mental health, adding the Headspace mindfulness app, offering company-wide training, and creating a role dedicated to employee wellness."</p><p><em>Learn more about Relativity</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/relativity" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Procore creates a culture of inclusion<p>"As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I feel fortunate to work for a company like Procore that puts their employees first and encourages us to do the same for our families," says Cynthia Griffin, Senior Recruiter at Procore. "Procore's African Descent Council (PAC) has been a pivotal part of my growth at Procore and has given me a sense of belonging and community that I continue to lean on today. Through our partnerships with Joyable and ComPsych Guidance Resources, we also have access to counselors, coaching, and other interactive resources that provide us with personalized support."</p><p><em>Learn more about Procore</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/procore-technologies-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Smartsheet shifts priorities to center mental health<p>"With work and life becoming increasingly intertwined amidst a global pandemic and the fight for racial justice, employers have a responsibility to both support and actively encourage good mental health practices among their employees," says Katie Bouwkamp, Smartsheet's Director of Global Culture Communications. "Smartsheet has made this a priority, adding several employer-sponsored benefits this year, [including] BetterHelp online counseling, a paid mental health day, and a 10-session wellbeing series. We've also made space for employees to share their own experiences and resources, including an employee-led workshop on mental health during uncertain times. This combination of employer- and employee-owned initiatives has allowed for more authenticity as we continue promoting good mental health."</p><p><em>Learn more about Smartsheet</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/smartsheet" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
PwC uses tech to support self-care<p>"At PwC, people are given the 'green light' to talk with a trusted colleague or expert help," says a PwC spokesperson. "The firm offers a comprehensive set of benefits around mental health and well-being through their<a href="https://pwc.cm/tp/rj6_tOKmq.J-K" target="_blank"> <em data-redactor-tag="em">Be Well, Work Well</em></a> initiatives, including providing free 24/7 access to a coach or therapist through a mental health app and<a href="https://pwc.cm/tp/rj6-Vi3at.J.K" target="_blank"> new benefits</a> including executive coaches that provide 1:1 and group well-being sessions, access to meditation apps and the creation of an internal social networking community. The firm has also introduced racial trauma counseling in conjunction with the<a href="https://pwc.cm/tp/rj6_81mOw-J.K" target="_blank"> six actions</a> they are taking with respect to racial justice."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em">Learn more about PwC</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/pwc" target="_blank"> <em data-redactor-tag="em">here</em></a><em data-redactor-tag="em">.</em></p>
MongoDB destigmatizes mental health<p>"We want to break the stigma around mental health and provide employees with valuable tools and the support they need, at work and beyond, to face life's challenges," says Danielle James, D&I Manager at MongoDB. "We offer mental health programs where employees can receive confidential assistance from qualified professionals, including Employee Assistance programs, and free access to Headspace and therapy sessions. We host company and department-specific days off to support mental health, and regularly organize internal events to destigmatize mental health, including an employee panel sponsored by the CEO and educational sessions with health partners.<a href="https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/employee-benefits-that-make-a-difference-at-mongodb" target="_blank"> Learn more about our benefits</a> and read<a href="https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/breaking-stigma-around-mental-health-meet-yulia-genkina" target="_blank"> one employee's mental health journey</a>."</p><p><em>Learn more about MongoDB</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mongodb" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Autodesk recognizes the importance of mental health<p>"Mental health is as important to our wellbeing as physical health," says Industry Marketing Manager Leona Frank. "Supporting the mental health of minority employees through robust programs and accessibility to resources recognizes the impact of racial trauma on the community. It is not easy to experience tragic and repeated examples of racial violence and injustice in our world, and then come to work and be fully present as if nothing has happened to our hearts and communities." She says that taking care of employees' mental health is "good business," noting, "Mentally healthy employees make better collaborators, can drive innovation, and are more productive. Overall, they have resiliency that allows them to respond effectively to critical business needs. At Autodesk, we are provided with tools and resources like Bravely that helps us connect with a professional coach, Flexible Leave policies, including extended paid time off, parental leave, and caretaker leave, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that give employees access to confidential assistance."</p><p><em>Learn more about Autodesk</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/autodesk-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Raytheon Technologies fosters a culture of learning through experts<p>"Our Raytheon Technologies Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a rich resource of information and resources to assist all of our employees," says Raytheon Technologies' Kaley Young. "We have on-site EAP consultants that provide short-term, solution- focused counseling to employees and their family members on a variety of issues, including those issues that impact employees from a minority background such as the effects of racism on mental health, medical care, and housing. Additionally, the on-site consultants [teach] seminars [like] 'Having Difficult Conversations During Times of Social Unrest.'"</p><p><em>Learn more about Raytheon Technologies</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/raytheon-technologies" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Below is an article originally written by Sarah McEneaney, Digital Talent Leader at PowerToFly Partner PwC. Go to PwC's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
One of the questions I hear most often from graduates and other emerging leaders is "if I pursue this career, will a robot take my job?" The short answer is "no". The longer answer can be a bit more complicated. While certain tasks may be more suited for automation, very few entire career paths are likely to be eliminated. If anything, the advances in technology provide opportunities: to enhance insights, to expand the reach of important services, and--most exciting--to focus on more enriching work while letting a robot do some of the less interesting things, quickly and more consistently.
And, while gaining technology skills and a wide digital acumen should simply be known for competing in the world of work, today and going forward, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that the way to truly future-proof your career is to acquire and nurture skills that robots simply can't do. Those are skills that require high-level human cognitive and emotional processing. Things like design, storytelling, empathy for the user, leading and inspiring through change--these are skills that the word "robot" doesn't even connote. The best part? It's never too early in your career to learn these skills, or to keep practicing them over time in all types of situations.
At PwC, we have set the expectation for all 55,000 of our workforce to upskill in these various elements of human-centered design, so that we can approach problem-solving with the right stakeholders, customers and consumers in mind. As our people gain skills in data-driven storytelling, design thinking, and agile project management, and demonstrate increased proficiency, they are awarded digital badges.
You can get started today. Whether it's in taking formal classes in any of these areas, or availing of any of the myriad free resources available online (including PwC's Digital Fitness App), don't wait to get ahead. Technology plus human skills can be a powerful combination and one that increases access and opportunities for people of all backgrounds. It doesn't require expensive formal education and the grassroots communities which exist around these topics include people from all walks of life all over the world. Community-based and social learning can be a game changer for establishing a network and helping develop your voice in this space.
Regardless of your background or your career goals, there may be very few avenues worth pursuing that won't benefit from human-centered skills. And it's not just consumer products that need to consider the end user. From enterprise products to healthcare to transportation and more, every business has customers and consumers, whose input is critical and should be at the forefront of technology developments and subsequent iterations. I am inspired by the upcoming students and professionals, who are taking this approach to heart, realizing that you don't need authority in the traditional sense to have an influence and impact. And, thanks to them, I am tremendously hopeful for the future of our planet, society and our workforces.
PowerToFly was thrilled to sit down with several impressive women leaders at PwC to learn more about women in technology roles at PwC, our speakers fascinating careers and how the firm is preparing for the marketplace of the future.
During the event, PwC's team shared insight into their inclusive culture, commitment to well-being, employee benefits and more. Attendees had the opportunity to network and hear how they are driving digital transformation and evolving how work is performed in the areas of assurance, tax and consulting services.
Speakers at the event included:
- Olga Harris, Analytics & Technology Consulting Director
- TraLiza King, Tax Senior Manager
- Michele Wong, Tax Technology Director
- Sasha Dos Santos, PwC Labs Senior Manager
- Shradha Sharma, Technology Consulting Manager