Diversity in Tech – my experience at a startup

This article is part of our series: “… in Tech” where we ask a team member at Snappy to give us their experience as a member of their community, specifically what working at a tech startup means to them as an individual, and on a societal level.

It’s important to share these stories to better understand the experiences that may not be our own. Our job is not for them to educate us but to listen to their story. Each team member is simply sharing their story so that we can gain a deeper appreciation for those experiences.

Meet Gabbie Moore

I’m Gabbie, I use she/her pronouns, and I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. I love spending time with my family and friends by finding new things, including: traveling, exploring different cultures, diving into books, shows, or podcasts, listening to music, and venturing to local restaurants. 

Life as a DE&I Manager

Working as a DE&I Manager has truly been an incredible experience for me. I’ve always been an advocate for social justice and equity, but before I formally entered the DE&I field I had no idea that I could merge my passion with my profession. Naturally, once I was hired for my first DE&I role, I fell in love with the work and now I can’t imagine doing anything else. 

In my role as a DE&I Manager at Snappy, I have the unique privilege & responsibility to influence our culture and ensure that we foster an environment where everyone is treated equitably and feels included & respected, always. The best part of my job is that my success is measured by our people (retention of our employees, overall growth of the company, and the diversity of our teams). As we trend in a positive direction in those areas, I see the direct impact of my efforts and can be confident that Snappy is truly “where happiness works”. 

Remote work and other trends for equity

One of the most exciting parts of DE&I is that the field is ever-changing and always has a new trend to take note of. Now that a large part of the workforce is working remotely, there has been heightened awareness about managing teams in the remote world, fostering a culture of inclusivity, and driving engagement across teams. 

As the DE&I Manager at Snappy, a mostly remote company, the topic of remote work has been a focus area for me. I am paying close attention to conversations centered around how to truly make our workplace as diverse, inclusive, and equitable as possible.

I hope that other companies are also paying close attention to the topic of working remotely. Unlike other trends that start and are quickly forgotten about, I don’t believe that conversations about remote work are going to take a backseat anytime soon. We still have so much to learn about the way that people work best, how to connect with our colleagues across the world, and what a remote work day should even look like. Remote work has forever changed the workforce, for the better, and I am excited to see the progress that is made as we continue to evolve the way that we think about work in the new era. 

August is Diversity Awareness Month

For me, Diversity Awareness Month is a time when we should all appreciate the beauty of the diversity around us. Oftentimes, when we discuss diversity we primarily focus on racial/ethnic diversity; however, diversity surrounds us in so many different ways. Diversity Awareness Month is a time where I can appreciate racial/ethnic diversity, in addition to the diversity of gender, sexual orientation, geography, age, religion, profession, likes/dislikes, nationality, disability status, veteran status, marital status, and so much more. 

To me, this month is a time where I can stop and reflect on the privilege I carry in certain areas, along with the ways that I am disadvantaged in others, and is a time that I consciously work to promote equity and embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion that I would like to see reflected in the world. 

There are so many things that come to mind when I think about how I want Diversity Awareness Month to impact people - here are three of the most important areas for me: 

  • Professional Life: As a society, we need to improve the way we approach work and find ways to be inclusive of the diverse working styles of all employees - rather than expecting all employees to assimilate to one ideal. 
  • Education: Similar to professional life, everyone learns differently - we need to be generally receptive to the idea of meeting students “where they are” to best educate them. 
  • Social Justice: In most situations, we steer clear of things that don’t directly affect us, but I challenge us to do the opposite. Be an ally - stay aware and mindful of all instances of injustice. If you’re not directly impacted by the situation, use your privilege to advocate for equity and justice to improve your community. 

How Snappy is making a difference

Snappy has evolved in DE&I in so many ways! Since I started, we have: 

  • Grown from 1 to 6 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) 
  • Started an internal newsletter
  • Held programming for DE&I cultural celebrations (i.e. Black History Month, Women’s History Month, etc.) 
  • Donated to organizations in honor of various DE&I initiatives
  • Created a DE&I statement and action plan 
  • Revamped job descriptions 
  • Implemented diverse recruiting from various underrepresented communities 
  • Conducted voluntary DE&I survey of Snappy employees to gain insight into how our team members identify 
  • Conducted Unconscious Bias training for the company 
  • … and so much more to come! 

I am planning to work with our Legal and Partnerships/Curation teams to create a Supplier Diversity Program for Snappy to ensure that we are partnering with members of underrepresented communities as we grow our business partners. Supporting a diverse collection of businesses is very important to me, and our customers, and is something we should keep top of mind as we scale Snappy and incorporate new partners. 

Looking to the future

As a DE&I Manager during Diversity Awareness Month, I would simply love to educate members of the Snappy community (both internally and externally). If just one person reads this article and learns something new and/or feels empowered to think differently, I will feel that I have achieved my goal of successfully supporting Diversity Awareness Month!

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