Diversity and inclusion is a high-priority topic for many organizations worldwide. And it’s no different at ProductPlan. For years, our team has been working to build a more inclusive and welcoming company for people from all backgrounds.
This vision for an equitable and diverse workplace has evolved and transformed through the years. I’m honored to share what we have accomplished and some of our plans for the future.
But first, allow me to introduce myself. My name is David Hughes. I am a Customer Success Manager and Diversity and Inclusion Manager at ProductPlan. As you can probably tell, I love wearing multiple hats. And diversity and inclusion are very near and dear to my heart. I don’t have the typical background of someone who works in tech. So, I am keenly aware of how important it is to welcome folks from all walks of life.
As the Diversity and Inclusion Manager, I work closely with our People and Culture team and our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. Together, we ensure a diverse group of people feels comfortable, welcomed, and fully integrated within the company. We seek to achieve lasting equality, equity, and justice by making ProductPlan an inclusive, safe space where all employees can thrive.
Who is part of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force?
The D&I Task Force is comprised of passionate individuals from all areas of the business who come together to brainstorm ways to promote diversity and inclusion at the company as well as act as liaisons for their respective departments. Everyone who is interested is welcome to join the D&I task force. It’s all about getting as many voices and perspectives involved as possible. The group is always learning new strategies and tactics for supporting a diverse workforce.
The journey so far…
Since the creation of the D&I Task Force, we have been hard at work building scalable programs to help foster an inclusive culture for all employees across the country.
Giving employees opportunities to get to know each other outside of work
It’s important for employees to feel comfortable bringing their full selves to the workplace. This can be especially challenging in a remote environment. So our D&I Task Force began hosting regularly scheduled opportunities for employees to get to connect and collaborate cross-functionally with specific topics, questions, and cultural activities. We call these monthly events, Culture, Connection, & Collaboration Break.
During a CCC Break, employees are randomly paired up to discuss a specific topic or prompt. It’s been a great experience so far and has given employees who might not normally cross paths an opportunity to meet.
Encouraging employee-led diversity education
We are lucky to have such an enthusiastic group of employees who come from unique backgrounds and perspectives. It is important for us to encourage and celebrate our differences and learn from one another.
This plays out at ProductPlan in a couple of ways. First, we have Lunch&Learn events where an employee can speak about a D&I-related topic with their peers. Everyone is welcome to join the Lunch&Learns and to host them. We have enjoyed a lot of great conversations, and look forward to hearing more from employees as we continue to grow and have new voices join the team.
For our employees who are not inclined to host a live discussion, we also provide a dedicated Slack channel for D&I discussions. In that channel, employees can share knowledge, resources, and ask questions. It’s a great way to bring the team together asynchronously.
Establishing partnerships with local non-profit organizations
Volunteering with our local communities is core to the ProductPlan culture. The Diversity & Inclusion Task Force has established two amazing partnerships with two Santa Barbara organizations.
First, is the Equal Learning Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides school supplies to children from low socioeconomic households and communities. In partnership with the ELF, the ProductPlan team has participated in back-to-school fundraisers where we raised enough funds to supply hundreds of kids with backpacks and school supplies for the new school year.
Another partnership we are very proud of is with the United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County, an organization that provides a safe, welcoming place for kids where they have access to tutoring and education programs, sports, art and music classes, and other opportunities.
We had a blast participating in the Corporate Playdates hosted by the UBGC. We get to meet some of the students, play games, and learn more about how the organization supports the local Santa Barbara community.
The best part is, this is only the beginning!
We are proud of the incredible work the team has accomplished in just a couple of years. However, we are nowhere near done! Looking ahead, we plan to scale our D&I programs and initiatives alongside our plans to grow the ProductPlan team. Stay tuned for more updates from the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force!
If ProductPlan sounds like a good fit for your next chapter, take a look at our open roles in Sales, Customer Success, Engineering, and Product on our website: https://www.productplan.com/careers/