BELONG @ DataRobot: Two Years of Being Better Together
It’s been two years since we officially launched Belong @ DataRobot. With the goal to make everyone feel valued and heard, Belong is committed to ensuring that all employees are confident and respected for their unique abilities, secure in the knowledge that they belong at DataRobot. And, as we celebrate our two-year anniversary, it’s a wonderful time to reflect on the strides we’ve made along the way to help people feel like they Belong.
I’d be lying if I said the last year was easy. Like most companies today, we’ve gone through so many changes as an organization and as people. We’ve said goodbye to many colleagues, and welcomed many new ones. We’ve seen the market for AI explode and have been leveraging evolving technologies and evolving our product every day to continue to provide value for our customers. And through it all, we have been there for each other – in our monthly meetings, round tables, one-on-ones. Personally, I worked through finalizing a divorce and found our Women @ DR group to be a real, honest space to share my experience and be heard without judgment or mark on the role that I carry. I know our other employee resource groups have done the same for many others, continuing to hold a safe space to share experiences and bring connection, through all the changes, ups and downs. We established these groups in our first year and they continue to evolve and educate our team members every day:
- ACTnow! stands for Asians Coming Together Now and cultivates an inclusive space to advocate for the diverse needs of all Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander employees at DataRobot through educational, cultural, and social activities.
- ADAPT stands for Abled and Disabled Advocating and Partnering Together and provides education and allyship to advocate for and empower DataRobot employees with disabilities to ensure an inclusive work environment.
- BEACON stands for Black Employees and Allies Changing Outlooks Now and aims to advance a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community that fosters a culture of belonging for Black employees both, current and future.
- LATTITUD stands for Latinx, Hispanics and Allies in Tech Together Influencing Technology Inclusion and Uniting for Diversity and is dedicated to connecting the Latin/Hispanic community in a supportive and uplifting environment while creating space to share ideas, struggles, resources, and celebrate our diverse cultures and accomplishments.
- PrideBots vision is to provide an open, safe, inclusive community where DataRobot employees can connect on common interests or backgrounds and bring our collective voices together to drive innovation, create opportunities, inspire each other and celebrate all sexes, gender identities, gender expressions, and orientations. We welcome all members of the LGBTQIA+ community as well as allies.
- Veterans group brings together those who have served in all branches of the military for ongoing resources, support, and networking.
- Women @ DR seeks to create, promote, and expand an inclusive culture that connects, educates, and advances the needs, professional goals, and aspirations of our community of female-identifying members and allies.
As the year continued, we realized that we wanted to bring people together across our resource groups, so we started our ‘Beyond Differences’ Round Tables. In December, we are also kicking off a quarterly ‘Beyond Differences’ Speaker Series, starting with the subject of cultural competence.
Further, each month, in our Belong Newsletter and Functional All Hands meetings, we share tips and tricks on what it means to be inclusive – we’ve spotlighted subjects such as ‘how to hold inclusive meetings’. And, we have book clubs! Organized by employees who are interested in learning more about each other’s challenges and discussing how to make a bigger impact on this world.
As we look ahead to the future and at the past to help us shape a better future, I’m always reminded of this quote from an adaptation of an article written by Dafina-Lazarus Stewart. It speaks to the continuous work and the consistent questions that must be asked and answered to bring awareness to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging:
While we always have room to grow and be better than yesterday, Belong @ DataRobot celebrates the strides we have made over the past two years. As we continue to receive messages that our Belong community has been a safe space that allows people to be themselves during their low moments, we know that our work is making an impact. Belong is a journey of discovery, authenticity, connection, and, most importantly, people.