Fostering community to help drive cultural change

2020 put on full display how humanity shows up in times of hardship. We saw everything from street celebrations to usher weary medical personnel home after long days fighting to save lives to places like food banks receiving more donations and volunteers than ever before. Some communities were harder hit than others, and we’ve seen the same in the global workplace.

In the tech industry, we know that racial and ethnic groups are underrepresented in disproportionate numbers. We also know that the same can be said for Women. In the industry as a whole, there has been a push in recent years to remedy this inequity through inclusive hiring practices, investing in development opportunities, expanding networks, and fostering communities. 

Our Chief Diversity Officer, Sarah Shin, hosted Cloudera’s first Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DE&I) Summit in August of 2020. Members of the Cloudera Equality Committee, Employee Resource Group Leadership, and key partners from across the organization joined together to discuss how we can accelerate Cloudera’s DE&I efforts. During the Summit, voices echoed the need for more opportunities like this to come together and help drive cultural change.

Not unlike the results of company wide Employee Engagement surveys, the Summit showed that employees at Cloudera value a sense of community, networking, diversity, and career growth opportunities. There is still an opportunity for improvement when it comes to the engagement levels of Women and underrepresented minority groups in Cloudera, but our leadership has identified this cultural change as a priority. In the past year, we’ve:

  • Launched an equality survey to understand the intersectional makeup of our global workforce
  • Offered more learning opportunities through an online platform so that our employees can grow their professional and personal skills
  • Successfully completed our first ever Sponsorship Program, pairing underrepresented minorities and women rising stars in the company with Executive Leadership as well as professional coaches 

It’s not just about what is happening inside of Cloudera that matters, though. If we are truly going to help drive cultural change, we need to look at our larger industry and the communities where we reside. What can we do to make an impact in the areas that matter most to us? Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are guiding us forward by identifying organizations we can volunteer with, individuals we can mentor, and programs we can donate to. 

An opportunity to build community

For immediate action to start making a difference in our external communities, the ERGs unanimously elected to forgo any end-of-year employee celebrations in 2020 and to instead, make donations to charitable organizations on behalf of their members and Cloudera. Members voted for the organizations they wanted to support and felt represented the values of Cloudera most closely. This activity not only helped bring together the individual communities formed within each ERG, but helped foster a closer connection with our external communities as well. 

Take a closer look at our Cloudera Employee Resource Groups and the organizations they chose to support with end of year donations:

Community Resilience

Part of what makes a community so important is the strength it can lend during challenging times. This past year, we saw leaders from our ERGs quickly pivot from their daily roles to crisis counselors. By having another person in your corner who can help build connections and productive dialogues, our employees have been able to find a sense of community, even while sitting at a kitchen table with headphones on.

In the coming months, we will be highlighting each ERG along with the causes they support, Clouderans who comprise the leadership, and some events you may be interested in. We look forward to using this platform to continue to develop our community, internally and externally, and witness the impact it can make when we work together to drive cultural change.

Stella Carpio
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