We often are told, create the space we want to belong in, use our voices and take up space, be resilient and keep pushing — but what if, for once, we were able to step into a role, a company where we already belonged. Where we could take our armor off, trust our environment, and know we will be judged solely on our abilities. What if I told you there were companies out there that are actively creating such spaces? It just takes a little research, a little discovery. That’s where organizations such as Blavity and their conference AfroTech World come in.
Medallia partners with AfroTech World year after year because of the community and space they have created for Black people, including entrepreneurs and technologists. And because of their values — Blavity believes in a conference that brings leaders in technology and business together to exchange ideas and build a strong Black tech community, where every attendee can be their authentic self.
And for Medallia, it is more than just a conference. It’s about you finding the right company and network that is aligned with your needs. But even more so, it’s about you, the gorgeously melanated, intelligent, beautiful being. So this is for you, whether or not you find your place here at Medallia or use us as a standard. Here are some of the ways we have aligned with AfroTech’s core values.
It’s no secret the tech industry was not created with us in mind, yet we continue to push forward and carve our space in it. Blavity and its creation of the AfroTech World is a huge catalyst for this. Which is one of the reasons Medallia finds itself consistently partnering with them. One of our core values is Every Experience Matters, which is why we have launched initiatives such as our ERG Leadership Recognition program, equipping each of our ERGs with a yearly $25k budget, and partnering with Black centered nonprofits to help further their efforts, to name a few.
In the past year the word diversity has been thrown around quite a bit, which can make it hard to discern which companies are performative and which ones aren’t. My advice to you, interview those companies just as much as they are you. Does their product empower the Black community in any way? Financially, have they committed to supporting the community? Do they listen to their employees? One of the reasons AfroTech is so vital and wonderful is because it allows our voices to be heard and for us to learn from others that look like us.
This is a value Medallia takes seriously as well. We focus on listening to understand and improve the experiences people are having. We recently turned on anytime feedback to allow employees to raise issues when they come up, instead of waiting for an engagement survey. We also pulse survey our employees on a quarterly basis to ensure we’re hearing from everyone. Furthermore we launched a series called Couch Talks with the sole purpose of having real conversations, creating a platform for listening, understanding, and growth.
This section is for my wonderfully made Black women. “For many women of color, getting into professional settings is only half of the battle. From wage gaps to lack of opportunities for advancement, many women continue to experience combinations of racism and sexism,” AfroTech editor Vanessa Taylor states in her article How Black Women Get A Seat At The Table: ‘The Memo’ Excerpt. Securing a seat at the table often feels like a daunting uphill battle but I promise you, you will get your seat. And I know, constantly fighting to be heard, to be seen, and to stay resilient can be exhausting, which is why it is imperative to surround yourself with organizations, companies, and people who value you.
Medallia has teamed up with Black Girl Ventures and Black Girls Smile to continue to be an accomplice. Earlier this year we awarded a $40,000 USD grant round from our new Medallia.org Fund, a donor advised fund of Tides Foundation, to Black Girls Smile. As part of this grant, we also contributed two years’ free subscriptions of Medallia products along with professional services support and experience management training to this organization. And as we enter into the new year we will be partnering with BGV to provide opportunities to Black women entrepreneurs. Clearly I am tooting the Medallia horn here, but it is an effort to show you, there are companies who are actively working toward equity within the tech industry.
Finally, AfroTech World is a hub for making new connections. It is a driving factor that has Medallia returning yearly. It’s where you can meet industry leaders, learn from experts, and ultimately further your network, which will undoubtedly help you get to where you are trying to be. Medallia made a commitment to hiring and closing the opportunity divide, and partnering with organizations like Blavity is how we are working to close the gap in the tech industry.