This is An Nguyễn, the Small but Mighty Voice that Started Medallia’s Newest Community

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Learn how An started Medallia’s newest Employee Resource Group with a mission to promote an equitable employee experience for our Asian Pacific Islander community and allies.

Meet An Nguyễn, a Medallian, a daughter, Employee Resource Group (ERG) lead, and a change agent. She is a Senior Product Designer who works on features for web reporting and mid-market. 

As part of Medallia’s ERGs and co-founder of the API@ Medallia ERG, she collaborates with thoughtful individuals who strive to make our company diverse, equitable, and inclusive. And equally fitting: In Vietnamese, the name An means “peace.” 

Get to know her in our most recent employee spotlight series and be sure to check out our Instagram @medallia_inc and our Linkedin as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

With all that is going on in the world today within the different Asian communities, does this Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month have a different feeling or a higher level of importance to you?

Yes, it’s generally important to feel safe, and have dignity and a sense of belonging in the workplace and at home. This year, perhaps more than most, we want to especially celebrate the joyful aspects of our heritage. This was something I learned last June during the Black Lives Matter movement, when a small group of Medallians across the ERGs met to plan the Town Hall series. There was an open question on whether we should still have Q-Field’s Annual Talent Show because it may be an inappropriate time to celebrate when there’s civil unrest around us. The unanimous response was to have the Talent Show “because we gotta have celebrations to keep our spirits up, too!” 

Ultimately, that same reason motivated our team to coordinate Medallia’s virtual AAPI Heritage Month celebration this year. And for people who may be quarantining alone or having a rough time digesting yet another report about anti-Asian hate crime, we hope that the Heritage Month activity on the ERG channel can provide a moment to decompress, an opportunity to connect with other members, and a boost to your spirit. 

What is a tradition or something within your culture that brings you joy that you wish everyone was able to experience or learn about?

There’s a Vietnamese hymn only sung at Christian weddings titled, “Cầu Cho Cha Mẹ,” which roughly translates into English as “Pray for Parents.” It’s sung toward the end of the wedding ceremony when the bride and groom honor their respective parents with floral bouquets. This is usually when wedding guests take out their tissues. The hymn is sung from the bride and groom’s perspective: acknowledging their parents’ sacrifices, asking for blessings, and promising that though they may be apart, they’ll always remember their parents’ love. To me, this practice and hymn is the intersection of my Catholic upbringing and Vietnamese culture of honoring our parents. I wish everyone could witness or experience this precious moment. I attended a wedding where the soloist started to cry and couldn’t continue singing the hymn. So the whole congregation chimed in and started to sing together.

Getting involved in DEIB work starts by joining the conversation.

You are very active in our DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) efforts and communities even prior to launching one. What is your why?

I believe that racism is wrong. No one should feel unsafe because of their race, religion, age, disabilities, sexual identity, and so much more. This has been and continues to be my guiding principle, my why.

Prior to becoming a designer, I worked at nonprofit organizations and provided services to underserved communities. However, once I shifted into design, my attention and priority was only about design. And I only participated in ERG events when I could find some extra time. Then last May, a colleague posted his reflections on George Floyd’s death on the Black-at-Medallia ERG Slack channel, and it inspired me to make more time to join the conversation. 

I wanted to be an ally, but frankly I didn’t know what being an ally looked like. So I read many articles and talked to my family and friends. I learned that I can contribute my skills and time: volunteering to design Town Hall flyers, typing meeting minutes, creating the BLM Medallia Slack emoji, and showing up to events.

Getting involved in DEIB work starts by joining the conversation. My involvement surprisingly connected me with more Medallians across the company than I had prior to quarantine. And unexpectedly, my newly formed connections would shape the creation of the API@ Medallia ERG.

 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

What led you to starting our newest API@ Medallia ERG?

During the time when a few of us were planning the Town Hall for “Unite Against Hate: A Dialogue with the Asian Pacific Islander Community at Medallia,” I had a sync with one of the leaders of Black-at-Medallia (BAM). He asked me, “Out of curiosity, why isn’t there an ERG for Asian Pacific Islanders?” And I said to him, “I’ve asked myself the same question.” He encouraged me to create one. It’s definitely a big commitment to ask of anyone.

These quiet thoughts grew into a resounding demand after our Town Hall. Medallians who attended the session expressed how pleased they were to find a workplace where their colleagues and leadership team genuinely cared for their well-being and where representation matters. We also learned that many Medallians wanted to continue the conversation with an ERG. So with that, Andrea Wen, Manager, Medallia Expert Services; Charles Tung, Senior Manager, Professional Services; Heather (Hui) Jin, Global Head of Social Impact, and I decided to start an API@ Medallia ERG.

Because of the movement for Black Lives, we had a cultural shift that was fully embraced and supported by our leadership team. 

You were able to get the group off the ground fairly quickly. What was the process like to start the group? Can you share some lessons learned?

That Tuesday night, before the API@ ERG channel went live, updates of the mass shooting in Atlanta that killed Asian women flooded the news outlets. The day before, Andrea, Charles, Heather, and I met to share our commitment with being co-founders, identified a name for the ERG, and then updated the DEIB team that we will volunteer to lead. I didn’t expect to create the ERG channel and ultimately announce it that Wednesday morning. However, after staying up late processing the news of the mass shooting, I concluded not to wait. Medallians needed a space to dialogue, grieve, exchange resources, show support, learn from each other, and learn with each other. We needed community. The ERG Leads spread the news across the company. In the first 24 hours, we had 117 Medallians join the API@ Medallia ERG. 

There’s a Vietnamese proverb, “Ăn quả nhớ kẻ trồng cây,” which roughly translates into English as, “When eating a fruit, be grateful to the grower.” Our agility to plan the “Unite Against Hate” Town Hall, and the The Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Harassment workshop and the API@ Medallia ERG is the result of the labor by Medallians who had organized and advocated for Black Lives Matter last year. Because of the movement for Black Lives, we had a cultural shift that was fully embraced and supported by our leadership team. Everyone involved planted the seed that grew a more collaborative network of ERGs, introduced the Town Hall series, created our allies-against-racism channel, doubled our DEIB team, and so much more. 

Therefore, when the anti-Asian hate continued to escalate, I had a safe space to express my sentiments and post articles regarding the rising hate crimes inflicted on Asian elders on the allies-against-racism channel. ERG leaders expressed their concerns and support for a Town Hall and with Lauren Jackman, SVP, Global DEIB,  and Alisha Thomas, Global DEIB Community Manager, from the DEIB team, we were able to coordinate everything. I’m grateful to the Medallians involved in fostering and nurturing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company for everyone. I hope that more Medallians learn how these efforts are connected, and therefore understand that it’s important to get involved and support each other.

 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

What are your hopes, goals, and purpose of API@ Medallia? 

The mission of our API@ Medallia ERG is to promote an equitable employee experience for our Asian Pacific Islander community and allies through knowledge sharing and community outreach. With knowledge sharing, we hope to foster a community that’ll help with career development, social networking, and learn more about historical and current issues that impact the community. With community outreach, we hope to help with talent recruitment and identify community service opportunities that we can do together. We’re aware that this mission statement will evolve over time. My personal hopes and goals are for Medallians to nurture a safe space for everyone to share freely the intersectionalities of our identity and to celebrate and connect with each other.

I’m constantly asking myself who is missing from the conversation. Whose voices aren’t we hearing from? What intersections are we not accounting for that are present at Medallia?

Asian is not one single monolithic culture. How do you navigate representation within the API@ Medallia community to ensure all cultures are properly empowered and uplifted?

I am a naturally curious person and learned that every person has a unique story. I think we run into trouble when we make assumptions about cultures and how people want to be empowered and uplifted. So I try to minimize my assumptions and engage people as directly as possible.

I’m constantly asking myself who is missing from the conversation. Whose voices aren’t we hearing from? What intersections are we not accounting for that are present at Medallia? 

What’s next for the community at Medallia?

We have an honorary lead named Leon Ji, Senior Analyst – Strategy Analytics, who joined us after the Town Hall planning. The five of us meet weekly and message often to plan and exchange notes. At Medallia, we know the value of capturing actionable feedback – naturally we surveyed ERG members for feedback on events that they would likely attend. There were some recurring ideas and also some unique ones. After collecting survey results, Charles and Heather co-moderated a session with ERG members to brainstorm and prioritize those suggestions. I’m excited about the ideas that came from the survey and brainstorming session. And hope that we can engage members across the different time zones virtually or in person. 

I want to hear from more Medallians and those outside the company. What does representation mean to you? What does an inclusive space look like? Feel like? Therefore, I want to encourage anyone who is reading this and curious to learn and share. Please check the ERG channel on Slack if you are internal, or if you are an external reader reach out directly to

Medallia is growing and dedicated to “hiring the whole person.” Join the #MedalliaLife by heading to our careers page and applying today! 

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