In February, we hosted a Black employee experience panel where some employees learned for the first time about microaggressions. Things like touching a Black person’s hair or praising their articulation. And the lengths Black employees go to by code switching (changing the way one expresses themselves culturally and linguistically based on different parts of one’s identity and how they are represented in the group they are with) and navigating the workplace while wearing an invisible backpack of presumptive stereotypes and bias.
In May, we facilitated a training where a panel of Asian, Black, and biracial employees, including Mica, talked about race and allyship amidst COVID-19 and shared stories of what it’s like to move in the world with visible diversity. During this event, many employees expressed deep appreciation to ServiceNow for signing a pledge with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group on standing against anti-Asian hate crimes.
To celebrate Pride in June, several virtual events were available including a panel of LGBTQ+ employees sharing their personal stories on being out at work. One employee, after acknowledging that everyone is on their own path and pace of self-discovery during an employee-led Pride event said, “I think it's awesome that I have been out since I started here. And that's really important to me because I wasn't out at my last job.” Juneteenth was a day of service and personal learning to close out a companywide “learning sprint” where workshops on racial equity, allyship, and how to have courageous conversations filled employees’ calendars.
When employees are willing to share personal stories and experiences in the workplace, it comes with vulnerability, emotions and often reliving trauma. In order to make sure the wounds opened up are not in vain, stories are best when felt, respected, and attached to an action plan.
“We are here because the dehumanization of Black people is a human rights issue.” This is how Robert, a Black employee, opened his story during our July Company All Hands meeting. He shared his personal experiences in various tech workplaces and read a list of recommendations for society and ServiceNow to take action towards meaningful progress in social justice. First step, practice allyship.