Amplitude believes that diversity enables the ability to find powerful solutions for complex problems, leading to the creation of better products. As we embark on a new year, we’re sharing a reflection on how our internal community took action to build inclusion inside and outside of Amplitude in 2019.And in order to make diversity possible, we are committed to creating an environment of inclusion: one focused on psychological safety, empathy, and human connection, which will allow employees of all backgrounds to feel the care they need to thrive. As we embark on a new year, we’re sharing a reflection on how our internal community took action to build inclusion inside and outside of Amplitude in 2019. We’re sharing our efforts because we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished; we’re sharing our learnings because we know we have so much more to do. We hope that this reflection will encourage the type of knowledge-sharing needed to help companies—including our own—build even more impactful Diversity & Inclusion programs.
Since 2016, our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives have been a grassroots effort. Throughout 2019, employees from all corners of the company have continued to organize events, create spaces, and build programs to promote and foster a sense of belonging. This past year, we re-launched our D&I team with additional structure to better support our ever-growing employee base: with five unique pillars—Empathy & Inclusion, Community Impact, Blog Content, Inclusive Manager Training, and Recruiting—more employees than ever have had the opportunity to be involved with our efforts. Below, you can find a few examples of what we worked on this past year.
Empathy & Inclusion Initiatives
Our Empathy & Inclusion pillar focuses on cultivating an environment of belonging and community at Amplitude. The team hosted many events and forums to acknowledge and celebrate our employees, discuss current events, and create safe spaces for inclusion-focused initiatives. Here are a few highlights from 2019.
Celebrating International Women’s Day!
- For International Women’s Day, we held a fireside chat with Amplitude’s women leaders and allies, focused around the official 2019 theme of #BalanceforBetter. We shared personal stories about the importance of balance in the workplace, and encouraged one another to think, act, and be more gender inclusive.
- In May, we hosted initiatives aimed at normalizing the discussion of mental health in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Industrial-organizational psychologist Jennifer Akullian visited us to share her mental health story and discuss mental wellness strategies, and we introduced Amplitude’s mental health policy and Mental Health Employee Resource Group (ERG).
- We were filled with gratitude during Be Kind to a Human Week—an initiative that encouraged and enabled us to share appreciation for our coworkers through compliment cards and a compliment Slack bot. Ampliteers left thoughtful notes on the desks of their teammates, and the compliment bot shared anonymous gratitude virtually, ensuring the kindness was felt across teams and all over the world.
- We held our first Quarterly Book Club, featuring Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces by Karen Catlin. This book served as a platform for a group discussion on understanding the different ways each of us can be a better ally, including hiring and retaining a diverse workforce, amplifying and advocating for others, and using more inclusive language.
Community Impact Initiatives
The Community Impact pillar focuses on staying connected to and positively influencing the communities we work alongside every day. The team planned several impactful volunteer opportunities (highlights below), and we’re looking forward to expanding our efforts in 2020.
Giving back to the community by preparing more than 6,000 pounds of food in 2019!
- The team organized many opportunities to work directly with the community through incredible local organizations like St. Anthony’s, Project Open Hand, & the SF-Marin Food Bank. We’re extremely proud that Ampliteers volunteered over 150 hours of service and prepared over 6,000 pounds of food in 2019
- We worked with New Door Ventures, a foundation that supports youth who are disconnected from education and employment, by hosting both a resume workshop and a Career Round Table here at our headquarters in San Francisco.
- During the holiday season, we sponsored four families in need through the Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family program, and hosted a clothing drive to collect winter coats.
- We raised money for Minds Matter, an organization that works to help low-income high school students access college, through guest-bartending nights.
Inclusive Manager Training Initiatives
The Inclusive Manager Training pillar focuses on helping managers (and employees) understand how to create inclusive work spaces and effectively manage and support diverse teams. After hosting a successful manager panel on this topic, we’re looking forward to focusing even more on inclusivity education in 2020:
- The team recently hosted a Diversity & Inclusion Panel with Amplitude Leaders, creating an opportunity for our internal community to hear personal stories about the managerial experiences of our leaders, their learnings throughout their career, and challenges they have faced regarding D&I. We hope that this type of open discussion will continue to promote the level of psychological safety we need to be vulnerable and learn from one another, so that we can all become better leaders and allies.
Learning & Looking Forward
We learned a lot in 2019, and we’re looking forward to putting these learnings into practice in 2020. For example, we learned that we need to dedicate more time to developing and measuring inclusive recruiting practices—our first official interview training program included material on inclusive hiring, but we realized that we need a better way to measure our progress so that we can continue to make improvements. We also plan to dedicate more time in general to furthering internal education on inclusive recruiting—we know there’s a ton of work to do on this front, and we’re committed to increasing our efforts accordingly.
Some Ampliteers rocking their Pride shirts.
We’re also looking forward to launching an official program to better support and promote our Employee Resource Groups. We launched an initially successful Mental Health ERG, but we quickly learned that programmatic structure is necessary to ensure these communities have the resources they need to thrive across the company. We’re committed to launching an official structure and guidelines to better support the creation and success of ERGs in 2020.
In response to helpful constructive feedback we received, we’re also committed to being more mindful and focused on both inclusivity and education when designing future events. In 2020, we plan to have liaisons familiar with the cause or celebration advising on all events to ensure they’re aligned with the groups of people we hope to recognize and celebrate.
And with the emergence of our five D&I pillars, we learned that it takes a lot of effort to ensure each group is aligned and accountable as we grow. Because of this, we’re excited to continue our efforts in 2020 by introducing an in-house D&I project manager—a role that will help propel our efforts forward in even more impactful ways. We’d like to extend a big thank you to our colleague and Senior Solutions Consultant Carolyn Feibleman, who is owning this role in a part-time capacity for the first half of 2020.
Our early 2020 initiatives are already underway, as we look forward to a D&I will continue to be a way for employees across the company to be involved with initiatives that play a significant role in the betterment of our internal community.continued celebration of events, roundtables with our leaders and external speakers, further education on building allyship and inclusion, and more volunteer events that will help keep us connected to our communities and to one another. D&I will continue to be a way for employees across the company to be involved with initiatives that play a significant role in the betterment of our internal community. We’re proud of the many initiatives we accomplished this year, and we’re looking forward to how D&I at Amplitude will continue to evolve and progress—we hope that 2020 will be our most impactful year yet.