Building a culture of belonging isn’t only fostered from those in leadership, in fact most of the actual work comes from passionate individual contributors.
We sat down with Jessica Roberts and Moïse Norca in London to tell us their stories of becoming the co-leaders of the Highspot Inclusion and Belonging Council.
What does I&B mean to you?
Jessica: I love this question as it implies that I&B means something different to everyone.
For a big part of my career, I worked for a very corporate, male-dominated environment and I was included to an extent but I actually never felt like I truly belonged, therefore, for me, it’s clear you can have inclusivity in a workplace but that does not automatically create a sense of belonging. They go together but ultimately they are two separate things. When you have that belonging piece that is where the real power and change start to happen. So, for me I&B is very linked to authenticity and being able to bring your true self to work everyday and not have to leave any part of yourself at the door and for everybody around to embrace that. There is a quote that I share with the I&B Council in our meetings: “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, and belonging is one step beyond, and that would be planning the party”.
What motivated you to become co-leader on the I&B Council?
Moïse: While I was interviewing with Highspot leaders, I raised diversity & inclusion as a subject close to my heart.
After I started, the opportunity to form and launch a Council in EMEA came up, I was presented with the opportunity to co-lead it and be the voice of DEI&B at Highspot. It really meant a lot to me to be asked. I then had the opportunity to meet Jessica and our Vice President, DEI&B, Jyl Feliciano whose passion for the topic was truly inspiring and I was immediately on board. The most exciting part of this journey is, that this is the first time we’re launching an initiative of this kind at Highspot and while I’m aware this will require a lot of work and might not be perfect from the very beginning, I hope we can push the needle and make a difference. It’s an incredibly rewarding feeling.
How do you see the I&B council impacting Highspot EMEA employees?
Jessica: We can see it unfolding and evolving in front of our eyes, it’s not just a concept anymore. Finally bringing all that to life, bringing structure, and having that foundation to actually start building on some of these initiatives is really empowering for everybody in EMEA. Both our existing employees and people that are going to be coming through our doors in the future. The council’s mission, is to promote a culture that empowers all to show up openly, comfortably, and courageously and to create a community that fosters diversity, inclusivity, and a workplace for all EMEA Highspotters to thrive! I think it fills people with confidence that they are being listened to and that any change which needs to happen, will be driven appropriately. We already made such a great impact in launching this council for our employees and I can’t wait to see what we do next.
What does the Council have coming up in the future?
Moïse: To ensure the council has some direction, Jessica and I have created a framework that is made up of 3 core pillars – which we are using to craft and drive our vision. Firstly talent attraction & onboarding, secondly evolving our culture & humanizing the workplace and the third one being the impact on our community and customer. There is lots of amazing work happening through the sub-committees on each of these pillars. The biggest thing on our radar are events and the one at the moment is Stand for Change month. It’s Highspot’s all-inclusive global month-long event, giving all employees the opportunity to hear from inspirational leaders and keynote speakers. The 2 main themes are allyship and bringing your authentic self to work. Planning has been going on for months and it’s a great investment in our people. I can tell that every leader of our sub-committees is so determined to make a difference. It’s wonderful to see everyone joining in and it’s that group effort that will make Highspot an even better place to work.