Category Archives: Inclusion

3001Christina with her daughterInclusion

Shattering the Stigma of Mental Health in the Latinx Community

Christina shares her struggles with mental health and the stigma it carries in the Latinx community.
Christina Zambrano smiling

Christina Zambrano, Client Support Specialist – Scottsdale

Christina Zambrano is a Shared Client Success Specialist and recently celebrated a year as Latinx in Tech Scottsdale’s Volunteer and Events Specialist. She has a two-year-old and is expecting another addition to the Indeed family this December. She shares her struggles with mental health and the stigma it carries in the Latinx community.

Content warning: the following post is a discussion about mental health

“Nobody said it would be easy, but nobody said it would be this hard either”, was my first thought when I saw my scholarship had been taken away after I had fallen off with my GPA Sophomore year.

I was the first in my family to go to college, nobody told your girl how to apply for scholarships, how to file for financial aid, or that class sizes would be massive. I did not know how to pace myself, I came out of the bullpen wanting to conquer the world and now it just felt like my entire universe was crashing down on me. 

I called my mom in a panic, ugly crying like only Kim Kardashian knows how to do best, without any regard for who was around me. My mom canceled the rest of the homes she had set to clean and rushed over. 

Christina reads a bookWhen she arrived she comforted me quietly, no judgment or disappointment. She simply sat, listened, and finally asked, “Mija, this is simple, is this what you want, do you want this?” I shivered as I said “yes!” thinking “Why would she be asking me that, of course, I want this, but I can’t have it now!” 

She looked at me as she held my face in her hands and said “Then we will make it happen!”

Fast Forward two years later. It was my senior year of college, my scholarship had been restored to 50% and I was working three jobs to pay off the rest of my tuition. I knew I had to push it if I wanted to graduate. There was no time for sleep, poor meals in between, and much less time for self-care ( how do you even translate that to Spanish?) It was such an uncommon term for my family and me. 

Needless to say, my mind and body were exhausted, but I could not bring myself to a stop now. My mind and body decided to do that for me! 

I was admitted to a psychiatric unit in early April of 2016. They kept saying the word “Psychosis” which meant nothing to me at the moment. Later, I was diagnosed as bipolar, prescribed medication, and sent home to my parents who had no idea what to do with me. My parents did not believe in medication for mental health and thought it was even harming my physical well being. 

Up until my diagnosis, the word Bipolar was unheard of in my family and there was no history to go off of either. As far as my parents and my brothers knew, mental health was a myth and there had to be a reason for it other than my tired mind and body. 

My family ordered drug screenings to try and find answers but found none there. My mother would take me twice a week to “La yerbería” where a “Curandero” would conduct a cleanse. We tossed my medication and I was feeling “better” in two weeks.

Christina throws her graduation cap in the air

Christina at graduation

Then after graduation, it started all over again, and I found myself at the hospital once again. Providers insisted I take my prescription and began practicing self care. With the limited resources, the language barrier, the stigma within my community, and the limited understanding we had of mental health, it was no wonder I returned to the psychiatric hospital two additional times. 

No provider was able to make the connection, but my family was determined to learn and help me grow from the experience. My brother, who was stretched thin struggling with a delay on his DACA approval, did everything in his power to get us connected to services. 

We finally decided to make the trip to a local non-profit agency. I began taking my medication consistently and started doing therapy with my family and individually. Once I started feeling better, I started doing research and being able to talk about my experience openly, without tears as I remember the struggles my family and I faced.

Being someone who struggled with mental health, submerged in the mental health field as a case manager at the time, made me particularly sensitive to the population I served. I knew I had to make a change for my own well being. 

My heart throbbed as I found myself still wanting to help others in need. 

Christina and her daughterI was given the opportunity to support clients at Indeed as a Client Success Specialist and learned of this company’s amazing culture. I have found the work-life balance that allows me to re-charge. I found a supportive community within Latinx in Tech (LIT), an Inclusion Resource Group at Indeed, and continue using my social work background as a Volunteer Specialist for LIT at our Scottsdale office. 

I feel empowered and safe amongst peers at work and encourage others to be present and aware of their mental health. Life is far from perfect and I still struggle some days and sometimes fear the lack of control I felt when I was going through the “ manic and depression stages of bipolar disorder”. 

After all of the research I did, there is still one question that lingers in my mind now “What’s the Deal with Latinx NOT Talking About MENTAL HEALTH?” Let’s talk about mental health, let’s learn about it, and let’s shatter the stigma! 

Learn more about Access Indeed, an Inclusion Resource Group dedicated to educating people about visible and invisible disabilities in the video below.

Read more Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging stories inside Indeed.

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2975Inclusion

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Latinx in Tech at Indeed

Mark Rodriguez explains why he got involved in our Latinx in Tech Inclusion Resource Group and how Indeed adapted to the new virtual landscape to make this the most memorable Hispanic Heritage Month to date.
Mark giving the peace sign

Mark Rodriguez, Latinx in Tech – Austin

Mark Rodriguez is an Aggregation Quality Analyst at Indeed and holds the position of Communications and Events Lead for Latinx in Tech in Austin, TX. He enjoys photography, running, coffee and even writes his own food and lifestyle blog about life in Austin.

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Every day is Hispanic Heritage Month at my house. My parents are from Texas (Laredo and San Antonio) and my grandparents are from Mexico (Piedras Negras and Monterrey). I grew up learning both English and Spanish at the same time, watching shows in both languages, listening to music in both languages and reading books in both languages as well. But, I always went through an English-speaking curriculum in schools. This is where I learned that I was… diverse. 

Finding a community

Coming to Indeed 3 years ago, I didn’t exactly know what to expect from the culture here. Inclusion Resource Groups were barely a thing, so when you applied back then, you didn’t really know what you were getting yourself into or if there would be a safe space for you. 

Latinx in TechAfter being at Indeed for a few months, I started to hear about Latinos in Tech (now Latinx in Tech to be more gender inclusive) and was instantly relieved. There was a group of people at Indeed who were like me. I didn’t necessarily know what the Inclusion Resource Group did, but knowing that there were people who looked and talked like me that worked here too, I knew I had to join! 

Creating a safe space

As a member, I started learning more about the IRG, what they were about, their mission statement — “Unidos, we help the Latinx community and our allies develop and drive change.” After that I became interested in a leadership position, applied and got it!

As a leader, I wanted to focus on finding ways to bring more diverse talent to Indeed but also how to create a form of trust with all members, always in a safe space. 

Over the years, Indeed has grown, so naturally the leadership team has grown as well. Latinx in Tech (LIT) has been able to grow to offices around the country full of passionate, hardworking and thoughtful leaders and members alike!

Hispanic Heritage Month goes virtual

When the pandemic hit back in March and we learned about the mandated work from home from our CEO Chris Hyams, we instantly knew that Hispanic Heritage Month was going to look really different this year. 

We might not have known how long working from home was going to last, but we knew that Hispanic Heritage Month was going to have to be 100% virtual this year for all four weeks. To help prepare, the leadership team broke into HHM sub-teams, we created task forces, had more regional meetings with Indeed’s Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging team and Senior Leadership. In the end we made it work! 

Highlights from virtual Hispanic Heritage Month at Indeed

From leadership speaker series to celebrity guest appearances, we went all out this year, using the virtual platform to our advantage. 

A few highlights for me this year were the first-ever (unofficial) LIT Indeed cookbook created by Indeedians for Indeedians with Latinx-based recipes. The cookbook has a list of local Latinx restaurants in different offices (submitted and referred by locals) across the country to help support local economies.

LIT also hosted Richard Montañez — the Creator of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos — for an inspirational story about how he went from a janitor at Pepsi to creating the popular chip and a panel discussion about AfroLatinx & Colorism to educate about the meaning behind the term AfroLatinx and the history behind it with special guest, Nydia Simone form Blactina Media

In addition, we hosted Zumba lessons, displayed special Latinx-based Zoom backgrounds, collaborated on a Spotify playlist of our favorite Latinx, Latinx-inspired or Latinx-influenced songs, had a virtual guacamole-making contest and much more.

Not only was Latinx in Tech at Indeed able to put together amazing, fun, educational and unique events for everyone to enjoy, we also had internal blog posts from our members about their experiences as a Latinx Indeedian and were featured on the #insideindeed Instagram. And for the first time ever, Indeed also changed its external corporate logo in honor of HHM in both English and Spanish – which was an incredible way to show to the world Indeed’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

More stories from LIT

José, Technical Sourcer – Austin

“Growing up, being part of the Tech Industry had never even crossed my mind. And so, I often find myself having to answer the same questions from onlookers. People want to know how I broke into the industry, and when did I realize this was the space for me. But to be completely honest, this experience has evolved into something beyond my wildest dreams. I found Latinx in Tech at Indeed and it gave me a family of individuals with similar experiences. We all knew this movement was so much bigger than ourselves. We knew that  having found our own way here was not enough –  we needed to help future generations, and educating our peers became as much a part of our mission as it was our purpose.” – José Roque #insideindeed Austin

Jazmin, Client Success Team Lead – NYC

“As a Latina, most of us, from the time we are born we are given a social norm of who we must be, a lot of this is rooted in gender roles. My mother broke that norm and it motivated me to be and do better. A big reason we are “Latinx” in Tech instead of “Latinos” in Tech is the same reason my mother motivated me to break our norms and advance collectively. The Latinx community has a responsibility to uplift each other and enlighten one another with the fact we can and will be successful in any given space. Our roots give us the strength to be more than our ancestors but respect the work and dedication that came before us. LIT gave me an outlet to help my community but also allowed me to realize we have so much more potential than we are taught to believe.” – Jazmin #insideindeed NYC

Sabino in a suit

Sabino, Sr. Account Executive – NYC

“When I first started at Indeed in 2016 I looked around and did not see many Indeedians that looked like me or came from my background. I knew then I wanted to be the change I sought. I had joined the Black Inclusion Group and loved all the events and kinship they had. That’s when I learned about Latinx in Tech (LIT). There was a LIT chapter in Austin, but not one in NYC at the time, so we decided to start a chapter there. This was the best decision we ever made in our Indeed career. Now we are a staple in multiple offices and every member of our team feels more like family. Even though we still have work to do, when I look around now I can comfortably say I am seeing more of a reflection of me, my family, my culture and my people.” – Sabino #insideindeed NYC

Bianca in the woods

Bianca, Software Engineer – Seattle

“Since starting as a Software Engineering intern at Indeed through Ada Developers Academy in February 2018, I noticed the lack of co-workers that shared a similar language, culture, or background. As someone transitioning into tech and who identifies as a Latina woman, I knew I would be hard pressed to find many people with a shared background. In tech, I think it is tempting to try to reduce things to data and algorithms, but being part of Latinx in Tech (LIT), there is this ‘chispa’, or spark, that folks bring whether we talk about work or politics, religion, family, etc. Nothing feels off limits and we can present more of our complete authentic human selves. No amount of money can buy that growing sense of belonging.” – Bianca #insideindeed Seattle

Hear Latinx in Tech Co-Chair Thomas Gomez discuss the importance of Hispanic Heritage month, the issues facing the Latinx community and how media narratives can stand in the way of empathy and understanding with Indeed CEO, Chris Hyams in this video from our ‘Here to Help’ series.

Staying LIT year round

LIT is more than just a one time thing where we come together for one month in the Fall! It is year-round with meetings, special events and volunteer opportunities in respective offices. One great example of this is when our Scottsdale chapter put together a reusable water bottle drive for the homeless community with 125 care bags filled with sandwiches, supplies and water bottles for their community. Way to go team! 

We also host Job Squad events where we help bilingual communities learn how to use Indeed, how to upload their resume to the site and how to search for jobs. 

For me, one of the most rewarding moments of my time in LIT has been when I volunteered with American YouthWorks, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “provide young people with opportunities to build careers, strengthen communities, and improve the environment through education, on-the-job training, and service to others.” 

I represented LIT (and Indeed) at American YouthWorks and worked with a diverse set of students to help prepare them for real-world interviews by hosting a speed round of mock interviews with honest feedback and an open Q&A. 

I’m so thankful to be a part of Latinx in Tech, where this year we changed our logo from “Para Todos” — which means “for all” — to “Para Todxs”, a letter change I championed to help create more gender inclusivity in our culture. Truly, the work we are doing with LIT is like no other. 

Learn more about Latinx in Tech in the video below and read more Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging stories on our inclusion blog.

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2931Rani holds up the Indeed mobile appInclusion

How I help make Indeed’s mobile app more accessible

Rani Cohen shares her story of seeing an opportunity to put her passion for being an ally for the Deaf-Blind community to work, helping make Indeed’s mobile app more accessible.
Rani showing off the Indeed mobile app

Rani Cohen, Client Success Specialist – NYC

Rani Cohen shares her story of seeing an opportunity to put her passion for being an ally for the Deaf-Blind community to work, helping make Indeed’s mobile app more accessible.

Rani started with Indeed in August 2019 and is a part of the Client Success Dedicated Team in New York City. She got involved with the Access Indeed Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) in late 2019.

As a Client Success Specialist at Indeed, I work closely with Account Executives to help Employers with their hiring needs by providing strategic advice to help them make their next hire. I help answer questions about Indeed’s products and services, troubleshoot technical issues and provide suggestions for optimizing job advertisements.

My affinity for the Deaf-Blind community started during my previous job. I moved through many different roles and titles but always was involved with accessibility. I was inspired by a customer who is Deaf-Blind and works for the Helen Keller National Center. She was coming to us for guidance about how to use VoiceOver on her smartphone to be more independent. I worked with that client and another one of my colleagues for the better part of 6 years.

Throughout my tenure at my previous job, I made sure to leave time to do Accessibility work. I’m self-taught when it comes to the VoiceOver feature. I wanted to take the time to understand it myself to best teach the functionality, so I sought out resources and practiced in my spare time. I also took an ASL class so that I could better support any Deaf customers who came into our store. During that time, I became more familiar with VoiceOver and the challenges that the Deaf-Blind, Deaf, and Blind communities face in the workforce.

Working with the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Blind communities gave me a unique perspective on what challenges those communities face. This ignited my passion for accessibility and making sure to focus on removing all obstacles in the way. I’m super grateful for the people I met who helped guide me and pushed me to take the time and learn about this technology.

During that time I made a Deaf-Blind friend who is a technology whiz with his own tech blog. When I told him I was going to work for Indeed, he said he had challenges using our app while he was searching for his jobs using VoiceOver.

This knowledge inspired me to join Access Indeed, an Inclusion Resource Group at Indeed (IRG) dedicated to identifying and addressing issues that come with visible and non-visible disabilities in the workplace, to try to see how I could get involved in Indeed’s accessibility work. I’m really not okay with things being “just accessible enough”. I believe that we should remove as many obstacles as possible so we really can help all people get jobs!

An Opportunity to Help 

Rani showing off her Apple watch

Rani sporting a piece of her favorite technology

One day I was in the Access Indeed IRG Slack channel and saw one of Indeed’s, Senior Design Technologist asking if any of the members know anyone who uses assistive technologies day-to-day, such as screen readers, Zoom capabilities or dedicated software, Braille devices, speech input software, etc. because she was working to make indeed.com compliant with new web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1). I hesitated for a bit before replying that while I am not a Blind user, I have some experience using VoiceOver on iOS.

Now, I’m currently working with Indeed’s Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging team as part of a cross-functional accessibility initiative to help troubleshoot the VoiceOver functionality. What I do is enable VoiceOver on my iPhone and just go through the Indeed app as if I were a job seeker looking for a job. What I’ll do is report things that are not announced correctly.

For example, the back button should simply say “Back Button,” but it used to announce “Blue Chevron, maybe, back button.”

Little things like that can be super overwhelming for a Blind user if the announcements are wrong, or too long, or just plain confusing. I do all this in my spare time when I am not doing my regular Client Success responsibilities, simply because I am passionate about it and want to help. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to contribute to this development.

I really want to see more awareness around accessibility-related bias in the hiring process. After working with Helen Keller National Center, I witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to be a Deaf-Blind individual looking for work. We should be so aware of this and do everything we can to make this better, being the largest job site in the world.

I think this work can help Indeed stay true to its mission to be the best place to find a job for all people by creating access for anyone using a screen reader to connect with future employers.

Find out more about Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Indeed.

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2820Sherrie reads to AmayaInclusion

Lessons learned from 6 months as a caregiver during COVID

When everything shut down in March, I found myself working from home with my 3-year-old daughter while my newly laid off husband hunted for jobs. Six months later, we’re...

Sherrie reads to her daughterSherrie shares her struggle and explains why she decided to help found the Parents & Caregivers Inclusion Resource Group at Indeed

Sherrie is a Founder and Americas Co-Chair for the Parents & Caregivers Inclusion Resource Group. She leads Product Marketing for Indeed’s small and medium business products, and she’s mom to Amaya (Dec 2016) and wife to Andy, her high school sweetheart. Sherrie enjoys puzzles, yoga, swimming, reading, and learning to be a plant mom. She was also recently nominated for the Austin Under 40 Awards in the Technology category.

When everything shut down in March, I found myself working from home with my 3-year-old daughter while my newly laid off husband hunted for jobs. Six months later, we’re still navigating this pandemic and what it looks like to work from home. 

As Indeed’s head of HR, Paul Wolfe says, “you’re not ‘working from home’ — you’re at home, during a crisis, trying to work” all while trying to care for others. 

Caring for others looks different for everyone – from laboring moms wearing their masks to the elderly seeking treatment alone in the hospital. Parents have sent young kids back to daycare with a mix of fear and relief, grade school parents are now starting the year virtually, and college parents are helping their young adults navigate independent life away from home.

Taking action

Sherrie shares cookies with her daughterThroughout all the chaos, one of the ways I felt I could help manage the situation was to control what I could at work and at home. I set up a schedule and activities for my daughter at home and blocked time on my calendar for caregiving. I also kicked off the Parents & Caregivers Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) at Indeed with an internal #wfh-parents Slack channel, which gained over 700 members in a week’s time. 

The channel is a place where parents and caregivers can share knowledge, vent about our shared struggles, and support one another.

A new reality 

Trying to lighten the mood of the moment, I recently posted the video below showing a day in the life of a caregiver, a fun and playful take that unfortunately doesn’t tell the whole story.

What it misses are the toddler meltdowns, the guilt, the tiredness that comes with balancing another’s needs with the needs of an average work day.

Ironically, caregivers know how to give care, but often neglect to take care of themselves. The reality is, parents are spending 30 hours a week on caregiving on top of their average workload.

Now, with the added role of educator for some, parents are working 3 full time jobs in a day and only getting paid for one. 

Finding communitySherrie and family

Everyone’s situation is unique. Our Slack community has provided a space to connect and be seen. Employees are engaging, vulnerable, and supportive. 

In these 6 months, I’ve met a dad who upgraded his wheelchair-bound son’s desk space to get ready for school; heard from a friend who actively tries to shield her black son from the news because he doesn’t need reminders of his lived experience; and talked to a husband who takes breaks during the day to give his wife hormone injections as they go through IVF. 

Another mom introduced herself to the group, expressed gratitude for Indeed’s fertility benefits, and then let us know she recently miscarried. One of my former teammates told me her father passed away from COVID, and she’s trying to support her mom while wrangling her 3 kids. With all of this going on, we still log on, answer that email, and collaborate with our teams; sometimes work is our break from life. 

Two truths

Sherrie's daughter Amaya at a laptop with the screen that says "I help people get jobs."

Sherrie’s daughter, Amaya, sitting next to mommy’s work mission

We love contributing to the incredible mission of helping people get jobs, and we love our family. So how do we juggle both? The truth is, we can’t. Each moment ends up being a choice, and often when it comes to keeping our children safe or an everyday work moment, it’s really not a choice at all. 

Unfortunately, work-life conflict has existed for a long time because we’ve kept our two identities separate. With remote work, the two have collided.

It’s equally freeing and painfully uncomfortable. Indeed is a place that provides a lot of freedom: incredible benefits, which includes weekly therapy sessions, parental leave, unlimited time off, and a culture of inclusion and belonging. But as with everything, we have opportunities for improvement, which is where the work of the Parents & Caregivers (IRG) comes in.

Launching an Inclusion Resource Group in a Pandemic

As the 10th and most recently formed IRG at Indeed, we find that caregiving is an intersectional identity that impacts members across all groups. We have members who care for the elderly and family members with disabilities. We have Black, Brown, Asian, Latinx, LGBTQ+ caregivers, and those who are veterans.

We also have parents of fully grown children, soon-to-be parents, and those just returning to the workplace from parental leave – our members live all over the world from Japan to Canada.

What’s Working

Sherrie and her daughter in the poolI mentioned before the power of our community. Right now, most of our engagement happens on Slack, but it’s bigger than the platform. It’s a space to be seen, connect with colleagues, and uplift one another. When I talk to members, they feel most validated knowing they’re not alone in the struggle of this pandemic. 

Our Senior Leadership Team constantly acknowledges the struggles we face, and they openly express frustration that they can’t solve this crisis as many are experiencing the effects themselves. Folks are also coming together to provide support beyond the initial #wfh-parents with channels like #wfh-school-help and #eldercare-chats. 

We also find that humor and joy are pivotal. For a few weeks, we played a game where everyone told their current home situation and replaced their kids with “my coworker”: Today, my coworker (15mo) had a meltdown and threatened to quit when she couldn’t find her bellybutton under a pair of overalls. And another game of “what do your kids say when you ask them what you do for work?”

  • Social Media Specialist: My 2 year old daughter – “I talk to peoples.”
  • Software Engineer: My 6 year old son  says “I type random words on the computer”
  • Manager, Einstein Analytics:  “ma-ma-ba-ba-ba-DADA”
  • Senior Account Executive: “make money”
  • Internal Communications for TA: “Mommy talks to her friends about how tired everyone is all the time”

Off Slack and onto Zoom, we bring our kids to the Black Inclusion Group’s Verzuz battles, in which two DJs pair up live and compete to decide who has the better playlist. It’s been a fun way to break up the work day and entertain our kids. We also attended iPride’s dance parties during Pride Month and the GenderCool Project where trans youth shared their stories. Next month, we’ll be hosting a storytime series where IRG leaders and our executives will read their favorite children’s books about diversity and inclusion.

What Could Be Better

We need allies who both recognize our struggles and validate our worth. Acknowledge our families, ask how they’re doing, and most importantly, remind us to take care of ourselves and leverage our mental health resources. Help us set attainable goals and measurable outcomes, and give us the autonomy to manage our own time.

Whether we’ve accepted it or not, we’re in this for the long haul, and we need to pace ourselves. We all need to come together to support caregivers. Our teams, our company, and our society depend on it.

Learn about some of the other challenges parents and caregivers are facing on Indeed Community.

Tips from other Parents & Caregivers

During August, we’ve been sharing tips from Parents & Caregivers on our #insideindeed Instagram. Below is the advice they gave for dealing with parenting in a pandemic.

April #insideindeed Austin

“One thing I recommend keeping in mind is that uninterrupted working time for parents is incredibly rare. What may seem like a quick, 30-minute check-in via zoom to you may be a logistical nightmare for a parent; an exercise in keeping their kids safe, adequately entertained, and quiet. Checking-in on each meeting before scheduling it and determining if the content can be handled via email instead can make all the difference.” -April, #insideindeed Austin

Patrick #insideindeed Düsseldorf

“The change that suddenly came when the kindergarten was closed was particularly difficult. It was very challenging to meet the needs of my 5-year-old son, the expectations towards myself as a father, and to make him happy with the new situation. I am sure that it hit a lot of people. Above all, for me, being part of the Parents & Caregivers Inclusion Resource Group means creating a sense of belonging and not leaving the Parents & Caregivers alone with their challenges and feelings in these times.” – Patrick, #insideindeed Düsseldorf

 

Maria and her daughter

Maria #insideindeed Foster City

“Not being afraid to ask for help is the single most important thing you can do for yourself. I have been fortunate to have a supportive manager and my team is one of the best set of people I have worked with. That said, support can come in multiple forms. One of the most meaningful benefits at Indeed is the virtual counseling sessions available through Support Linc. If you are a parent/caregiver – Yes, the struggle is real but know that you are not alone!” – Maria, #insideindeed Foster City

The mission of the Parents & Caregivers Inclusion Resource Group at Indeed is to foster a sense of belonging for all parents and caregivers, so they can thrive at work throughout all stages of the caregiving journey. 

Learn more about how Indeed is Here to Help parents and caregivers in the video below.

Read about Mun-Yee’s experience coming back to work post-maternity leave or Stuart’s story about being a work from home dad with 5 kids.

As we get ready for back to school, Meet the Teachers of Indeed in this post from our #insideindeed culture blog.

Learn more about Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Indeed.

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2662Inclusion

The Richness of our Roots: Cultural Inclusion at Indeed

Navigating your way through an unfamiliar culture is a brave and challenging task. Indeedians who have done it say perhaps the most difficult part is to try to fit in without losing your heritage.

Indeedians share their International Inclusion stories

Did you know Indeed.com helps people get jobs in more than 60 countries in 28 languages around the world? 

International Inclusion Group Global Leadership

We believe that’s something to celebrate! That’s why we dedicated all July to sharing and learning about the different cultures that make up Indeed worldwide.

Whether it’s faith, food, family heritage, language or country of origin, as Indeedians, we believe the things that make us different provide strength and perspective to our company and each other.

“Being in the technology space, we have a platform that impacts the world on a massive scale. With this perspective and in light of recent events, it’s been clear that people exist with widely differing world views. Some of these perspectives can be disheartening, but others can be incredible,” Adit Dixit, International Inclusion Group Site Lead in Foster City, explains.

Fitting in without losing yourself

Navigating your way through an unfamiliar culture is a brave and challenging undertaking. Indeedians who have done it say perhaps the most difficult part is to try to fit in without losing your heritage.

Yao Yao, Product Scientist – Tokyo

Yao Yao who works in our Tokyo office explains, “I have been moving around and living in foreign countries for half of my life. No matter where I go, I’m Chinese. No matter where I was, life has always been a mix of struggling and balancing among keeping my heritage and fitting in, and the most important part, being myself.” 

Search Quality Analyst, Ela Gavrilova adds, “In elementary school, all I wanted to do was fit in and be ‘normal.’ I felt sure that other kids would make fun of me for being different, being foreign, having an accent. I strove to hide my heritage.” 

“Challenges could come from everywhere, maybe daily encounters in restaurants, or work discussions,” Yao Yao continues. “ I have experienced a lot and I could imagine many of us here are going through some of them. I joined the International Inclusion Group with the hope I could contribute to make our Indeedians enjoy where they are and being who they are.”

Global Humans of Indeed

Throughout this month, our International Inclusion Resource Group has used the theme “Global Human Stories of Indeed” to celebrate how different cultures and communities come together to make us who we are as people and as a company

Jim Hand, Senior Software Engineer – Austin, TX

Some are interesting like Senior Software Engineer, Jim Hand’s story of discovering a new relative from the South Pacific.

“I found myself answering a call from a man with a South Pacific accent. I sat in my car and talked with him for about an hour. He explained that his adopted father was a Belgian doctor at the hospital where my aunt had given birth. My aunt had kept this secret her entire life. It was so weird to hear that an individual who could have been part of my life was separated from his biological side of the family for his entire life. His life surely would have been in California, but instead was in American Samoa and Hawaii,” Jim recalls.

“We decided to friend each other on Facebook. I immediately saw that his appearance was just like my cousin’s on my mother’s side of the family. He could easily be mistaken as a brother of one of my cousins. I saw pictures of his beautiful family and researched his parents. I realized that even though my aunt did not raise him, he must have had a great life.”

A new perspective

Muna Hussaini, Jobseeker Chief of Staff – Austin, TX

Some are insightful like Jobseeker Chief of Staff, Muna Hussaini, finding a new lens through which to think about her family history.

Muna shared what she learned about her father’s journey from India to Oklahoma in the 1970s and the new perspective it gave her with regards to racial discrimiation and the privilege her family enjoys.

A photograph of Muna’s father ~1970

“Despite graduating at the top of his class and completing relevant research, my father was rejected from 80-90 jobs,” Muna explains. “With emotion, he recalled receiving one rejection after another, most within days. This news gave me pause, as it was the time of snail mail and letters being written by secretaries on typewriters. How much consideration were his applications given?”

Her father eventually found a job after his research advisor introduced him to someone working at an oil company in Pennsylvania, but recent events have prompted Muna to think about how much more difficult her father’s journey could have been.

“Though he faced difficulty, it was due to circumstance and not his origin. Perhaps being a foreign, lighter-skinned, Indian man made it easier for him to walk through life. As an Indian man, he was in a position of privilege and was able to benefit from racial inequity, bypassing the racism and systemic injustice facing the Black community.”

Learning together

Ela Gavrilova, International Inclusion Group Regional Co-Chair

Some are inspirational like Ela’s story of a tough conversation with her mum, a Russian Immigrant who now lives in Canada.

“She and I were catching up via video chat, and she expressed her worry about me, checking in about how I was doing amid all of the troubling events going on south of the northern border. When she started listing the many things I should be concerned about, she immediately brought up the Black Lives Matter protests, and how she wished they would ‘just stop’.”

With a lot of recent discussions and training provided by Indeed’s Inclusion Resource Groups and our Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging team, Ela feels she now has the tools to have a calm and educational conversation with her mother.

“I didn’t approach her with hostility or anger. I didn’t force an association between her ingrained beliefs and her character. I didn’t demean or demoralize her for her views. And to my incredible surprise, relief, and joy – she really listened!

“In the moment, seeing her nod along, eyes wide, finding her way slowly out of her personal forest of ingrained bias — I was so touched and amazed that she could be willing to see the situation from a different perspective.”

Celebrating International Inclusion

In addition to sharing stories, every Monday the International Inclusion Group had a different musical theme to get Indeedians motivated to start the week, including International love songs, dance songs and revolutionary songs.

Adit Dixit, International Inclusion Group Site Lead – Foster City, CA

They also did social media takeovers of the #insideindeed Instagram to ask fellow Indeedians to share their favorite dishes, sports, beautiful things and what they are grateful for during these complex times.

In the end, Adit says being part of the International Inclusion Resource Group has made him a better Indeedian and citizen of the world. 

“While at work, and specifically starting the International Inclusion Group in Foster City, I’ve found meaningful connections with people I might not have been able to interact with and meet. These conversations have enriched my understanding of the world, whether it’s a new type of cuisine, or a phrase that says something perfectly in another language but has no translation in English, it’s been a rewarding and enriching experience,” he says. 

“Whatever country you’re from, and whatever you identify with, WHO you are is welcomed and encouraged. I find that incredibly empowering. We as Indeedians have stood strong in the face of a pandemic and the upheavals happening all around us, and we’re only growing stronger as we learn and support each other.” 

For more International Inclusion stories, watch the video below.

Read more Indeedian stories on our #insideindeed culture blog.

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