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Harnessing the Power of DEI and Social Impact together

Harnessing the Power of DEI and Social Impact together

This blog is part of a series of blogs ‘Momentive’s continued dedication to DEI and social impact’ that centers around the principles of DEI and Social impact, our learnings as a company, as well as the tools and templates to help you Ask, Listen and Act when it comes to DEI and Social impact.  

Momentive is working to build tech’s most inclusive workplace. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a business imperative, and achieving our DEI goals is as important to our business as launching new products or hitting our financial targets. Hiring Antoine Andrews as Momentive’s first Chief Diversity and Social Impact Officer, brought together decades of diversity and social impact experience, C-suite oversight, and a champion at the top with a direct line to Momentive’s CEO keeping the company accountable for meeting goals in both areas. 

Historically, organizations have separated DEI and social impact. At Momentive, we believe there is power in combining both areas of expertise and in having a strategy that builds community, amplifies voices, and influences systems change. Together, DEI and social impact can be transformational. 

How DEI & Social Impact interact in the workplace and beyond

A key part of DEI work is fostering inclusive spaces for all employees, especially for historically underserved people. Though traditionally under the umbrella of DEI, affinity-based Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and location-based Diversity, Inclusion, and Impact Groups (DIIGs) at Momentive are a critical driver of both DEI and social impact. These passionate employees are empowered to tap into their shared experiences to build relationships in the workplace with their colleagues and with outside organizations leading important equity and advancement work in their communities. 

For example, our employee-led DIIGs in Europe organized an educational tour about houselessness in Dublin, Ireland benefitting local NGO, Dublin Simon Community. Employees in Amsterdam, Netherlands rallied together to clear rubbish from the local canal and package food at the local food bank. Our Latino/a/x ERG (Unidos) and Bay Area DIIG organized volunteers for the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area to help DACA recipients renew their applications, helping them maintain stability and security.

Momentive’s ERGs for caregivers (CARE) and for Black employees (BUILD) provide monthly opportunities for employees to connect, share resources, and discuss topics unique to their experiences. ERGs and DIIGs also host professional development workshops and celebrate cultural observances throughout the year. Neurotopia, Momentive’s newest ERG for neurodivergent employees, wrote a blog about the intersection of race and neurodivergence and how to support employees, and shared these insights during Momentive’s manager training.

One of our DEI and Social Impact pillars is to internally operationalize equity, inclusion, and justice within our organization through a variety of means. We’ve done this by fostering an accountable culture through inclusive learning and talent development approaches and across our approach to social impact such as collaborating with ERGs & DIIGs on key issues to share resources across donations, matching, volunteering, and more. Our ERGs & DIIGs in turn provide feedback to help us continually improve how and when we respond to social issues.  In addition to ERGs & DIIGs, Momentive’s Social Impact Advisory Council is composed of representatives across job functions, locations, and levels. This council weighs in on topics that the DEI & Social Impact team are working to address, such as helping shape the early stages of our DEI learning strategy, for example. Our LGBTQ+ ERG (The Queerious) have been leading efforts in partnership with HR to secure gender-affirming healthcare for employees outside of the US, and consulted on an internal data collection campaign to capture more inclusive gender representation of Momentive’s workforce. 

The power of data

But why stop there? If we’re striving to be tech’s most inclusive workforce, then we need to be as inclusive in our social impact volunteer initiatives and strategic partnerships as we are with internal policies and employee engagement and volunteer initiatives. At Momentive, we understand the power of data, and we are committed to developing market-leading thought leadership. 

With the power and reach of SurveyMonkey, we provide unbiased research to millions through thought-provoking campaigns like the 19th and LeanIn.Org about socio-political issues and how they especially impact women, women of color, and LGBTQ+ people. Our partnership with AAPI Data was born out of our Asian Pacific Islander ERG’s  (Mosaic) desire to amplify API voices and combat the rise in COVID-related anti-Asian sentiment. We also partnered with Entree Health and the Tegan & Sara Foundation to conduct a confidential survey to understand experiences with the COVID-19 vaccine within the LGBTQ+ community. 

DEI and social impact in the future

Employees want purposeful careers and they want to work for a company that empowers them and the world to use the full force of their passions for social good. At Momentive, we make a concerted effort to include employees in our DEI and Social Impact strategy. It doesn’t happen without them. 

It’s also how we put our values into action, by bringing the best of both DEI and Social Impact into one strategy. It’s how we’ve come to operate, and our employees are learning that each and every one of us owns this work regardless of title, level, or business function. This can be seen in the finance team launching a vendor supplier diversity program, HR and Talent Development embedding DEI into training and policies, designing products with accessibility in mind, and even when teams choose to order sustainable giveaways and work with local and underrepresented vendors to reduce carbon emissions and support small businesses. 

I look forward to seeing more companies combine DEI and Social Impact. As the lines between work and home merge, and companies encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work, DEI and social impact opportunities have become natural and essential elements of the holistic employee experience. It no longer makes sense to silo these functions, and consequently, we may see more combined roles like mine emerge. As a DEI and Social Impact leader, I truly believe that employee resource groups are where leaders come to grow and drive positive change. They’re championing both DEI and Social Impact, and I’d like to think some of these champions will become the DEI and Social Impact professionals of the future.

Ask, listen, then act. 

With everything, our tried and true approach works: Ask, listen, then act. Ask people, listen by creating the space for dialogue and input and amplify the voices that aren’t always heard, and take action by empowering employees to own DEI and social impact in their day jobs, through volunteerism, and through groups such as ERGs and DIIGs.

We’re going to continue to see DEI and Social Impact work in tandem. Merging DEI and Social Impact has benefitted us at Momentive, and our tools can help other organizations consider the benefits of combining these forces.  I look forward to seeing companies embrace the combined strategy as we look into the future. 

Try out our SurveyMonkey templates for DEI and Social Impact! 

Visit the introduction to this blog series and our articles about the importance of DEI in talent integration and unlocking personal purpose at work through volunteering.