Building a Culture of Inclusion
4:30PM Jun 23, 2021
Great. Hi everyone, we're really excited to be here. We are all from Time and we're. Thank you so much to ONA for hosting us especially to the wonderful Hannah, who has been a great guide throughout this process. Happy Pride Month, Happy Immigrant Heritage Month. Happy, all of the ways we should see each other every month, and I hope that you have all been staying as well as possible over the course of the pandemic, we're thrilled to be together in this virtual community. I'm Sue Suh, I have the great joy of being the first Chief People Officer at Time as we continue our 98-year-old startup journey. I personally come from a background of philanthropy and public government service, and I've been really lucky enough to be around extraordinary people throughout my career, who get up in the morning every single day to make the world a better place. Three of those amazing colleagues are here with me today. Alan Ramos, Lucy Feldman, and Namrata Suri. It's a daily honor to work alongside them and to learn from them as we help bring the mission of Time to life, not only in our public facing journalism and work, but also in the culture that we're building together internally. They each walk the talk on trust, equality, empathy, and impact, and we've been inspired to see many of those themes be highlighted in ONA's programming at this conference. And so, without further ado, to kick off this panel discussion on building a culture of inclusion at time, I'll turn it over to each of my colleagues introduce themselves, and we'll start with you, Alan.
Hey everyone, I'm Alan Ramos and I'm the director of facilities and Office services at Time. I've been here about a year and a half. Huge on culture and really excited to be on this panel today. I'll kick it over to Lucy.
Hi, I'm Lucy Feldman, I'm a senior editor at Time, have been at Time for a little over four years, and I mostly covered, I mostly cover, identity, and
Hey everyone. I'm Namrata Suri, I'm the director of product here at Time. I've been a Time for close to four years now, and I'm really excited to be here with my colleagues to talk more about how we are building a great culture at Time. Over to you, Sue.
Thank you so much Namrata, Lucy and Alan, and everyone will hear more from each of them. In a moment, and, you know, to kick it off, as I mentioned, we're a 98 year old startup here at Time with extraordinary owners who purchased us in late 2018, we're just over 300 people worldwide, about 250 of whom are in the United States and in our journalism, our opportunity is to shine a light on the stories and storytellers who moved the world, and to be courageous and clear in our approach to humanity. In doing so, and as a new company, we've been thinking about our values and how can we really reflect that internally, what are all the ways we can honor the stories of our own employees, how can we help them feel cared for, and supported and seen, and a huge part of the answer to those questions is sitting in front of you in the form of my colleagues, we are as strong as the people we surround ourselves with, and in the voices they can raise. That's true in our personal lives, as we all experience, and it's also really really true in our work communities, last summer when George Floyd was murdered. It devastated and galvanized us, it was it spotlighted and often painfully, painfully rollaways all of the lives lost, whose names we must remember over generations. The episodes of bias and discrimination and aggressions micro and macro that many of us have all experienced in our own lives. And we also experienced a fundamental commitment that we can and must do something about it. Perhaps there's a lot that we can't control in the world, but we can control how we show up for each other, how we energize each other, how we provide opportunities for each other, and how we hold each other accountable. We each have agency, all of us on this panel, every one of you listening, and if we all believe that as individuals and even more so as a collective community. We really can make a difference. And so the initiatives that you'll hear more about from each of my colleagues really came together as a result of deep listening to each other, to our employees and open collaboration in terms of what ideas will be meaningful, what will create an impact and how can we sustain those going forward in real ways. And so what I'd love to do is turn it over to my colleagues have really been doing this so much day to day within the programs that you'll hear but also in the course of their day to day work and Alan, why don't we start with you, with the mentorship program.
Amazing. Thanks Sue. Hi everyone. It's great to see you all and I'm honored to be on this panel. Here to discuss the time mentorship program, which we launched earlier this year for time. Mentorship has played such a pivotal role in both my development and career path, and I knew it was really important and essential to help build a program at time, that would support and encourage the growth and skill set up our staff. So no matter where you are in your career, I think we can all agree that learning never stops, entering the program as a mentor, your experience and guidance can help shape the trajectory of someone's life. I mean I know it did for me. There's also mutual learning that happens along your partnership journey, which is extremely beneficial. And as a mentee gaining counsel from someone, more experienced in their career is invaluable. I myself never had the benefit of a formal mentor early in my career but I've had great informal mentors along the way, which is instrumental to both my personal and professional growth. Our program here at Time. We began with a detailed application, which helped us form those meaningful partnerships by the answers that our applicants gave. We gathered all those participants to provide us feedback to help us shape the kind of program they wanted to participate in, which included the duration and time, which ended up being a six month program for us, and a formal mentorship program. There are other several kinds of programs you can run, but we felt that this gave our pairs the best opportunity to set goals and realistic timelines to achieve them. Now I do want to share some of our key takeaways that we've drawn from our program. First, both our mentors and mentees have experienced a huge boost to both confidence and morale. These are just one of the many. These are one of those metrics you can't quantify, but as you know as an intangible it's so important to the success and health of a company in my opinion, also second, when you think about culture and how to develop in house talent. Our program has provided an amazing avenue to do that, which will only help strengthen our people and their skill sets, and their journey through their career. And third, participation from our executive staff, which was absolutely huge and important to the success of our program, we had the great fortune of including some really great leaders in our company. And it can only build a stronger foundation for us, so we were really ecstatic about that. And finally, they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery, so don't be afraid to mirror someone successful their habits, their work ethic, and their communication to name a few. It really doesn't matter what cut what size company you are, you can establish a mentorship program. You know, I've had the great experience of working for a large company with 10,000 global employees all the way down to a 100 person office, and it's all the same, it's about your people, it's about investing into the culture of your office and your, your company. Start with communication to gauge the interest from your staff, you know, get the support of your local leadership on board and craft a program that works for your people base are is a good starting point, create the world you want to live in, or in this case the company. Thanks so much for your time today. I can't wait for the q&a, and I'll now hand this back over to Sue and the rest of this amazing panel, thank you so much,
Alan, thank you so much. It's been great to kick off the mentorship program with you as one of the key leaders in that, and I'd love to now turn it over to Lucy who will talk about, you know, talking about a specific initiative but also yes part of it you've you've done you've led your own mentorship program within the year So Lucy, take it away.
Thank you. So Sue started out talking about last summer as a really painful but also really galvanizing moment for all of us that time as I imagined was the case for everybody here today. I remember it was a time, a lot of a lot of hurting a lot of people were feeling really overwhelmed really isolated. So we decided to gather in a way that we never had before. I sent around an invitation that sort of spread by word of mouth, anyone who identifies as BIPOC and wants to just come talk. Let's set up a virtual space, and we ended up talking about things that we had experienced at Time and other workplaces and the changes that we were really hoping would come out of that period. And just how we were doing as humans who are going through something really awful. And we ended up creating a community that we'd never had access to before in a workplace. So, what began as a sort of word of mouth, ad hoc social gathering is now a formal part of our company called an employee resource group, or ERG, and I am the chair of the BIPOC at Time, ERG, it's not the most creative name, if anyone has suggestions I am open to ideas and we are far from the only group so our people and culture team led by Sue opened up a signup process where if you had, I think it was four or five people on staff who were interested in forming a group, you could go ahead and do so and make it official. So we now have LATAM at time, Beat which is for black employees, API Alliance, Time for PRIDE, Parents at Time, Women at Time, and a Young Professionals Network, as well as the BIPOC group so that's eight ERGs. A few details about these groups, each has a chair or co chair, who is a sort of junior or mid level staff person who sets the agenda and keeps the momentum going for the group. We also have an executive sponsor for each group and that's someone from the company's leadership level who can be a resource, and an advocate, if there is something that we need or an opinion that we really need to make sure is heard, that person is there for us to help make sure that happens. Each group is really run quite differently and has different priorities. For example, the BIPOC at Time group recently did an editorial magazine takeover, where we collectively brainstormed and developed, and ultimately created a cover package told from our perspectives. It was our first ever BIPOC led issue. It's called Visions of Equity, and we're all really proud of it. I hope you'll check it out. But all of the ERGs, put on company wide events. So for example today, this afternoon, I am really looking forward to attending a Britney Spears themed Happy Hour hosted by the Time for PRIDE, ERG. These events really run the gamut from sort of light hearted fun to more serious ones so we've also done a dumpling cooking class with the API Alliance, a wellbeing workshop with the grief, trauma and loss, ERG. Holiday Toy Drive with the parents group, then many many more. We've had a lot of great guest speakers, and it's a place to gather and be together and those events are always open to everybody so whether you're in the group or not. You can come and be a supportive ally. These groups have become a really essential part of Time's culture, I would say, we're always working on ways to ensure that everyone feels safe, bringing their full selves to work, and the ERGs I think have been a huge part of working towards that goal. Back to Sue.
Great Lucy, thank you for everyone who's watching and listening I've put the link to the visions of equity package in the chat if you'd like to check it out and to really give an extra shout out to Lucy who helped spearhead what was an enormous and wonderful and ambitious and courageous package that not only included what we're seeing in the world around these themes, but also highlighted our internal voices and personal experiences and hopes and journeys and dreams for the future so an extra shout out to you, Lucy, for your leadership there. Absolutely. Namrata, I'd love to turn it over to you.
Thank you Sue and hello everyone. I'm really excited to talk about the diversity council a Time, I'm so fortunate to be a part of it. But to begin let me sort of provide some context as to why did the council come into existence. Right. At a more philosophical level. Each one of us should be thinking about diversity in our day to day lives right it should be a core value in the way we function and treat others. However, in reality, that is not always the case. And I think the, the events of the past one year have made that very obvious. So over the past year or so it has become a core priority for our organization. Before focus on diversity and the council sort of a way to bring together people from different parts of the organization together, share each other's experiences to learn from each other's experiences and to create some sort of a tangible plan of action, right, because obviously actions speak louder than words. And it's also an important opportunity for colleagues to contribute to the organization in different ways. Right, it's an opportunity for them to lead and grow. So the Diversity Council at Time has four subcommittees. Each obviously has its different goals and priorities at a very high level it's professional development, communications, accountability, and recruiting, hiring and retention. I am part of the professional development subcommittee, with three other wonderful colleagues. And over the past few months I have had an amazing experience just learning from them, how we can help our colleagues feel supported in their career growth. Career growth can mean different things to different people, it sort of really depends on the individual and the team and the role in which they function, but our job is to collect inputs and feedback from people, to make sure we have processes or plans in place to support them no matter what. The summer conferences or ONA is actually a wonderful example of that. Earlier this year we put together a proposal involved in close collaboration with our people and culture team to secure funding to be able to support our employees who would want to attend conferences. These are a wonderful opportunity to speak on panels, to network, or to upscale, to learn new skills, right. So we thought this would be a great way of creating a professional development program. I'm this is still this is still early days for us. Right, we've only been around for a few months so there's obviously a lot of room for growth and learning for us as well. But my main takeaway is that you need to have a bias for action sometimes taking that first step, is often sometimes the hardest thing to do. But once you take that first step and you have a foundation, it's, it gets easier to iterate on top of it as you get more inputs and feedback. So if you're someone within your organization who feels like you do not have a formal professional development program, or you don't have access to information or opportunities. Even something like galvanizing a few, few people from within your team to just talk about ideas, creating a Google doc where you just a brain dump all the information you have is a good starting point. Yeah, so having said that, I'm gonna hand it back to sue.
It's amazing, Namrata. So, I mean, all of the members actually that you see here Namrata, Lucy and Alan are members of the Diversity Council and it's just been amazing to see, again, the voices and the stories and experiences that everyone brings forward in terms of what is again meaningful and and what is the change that we can make together so incredibly grateful for, for all of you in that and Namrata, thank you for describing the journey we've been taking on the Diversity Council, as you've heard from, from each person, a key thing is a key takeaway, you know, in terms of these concepts and ideas are really important but often if you are sitting in your own organization, depending on where you are and thinking about your culture programs that you may or may not be in process of building and the majority of that. Sometimes it's you know what's a concrete thing I can do, what does it take away what's a lesson learned. So I'd love to go back around to my co panelists here to share with you a key takeaway and each of the programs that they've mentioned. And so, Alan, why don't I go back to you to speak to mentorship.
Sure. Yeah, I mentioned this before, but I'll go, I'll go into it again, I think, a really big key takeaway for us was first and foremost, getting our leadership on board, Because, you know, if you can get, leadership, you know, as part of that program. A lot of people, it'll generate a lot more interest, and just the support of the group. And so I thought that was really key to us, launching correctly and having such a strong opening in our in our initial pilot program. Also, just, just the actual benefits you get from participating right, it's it's personally rewarding but you know I think that, you know, having an ear, you know, to, to, you know, having someone to listen to your, your, your, maybe your issues or your you're experiencing a hurdle in your career or you don't know how to approach a certain thing with your supervisor or somebody in your, you know, in your field or department, it's really helpful to lean on somebody with experience or just somebody from outside of this situation I thought that was really helpful in, you know, promoting their confidence and, you know morale, which is, I know I've mentioned that the morale booster was a big thing, and then you know also just continuing to, you know, to meet and get feedback, because you know you shouldn't be married to one set of, you know, running your program, one set of ways it should be, you know, something that you're agile with, and you know as you go along, you get feedback and you can kind of torque, tweak your program to fit the needs of your participants so I thought that was some good takeaways for the mentorship program
that's super helpful Alan, thank you. And Lucy, why don't I go back to you and there's actually a question in the chat that if you'd like you can weave in or we can save it for for after we close in terms of you know, are there any tips that you have Lucy for keeping up momentum and interest within the, ERGs, This person has said I've been in some workplace groups where they start really strong but they then tend to fizzle over time, so leave it to you to take that now or later.
Sure, I'll take it now. This is such a good question and it's, it's not easy. It's not like I don't necessarily feel like I have this cracked, but something that I have observed is giving people ownership over separate parts is really helpful. So we have a, you know, a sort of sub committee level of people who are in charge of different things so I have someone who is really interested in working on kind of continuing education for the newsroom. So that person will come up with ideas then I have a couple people who are really interested specifically in like the social gathering aspects. So those two people will come up with ideas for like themed kind of ways that we can make virtual happy hours fun which is, you know, really hard to do because we're all fatigued on that format, but because they always come up with something new, people show up. And then we have a couple people who are interested in outside speakers, so I feel really lucky to have their interest and I think we all kind of feel that way about each other. We can tap in, it's not like we need to do a social event, a guest speaker, a book club, and an editorial project every month. You can do one of those things per month. So, different people are kind of carrying the load in different cycles. But this is, that's my first answer, I'll keep thinking about it. Over the course of our discussion if I think of anything else that might be helpful. I'll bring it up. So do you want me to talk about a key takeaway that would be great. Okay, yeah. All right, I think, I feel like everybody here will have heard something along those lines before but it's still a warrants being said again, the ERG program has really demonstrated to me the power of community and of collective action. On the one hand, on a sort of bureaucratic level, it's very hard to say no to a group of 50 people who feel really passionately about getting something done. And that is just an experience that we had not had before because we did not have this meeting ground where we could identify those things that we all felt really strongly about. And then by the same token, but differently. The ideas are just better when we have the opportunity to consider more perspectives to take a little time to maybe spark something for someone in the room who then you know taps, a colleague, they haven't worked with before and says, Oh, I I didn't know that you were also interested in this. And I think it leads to sort of the best kind of collaboration.
I agree with that, so much and I think you're right we all would Lucy i mean i Listen, we're all, you know, on this panel and everyone who's here like we're all humans, you know, doing this work that we care so deeply about and I think we all become better and stronger the more we see each other and we hear each other and think together and what we need. And what's also really important. And one of the many things that's important and what Lucy just shared and also Alan and Namrata before is, you know, you, you don't. I guess two things one is this can be an organic journey that you share with your colleagues, and depending on the role that you play in your organization with your leadership, with your managers with people who report to you. It does not need to feel and I think, probably, you know like, probably should not feel like, you know, we've etched this in concrete and here's this program and like we're done and here's what what happens like, as humans, we're constantly learning and growing and developing and being a part of that organically and listening to each other is incredibly important. And the second point being, you don't need to feel like you yourself have all the answers, and that you know once we give ourselves permission, with that it really does allow us to hear each other in a more thoughtful and empathetic way, we all, If we are lucky enough as I deeply feel we are to have a community that is generally aligned in the values we seek to bring to life in the community and the change that we want to see the how we get there together again is only stronger with the more voices you can bring to that conversation. And so rather than think that one person has all the answers and is going to kind of put that out there in a way that's fully formed, think about it have those conversations talk with each other regularly and and help it develop and grow from there. So Namrata I'd love to hear your takeaway, and are learning and along the way of the Diversity Council and more.
Disadvantage of going last is touched upon some of those. But let me put on my product manager hat for for a little bit and sort of come at it from a different perspective. Generally when you have a big problem what we do is we break it down into small problems and we try to solve it for a small set of users, like a proof of concept, right and then you get data and feedback and you know whether it worked or not. If you're someone who feels like it's going to take generally takes a lot of time to get organizational alignment and buy in. Right and you can feel impatient that change is not happening fast. So, for me, a key learning is, even if you have a small idea that's going to work only for say your team, go for it. Once it works, and you have some feedback, you can then pay that data and that information to the executives and say hey, this is actually tried, it worked. Maybe we can scale it up and expand it to other teams, right, so I feel like that is a good model to adopt if you feel like the problem is too big to solve in one shot. That, to me has been a key learning.
That's such good advice, Namrata, It really is and breaking it down testing and iterating, right, and doing that together it's, it's such a great learning from from the work that you do so brilliantly every single day and just to thinking about it in terms of the journey that we're taking in our culture. We do want to leave enough time for questions but as we close, I just wanted to say listen I want to talk about, you know, oftentimes you hear about what a company is doing and you think, Okay, well, like you know what's next, what's the roadmap ahead. And one thing I did want to share with everyone is that you know what you've heard today are just three of the things that we have really taken on board as a company, We have a number of others that stitch together at this moment in time really feel meaningful and where we are. A piece of advice that I might share with the audience is sometimes also when it comes to your culture, you might feel like you just need to keep adding to a list of things that you are doing, um, and that can be really hard and so one thing that we've learned, and really take to heart, is, is not, again going back to a point that we mentioned briefly before and that is it's not a it's not a checklist or a check the box exercise right these, these initiatives and the way we show up for each other. Depth is much more important than breath, how we really lean in to the choices that we've made after listening and learning and questioning and communicating about those initiatives. And so what we see as our roadmap ahead is is really, you know giving these programs time to seed, continue to grow and learn from from those journeys, and then build upon them as needed as we go forward. And so, again, though the one word I would share is success doesn't mean the longest list of things that you're doing. Think about the depth, think about the true impact and the, and, and so and how that really is allowing you and your colleagues and your company to bring to life what you feel is really important. And, you know, as we all do this work, something I think everyone on this panel is talk to each other about and I'm sure many of you in the audience is that a lot of this work. Well I can zoom out and say like the world in general certainly most times, but over the past year and a half, has been an extraordinary set of circumstances, it has taken a lot of mental strength, and so will it is taxed us in many ways, emotionally, mentally, physically, and thinking about how you build your culture around the areas that we've talked about today, it takes some vulnerability, and to be kind to yourself in that journey, and to recognize that each of the colleagues, you might be working with is going through their individual journey and so to sit, pause, make sure that you are exercising empathy for each other and really importantly for yourself. This is something that, you know, if you care about this work, but the most important thing, you know, we want to sustain that we want to energize each other and really create that change. So, I will close by saying that in addition to questions that we hope to see in the chat like really we'd love to hear from you on, you know what's worked are there ideas that this has sparked that are really doing you know that you've kind of taken to heart and launching your own company. We're all ears in terms of the ideas that you have, as well as questions that we might be able to help you with. We are extraordinarily grateful again to ONA for the opportunity to be here. And I will now open it up to some questions. Great. Another question that we have here is, Alan, this is directed to you. The question is how, you know, let's hear more about how the mentorship participants get matched in your program that's actually a great question for you because I know how thoughtful you were in looking over the applications and thinking about how those matches might get made.
Yeah I think that's a great question and Thanks for Thanks for submitting that. Yeah, the actual matching process was, was, was a great adventure in that we really, we really leaned on the application process. And you know we told the participants, or the people who are interested to really be honest with what they're looking to get out of the program, what their goals would be for the program. And you know, in a perfect world who would their mentor be like who, what kind of person. What kind of department, that kind of thing. And you know it's, it, there's nothing is ever a perfect match, but I think depending on the size of your company for us, it was, it was a great match in that we're still small enough that we have personal relationships with each, each person. And so we have a good understanding on, you know what people's goals are reading their applications with, you know where they are in their department in their career and so that really helped us get a sense of who would work well together, who would be beneficial together, and then you know just those, those applicants that kind of filled in, that they were really looking to kind of expand outside of their normal, you know, their normal day to day, connections, it was it was a good time to kind of get people out of their comfort zone and and you know bring people together that that don't necessarily work on a day to day basis so that was a fun challenge but that's basically how we handled our application process.
Yeah, no it's great Alan and building on that I understand there's another question about, did we do all of this virtually. And you know something that each of us believes in very deeply in general whether virtually or in person or some hybrid version of that is, is the power of connection. And so to answer that question in a straightforward way yes we did most of all of this, virtually, and so it presented different opportunities, Actually, because as we think about the virtual world. Oftentimes, you know, in the past you would have most people who are engaged in a meeting our conversation physically in the same room in one place and the person who was on video or on the conference call on the phone in the middle of the, you know, in the middle of the table might not, you know, They might miss a couple of things or might get forgotten about until the end or some other part of the meeting. One thing that we really found especially with a global population like ours and our employee base is that, you know, it was, it was a little bit of an equalizer, you know, we really could see each other, Literally on video screens, no matter what your location was a chance to really come together and think about what that experience is that we are all sharing it wasn't just one or two people who were not together. It was all of us experiencing this at the same time and so in that way. While it has been incredibly challenging and in many ways, of course, some, you know, in some ways ties became stronger empathy became stronger understanding and the power of that connection and that felt experience was really thrown into sharp relief because again, everyone's experiencing that. At the same time. Namrata, Lucy or Alan is there anything you'd like to add about doing all of this in a virtual setting.
It's pretty weird. Yeah, I don't. I, on the one hand it's obviously not ideal, but on the other. We've been able to have really tough conversations I think partly because people feel a little bit safer, you can just close a computer walk away, step right back into your life, like speaking for myself. We've had some tough, you know, internal meetings about changes that we want to make, and I have at times gotten emotional in those meetings, and I think when I, when I feel like I need to say something. I don't have to inhibit myself as much because I'm just looking at a screen instead of in a room full of peers so it'll be really interesting to see how it all translates back. I hope that that sense of openness and safety comes with us when we go back in person.
Yeah, and to build on what Lucy was saying, I found that, you know, while we're losing the human element, working from home. One of the, one of the positives that we've heard feedback from and I've noticed as well as is, you know, when you're in an office and you're running around all day long. There's more of an opportunity to get lost in your day, whereas, you know when you're working from home, if you have that time pre carved out, It's, it's easier to grab, you know, somebody's attention that you're scheduled to either meet with or contact. And so, you know, our, our participants at least in the mentorship program have found it a lot easier to connect with pre scheduled time than they think it would be, You know if we were in person.
I agree with what you see and Alan said, I think, you know, I can share a personal experience like going through this pandemic, and I have a young child I have a toddler who's three years old. There have been so many meetings where she's running in the background, she's called out to me in the middle of a meeting and. And I feel like people have been really empathetic and very supportive. I'm sure there must have always been that way but never get to see that side of people when you're physically in the office because there's this clear separation between your personal and professional life. Those lines have blurred, a little bit. I'm not saying it's all positive, but in some strange way, I feel like we've built more personal connections with people just because of the nature of the work over the past one year. So, yeah,
I really agree with that, and it is, you know, it is interesting how those preconceived are pre existing barriers, not that we had created them before intentionally, but that just existed. just, you know, came down, and a lot of what, you know, were we talking about today again goes back to that vulnerability and being able to express that and show that whether we choose to or not in any given any given moment and I really, I can speak personally with that as well and I think understanding that it's okay to show that vulnerability that, again, all the ways we can bring humanity to life in our workplace can, you know can strengthen connection and strengthen each other. So, I see a couple of other questions, there are, one question is do the ERGs meet only after work hours or does the company allow those meetings during work time. It is the latter, and I can, and Lucy can speak more to that but we have, you know we have events all the time both actually planning events and for the ERGs to actually meet with each other in community and conversation, and also the events themselves. We also try to be really mindful of our, you know, again we have, we have staff as many of you probably do too, like in multiple time zones, trying to mix it up so that everyone has a chance to participate in those conversations. Lucy is anything you would add to that.
No, I think you've covered it, but I do have two quick additional thoughts for the first question about how to keep up momentum, and I will quickly add those. So the first thing I was talking about was sort of sharing the load of responsibility with other people so it's not just one person. The second one is setting shared goals that are achievable. So for us the magazine project was obviously pretty high on the scale of commitment, but having something that we were all working towards that was common ground that we came together around was really helpful. And the third thing I would say is just keeping up communication particularly during tough times. And every time there's a news event that I know is going to be impacting members of our group. I will send out an email to everyone, and just say, I'm acknowledging this situation. The group is here I'm here. Whatever we can do to be helpful. Don't hesitate, and we have our Slack channel where we kind of have those conversations as well. So just being a constant presence, it doesn't take that much energy or time to just kind of check in with people
I think that last point is really important. In the spirit of keeping momentum in ER G's, and also just bringing again the culture and the values to life in your day to day, if you're a manager or even if you're if you're another colleague, perhaps before the first team meeting you're leading that day, or before your first one on one, take a few minutes again to pause oftentimes especially in this work from home period you're like jumping from thing to thing you dive into your computer for that first meeting, check the news. Think about what that, what else is happening in the world. And make sure to ask, you know, how are you, and to understand that we all especially all of us who are in the journalism industry like we, you know, we live and breathe these stories, not only as humans, but in our coverage, and in our coverage we are looking at the story and, and, and feeling that story over and over again as we as we bring it to the final product that we then share with the rest of the world and so understanding what that takes. And seeing each other for where you might be in any given moment is incredibly meaningful and. And so two other quick questions are on the mentorship or fellowship program for an institution or company what tools, what tools will I need to accomplish that goal. Alan, I know you talked a little bit about the different elements that have really helped us create this program and you will in leading this program do you want to talk a little bit about any other specific tools that might be helpful.
Sure, I actually, um, that, that kind of goes for any group, right, yeah. Right when I think about culture and what it takes to build, you know, an initiative, whether it's an ERG or diversity council or a mentorship program. There are a couple rules that I think about not rules but just like bullet points I think about vision, participation, community, and moving with a sense of purpose. So, when we, when I think about like it in real as it relates to the mentorship program specifically, I'm happy that we had that vision that we wanted to create it, you know, and did some research and brought in some, some people who had experienced both with running a program, and, you know, kind of gauged gauged our audience, our staff who were was interested in, what kind of program they wanted to be a part of right and so that kind of really resonated with them. And then, you know what you think. Figuring out the parameters around what you think would be an impactful way to launch something that would both, you know, that wouldn't lose people's attention but that could be a long running part of, you know, your culture, going forward, and that's what we look to do for that mentorship program.
You know it's great and I know we're I know we're coming up against time. One of the last questions I see here is, you know, are there strategies for encouraging people to participate in these initiatives and I think that if I, you know, if we pull from some of the themes that you've heard from, from my colleagues, it is so much of it is listening and understanding where people are creating that platform and that place to for people to voice what might be meaningful and then also proactively communicating. There are ways that you can say it's a safe and supportive space and then there are ways you can demonstrate that and I think, again, you know, even to pick on that one of the last tips we shared, asking people how they are proactively saying you know I see this is happening, and I'm here for you reach out in any way. In that way, it starts to create an environment that allows voices to come forward to say, Hey, I'd like to be a part of this or I'd like to I'd like to contribute in some ways, I will say and I think our colleagues can speak to this too that sometimes it does take something another quite directive statement to say listen, this is all of us, and we're looking for you. Sometimes, depending on how you're built or the role that you play people may think, Oh, I'm not sure if I should participate or can I or what can I do, I think the answers to the, should I participate or raise my hand and or when can I do it the answer to that is yes. And now, the answer is always yes and now we can figure out the how. But if we are all going to do this together, it really does take all of us and an intentional individual commitment to that, every single day. And so the more we demonstrate that ourselves and the more we really show that others are embraced in that journey. You know we can we can all do that together. And so, I know that I, again, I will say this, all day every day I could not be more grateful to the Namrata, Lucy and Alan and so many colleagues who helped bring this to life at time. It's extraordinary and I hope all of you are able to build that kind of community in your own newsrooms and we're here for you for any questions. One thing I will close with is just to think about, again, the journey that we're all on I'm going to put two quick links in the chat just to represent the two year journey. One is, And I don't know actually if Lucy and Namrata asked I didn't tell them that I was putting this in here but if you remember this we see and I worked together to bring the wonderful Minda hearts to come and talk to us. Gosh, two years ago about how you can make workplaces a better, you know, more open to support, especially women of color. That was a collaboration we thought about in terms of the different roles that we play Namrata I remember you coming to that session and thinking you know what a mentorship program would be great to have that time. And here we are, and you know Alan, thank you for your leadership there. And the last thing I will say and that is this is a call to all of you in terms of the power of raising your voice. And, you know, being vulnerable and sharing that and as part of, you know, one of you know one of the very challenging moments that we've all lived through as a country here in the United States and in general is the hate crimes against Asian Americans and in the wake of the shootings in Atlanta, our newsroom and our company I was so inspired came together and really spoke about this work not as victims but as empowered individuals and communities and again what can we do to change the world and the link that I've put in here is, I hope it's okay Lucy that I've done this is the love letter that you penned to Asian Americans, which really is a message to all of us, and it closes with the powerful phrase that you are worthy. And so for everyone on this panel on for everyone who's joined us today. You know, I would love for you to take that message to heart You are worthy of this work and you're able to do this and bring people together and bring yourself to this work in ways that are more powerful than you might be able to imagine, so we're very grateful to be here today, check out our jobs on the job board, and we really welcome you to get in touch with us in every way. Thank you so much again ONA for this opportunity, and looking forward to staying in touch. Thank you Alan and Namrata and Lucy for joining me here.