Hi Jane Community,
Jack here with a different kind of Community Spotlight.
This time I’m joined by Kierah, Jane’s Learning and Development Associate to talk all about the work being done to support diversity, equity, and inclusion at your favourite health and wellness practice software’s workplace. 😉💙
If you’re wondering how to invest in diversity, equity and inclusion in your workplace, Kiki shares about the initiatives happening here at Jane to help inspire you and get you started.
Hey Kiki, excited to chat about this topic with you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi everyone, my name is Kierah, but I’m better known as Kiki here at Jane. I’m a Learning and Development Associate here, and before that, I worked on the US Support Team helping our customers. I’ve been at Jane for 2 years; I can’t believe how quickly time flies! Outside of work, I love to dance, and am always looking for an opportunity to hit the dance floor.💃
What is DEI at Jane?
Our mission at Jane is to help the helpers, and how that relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion (or DEI for short) for us is that it means digging deeper into understanding the varying needs of both our teammates and our community. DEI defines the work that helps to create a more culturally aware and welcoming team. More specifically, diversity is about the individual. It’s about independent stories and experiences that make up who we are. Equity is about fairness. It’s about assessing our resources and tools and recognizing how certain groups may need alternative or additional options to find the same level of inclusion as others. That brings us to inclusion. This is about all of us. It is about how we bring our diversity together, our individual stories, and create a welcoming space where we empower each other.
Here at Jane, we believe DEI happens in reverse. Instead of focusing on diversity first, we start with inclusion. Building an inclusive environment means we can expand our team’s diversity authentically, foster real connections, encourage authenticity, and focus on equity-based actions. This work empowers us to continue to welcome folks from all walks of life and have the opportunity to invite in everyone’s diversity. Doing this internal work not only makes us more culturally aware but also helps us so to create a workspace that all people are excited to join.
I think it’s so important to remember that our teammates come with their own stories and their own life experiences that define them. This is what makes growing so exciting: we get to expand our knowledge to better support our team, and by extension everyone we work with through Jane.
How do you and others help implement this change here at Jane?
We’re always working on initiatives and things we can do here with our teams internally to make impactful changes at Jane. We want to think about how quantitative measures are the outcome of positive qualitative ones.
At Jane, this means being noisy about DEI, and facilitating monthly DEI learnings with our staff, creating supportive spaces that connect marginalized Janers to help foster belonging and empower every individual’s voice and choice.
Our monthly meetings are open discussions about DEI both at Jane, around the world, and for us personally. It is a space where we have the opportunity to come together and discuss what we can be doing to constantly improve our workplace to be welcoming to all.
The great thing about these discussions is that we get such a breadth of knowledge from our team that we then get to share back with others. There are so many resources out there that we’ve all been able to learn from just by having these open conversations.
Here are some valuable links the Jane team has shared amongst ourselves:
- Harvard Business Review article: How to disrupt a system that was built to hold you back
- SurveyMonkey Guide: How to measure Diversity and Inclusion for a stronger workplace
- Better Allies Newsletter: Each week, Karen Catlin shares 5 simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace.
Have the DEI meetings and conversations influenced real action at Jane?
We’ve been able to identify so many things through our conversations here at Jane. One of those was the gender imbalance we’ve seen across coders in software companies, especially for women who have been at a long disadvantage in tech. We wanted to be proactive and create opportunities for those here at Jane that want to get into coding and development. So we’ve created a path here for women and other minorities at Jane to explore a new career path, and train them from no coding experience to one of our thriving Jane developers.
💞 We want to be the kind of workplace that is doing more than just looking at stats. We’re shifting from being innovative to being intentional.
Why do you think it is important for a workplace to invest in these types of discussions?
Investing in these types of discussions and change is the best thing I think you can do for your team, and your business. By being open and welcoming, you create a warm and inclusive environment. It’s important to remember that these discussions are a journey, not a destination. You do not reach DEI in work, it is not something you can just check off. It’s in the day-to-day work. It’s showing that you appreciate someone for who they are and how that then ripples down and encourages others to be themselves, and in turn, creates that workplace that both employees and clients want to be in.
Here at Jane we never want anyone to be anything other than themselves. 💙
What does it mean to you to be part of these conversations and changes at Jane?
As a minority, I have been so motivated to do this work because of my own experiences and the experiences of other marginalized individuals I’ve encountered throughout my career. To me, being a part of this change is being a part of the future.
These changes cannot be made in a day, and we won’t always see the impact right away, I do this for the future Janers and customers to come.
💞 Jane was the first place that embodied true excitement around growing in this area and I feel so lucky to work alongside such an awesome team.
Sadly, that’s not the case for everyone and I, too, came with my pains from previous experiences that made me scared to be me. Even the best workplace has opportunities to work on DEI, and being a part of the conversation to raise this awareness is showing people that we want to do this work.
How do you think other businesses can start open conversations about DEI?
I think the key is to just start. You don’t have to be perfect, every action, no matter how big or small, will change your team for the better. When people know there are other people having conversations in this space, others are inspired to share and contribute. Don’t depend on your marginalized customers or teammates to tell you how to do it. Go to webinars and events, explore learning opportunities and courses, and do your research to see how you can start making positive changes to your business.
💞 It takes courage to stand out and say that your business will hold a space to continuously assess and grow your inclusive standards.
Are there any closing thoughts you’d like to share with the Community?
You can change lives without even knowing it. Be authentic, be honest, be bold and be courageous to inspire others to do the same. DEI takes a team not a person, we are all responsible for making every space we invite others into a safe space.
We hope this has helped give you a better understanding of how Jane approaches Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and helps you start your own conversations with your teammates. Let’s keep the discussion going, we welcome any resources or stories you would like to share with us or the community.
If you would like to keep on learning with us, we invite you to check out more of our resources here:
Pronouns in Jane
Allied 2021 session: Building an Inclusive Workplace
Community Story: QMUNITY