Since the early days of AvePoint, inclusion, diversity, equality, and allyship have been embedded within the fabric of our organization. We’re made up of 1,500 unique individuals from various backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. Our mission and values inspire us to be our authentic selves, and in early 2020 we launched a global I.D.E.A. Committee dedicated to celebrating our values, culture, and diversity of people.
I.D.E.A. at AvePoint stands for:
- Inclusion, via power, voice & organizational culture
- Diversity of people and perspectives
- Equality of backgrounds that come together & achieve success together
- Allyship, uniqueness of all individuals
How did we create the I.D.E.A. Committee at AvePoint?
First, we reflected on what we were already doing around D&I and our culture. This topic is important to us because diverse backgrounds and viewpoints help us to innovate and succeed together. Hear directly about this from our CEO. Second, we did quite a bit of research to understand how other companies were celebrating D&I within their organizations.
A lot was already in place around our D&I policies, training, and recruitment practices, but forming an I.D.E.A. Committee was completely new to us! So how did we do it? Our HR and Executive teams recommended members after reflecting on our staff by asking questions such as “Who is living out our values?” and “Who is a culture champion within their office today?” The I.D.E.A. Committee then came to life!
We have 48 members represented from various teams, office locations, and seniority levels. The committee is a shared responsibility and an incubator for culture-related ideas. Members lead the charge in bringing in new ways of thinking and executing on these ideas. We collaborate regularly in Microsoft Teams and Yammer, but formally on a quarterly basis over video calls to discuss, plan, and proactively drive matters pertaining to our culture.
Here are a few Committee highlights from our launch year in 2020!
- I.D.E.A. member Sam Valme led a laptop drive to collect a classroom worth of gently used laptops from around the US and donated them to college students affected by COVID.
- We facilitated networking opportunities amongst members and connected 1-on-1 and in group settings, which was especially nice during early work-from-home days in 2020!
- Established a language mentorship program. This is ongoing networking where employees who seek to learn or improve upon a new language can connect with native speakers in the company.
- Employee-led video podcasts & guest speakers shared their experiences with our global staff on topics of diversity, inclusion, and reflecting on perspectives of inequality.
- We created six employee-led subcommittees open to all staff! These interest groups include: Black AvePoint Excellence (BAE), Cultural Awareness Calendar, Latinx Club, Professional Readiness, Queer & Allies (Q&A), and Women in Tech (WIT). Here’s what each of our subcommittees have been up to:
- BAE is raising awareness of the barriers that the Black community face and is partnering with our recruitment team to promote job opportunities.
- The Cultural Awareness Calendar provides regular education to our staff about Pride, Mental Health, Hispanic Heritage, and many more commemorative dates and months.
- Professional Readiness has partnered with non-profits (Covenant House and ByteBack) to produce professional development presentations, workshops, and videos.
- WIT features monthly guest speakers to discuss topics that benefit women in technology.
- Latinx and Q&A meet monthly and are currently vetting organizations and non-profits to support in various ways.
What have we learned from the I.D.E.A. Committee?
Every quarter we’re evaluating new ideas and projects to determine what we can accomplish within that given time frame. However, we’ll never stop working towards new goals and initiatives. Our people want to get involved and will take ownership of their ideas, and we’re empowering them to do so!
We are proud of what we’ve accomplished in our first year and are excited to see what 2021 brings!