Black History Month at ZoomInfo is a time when we dedicate resources to educate our staff about Black history, amplify the voices of our Black employees, and work to create a more equitable workforce.
The goal is to share personal stories of what it’s like to be Black in tech — and a Black professional in general — in order to start important conversations about race, diversity, and inclusion, and empower others to do the same.
Here are some of the ways we celebrate Black History Month.
Amplify Black Voices
We strive to ensure Black employees at ZoomInfo always feel heard, but Black History Month is a time of special focus. Through our Employee Spotlight Series, we’re able to highlight the stories of some of our Black employees across our company.
Tia Price, a learning and development manager, shared how her grandmother influenced her love and pursuit of music, and how she made her way to tech.
“I share my story so that aspiring Black professionals know that where you come from does not control where you’re going. You determine your own trajectory. This month is all about celebrating those that have forged a path for us and for those that continue pushing our understanding of what it means to be liberated and free,” Price says.
We also created space for employees to share what Black history means to them.
“This year — as always — I enter Black History Month grateful for those who have paved the way and opened doors that I have walked through,” says Shara Davis, a sales development representative. “At ZoomInfo, I appreciate being acknowledged for my contributions and being appreciated for who I am: a Black woman in tech sales.”
She pledged to continue to make space for individuals with similar experiences, and educate and inform those who are open to learning.
Educate Our Employees
Later this month, Zoom In Color — our Black Employee Resource Group — plans to host a virtual trivia event where employees can test their knowledge of Black history, civil rights, and more. “The trivia event is both educational and fun,” says Leanne Poirier, an internal communications manager. “It’s a good way to bring people together in a casual setting and talk about things like the Civil Rights Movement and recent history.”
Zoom In Color, in collaboration with our women’s ERG, the Women’s Initiative Network, will also host a panel discussion and breakout session highlighting Black women at ZoomInfo.
And throughout the month, customer onboarding manager Michema Lafontant shares a film with Zoom In Color that celebrates Black joy and culture, including “The Princess and the Frog,” “Good Burger,” and “Sister Act.” Other employees have shared Black artists they love and Black LGBTQ activists to know.
Continue the Conversation
Supporting the Black community isn’t reserved just for February. Year-round, Zoom In Color works to recruit, retain, and develop Black professionals while maintaining an honest space to elevate the importance of community and celebrate individuality.
In the video below, business development manager Kwame Appiah shared why he’s glad he joined Zoom In Color. “ZoomInfo was growing at such a great rate that we wanted everyone at the organization to know that we have a place here where people of color can feel like they have a voice,” he says.
Constantly Pursue Equity
We’re working to create a more equitable workforce for all. Last year, we implemented structured programs and strategies to recruit more diverse candidates. This resulted in a 5% increase in minority representation across the executive, management, and individual contributor levels.
Still, Black employees make up less than 5% of the workforce at the majority of tech companies, so there’s plenty of work to be done. Our Zoom In Color leadership team put together a list of ways to make sure your organization is supporting equity and inclusion all year.
Here are some of their most important callouts:
Hire and promote more people of color
As you climb the corporate ladder, representation of people of color becomes scarce. TrustRadius released a 2020 People of Color in Tech report, and 67% of respondents reported that their leadership teams are made up of one-fourth or less people of color.
Find ways for people of color to connect while onboarding
Create mentorship programs or buddy systems to help connect people of color at your organization. Make sure your new hires know about all of your employee resource and networking groups so they can join those that interest them.
Make onboarding more inclusive of different identities
Onboarding is the first impression new hires get of your organization, so make sure you’re assembling an inclusive group to help new hires get acclimated.
Hire a chief diversity officer
Hiring a chief diversity officer, someone dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce, shows your employees that you’re invested in creating equity.
Train managers on social awareness surrounding diversity
It’s important that your managers and leaders know how to communicate with their employees, especially during times of turmoil. Create training programs around cultural diversity and awareness to help your managers be better communicators.
Train your employees
Offer anti-racism and anti-bias training courses to help your employees understand and address bias in their work and personal lives.
Feature your employees externally
The presence of people of color on your social media posts, for example, shouldn’t only occur during Black History Month or around Juneteenth. Make it a priority to include employees from all backgrounds, all year long.
The pursuit of equity in all aspects needs to be constant. ZoomInfo pledges to continue our efforts to create a more diverse workforce and support and uplift people of color this month and beyond.