Black Excellence, Triumph, and Impact in America
Today marks the start of Black History Month in the US. Becky is the Chairperson of the Black History Month Planning Committee – in this story she shares her personal experience and talks about the importance of celebrating Black History Month.
Why did we choose this theme and what does it mean to you and the Black community at Qualtrics?
This is our third year of having formalized Black History Month celebrations as a company and my second year of being the Chairperson of the Black History Month Planning Committee for MosaiQ, our Employee Resource Group for people of color at Qualtrics. Over the past three years, we’ve always chosen “heavy,” albeit important, themes. Our previous themes were: “The Art of Activism, Past, Present and Future” (2020) and “The Sound of Activism, Past Present and Future”(2021). With these themes, we provided information about influential Black artists and activists over the years and how their work impacted our country and helped improve things for Black Communities. This year, we decided to focus on more of a celebration rather than just teaching. Our 2023 theme is “Black Excellence, Triumph, and Impact in America.” Don’t get me wrong, we’re still going to be doing a lot of educating, but we wanted to highlight incredible things that our community has brought to the world, not just for the Black community but for everyone. This year, we will show how important and crucial we are as a people to everyone’s everyday lives through our breakthrough inventions, companies, ideas, and teachings.
How is Qualtrics celebrating Black History Month this year?
We will have a keynote speaker, Dr. Raven M. Lloyd, come and speak on our theme as well as in-office celebrations and weekly educational flyers that will be distributed internally. Dr. Raven M. Lloyd is an assistant professor of Film and Media Studies and African and African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She studies digital technologies in relation to activism and media history, with a focus on Black digital publics.
Qualtrics shared our DEI report today, which includes our goals for increasing representation, our racial equity commitments for the year, and our plans for partnerships with diverse organizations. In 2022 we announced that we have pay parity by gender and race. In 2023, we pledge to maintain pay parity by both dimensions and report on this semi annually. Qualtrics also announced Juneteenth as a company day off for U.S. employees.
How have you felt supported at Qualtrics?
I will be honest, when I first started at Qualtrics, 4 years ago now, I didn’t feel supported. I felt alone, isolated, and different. That is long in the past now. Qualtrics has made great strides in our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and now I just feel like one of many which is comforting. We’re all unique and do wildly different things at the company while all are incredibly talented and a strong community.
Beyond our immediate community, I consistently feel, not only supported, but SEEN and RECOGNIZED by my leaders. That may not sound like a huge thing, but for me it has been so important to my engagement as an employee and shown me how to be a better leader to my team and improve their engagement as well.
How do you feel like you’re able to bring your whole self to work?
This sort of goes back to being seen and recognized by my leadership team. My direct manager constantly checks in with me about how I’m feeling personally about, not just work, but my life and the things that are important to me. When I need to vent, he’s there to listen and he doesn’t challenge or question my feelings. When something needs to be fixed, I know that all I need to do is tell him about it and that he will always unquestionably have my back and we will work together to make sure things improve. This sort of relationship is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced with my direct leadership, but it is fundamentally how Qualtrics leadership operates as a whole. This mindset not only encourages me to be my whole self at work, in a way, it demands it.
How has being a part of the Black community at Qualtrics positively impacted you?
This is something we discussed back in 2021 a lot. I spoke about it publicly then. In my blog post, I spoke a lot about my difficulty with my race as a child and young adult. Being bi-racial has always been confusing for me. The Black Community at Qualtrics has helped me in my journey of leaning into my Blackness. I’ve developed friendships and bonds that I know will last a lifetime. I’ve found my people here and in a way, I’ve found myself.
What do you wish you could say to your past self?
“I know it’s confusing, incredibly hard, lonely, and sometimes sad, but one day, I promise you, you’re going to look in the mirror and be proud of what you see there. Dad would be proud.”
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month, oh boy. I guess it used to be just this thing that happens every year that’s been commercialized so much that it has lost its meaning somewhere along the way. Then George Floyd was murdered. Suddenly, it became our time to remind the country that we’re here, that we matter, that we’re not going anywhere, and that there have been and currently are countless injustices done to our community due to hatred, ignorance, and arrogance. While I wish I could spend every moment educating those around me, February, is our time to shine.
What do you want people to know or understand about the Black community at Qualtrics?
Have you ever noticed a day that all the Black folks in your office were wearing all black? That wasn’t a coincidence! That was what we call a BlaQout Day! It’s a day once a quarter where we all come together, have lunch, and bond as a community!
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