Theories of Inclusion: How Fivetran Encourages Employees to Contribute to DEI

Individual contributors can have just as much impact on the DEI landscape at their organizations as leadership. Built In SF sat down with Fivetran’s senior director of employee experience to find out how.

Written by Jenny Lyons-Cunha
Published on Apr. 18, 2023
Theories of Inclusion: How Fivetran Encourages Employees to Contribute to DEI
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Research shows that 15 percent of people are naturally ill-equipped to navigate cultural differences in their surroundings. Some diversity researchers have warned that poorly executed diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives can aggravate these sentiments of differentism rather than bridge social fractures. 

As such, DEI initiatives must be crafted with meticulous care to avoid the pitfalls of stereotyping and division that make it necessary in the first place.

This is the crux of the Theory of Enchantment, a disruptive anti-racism training program developed by Chloé Simone Valdary. Inspired by the “transcendent view of humanity” her own education afforded, Valdary’s theory of compassion-based training focuses on three primary premises: treating all people as human beings, using constructive criticism to empower others and rooting all actions in compassion. 

What can be gleaned from training strategies like Valdary’s is the power of a listening culture. Open conversation is a cornerstone for healing cultural division and shining a light on shared humanity. Healthy DEI programs invite participants of all ideological walks to engage in building a companywide rapport of trust and openness.  

Fivetran has leaned into this culture of openness, healing and unity, Senior Director of Employee Experience Jiyoung Yoon told Built In SF. We sat down with her to find out more about how the company’s intentional and vulnerable approach to DEI encourages individual contributors to take ownership over their efforts.  

 

Four team members of FiveTran
FIVETRAN

 

Jiyoung Yoon
Senior Director, Employee Experience • Fivetran

Fivetran strives to be a global leader in modern data integration. Built for the cloud, Fivetran enables data teams to centralize and transform data from hundreds of SaaS and on-premises data sources into high-performance cloud destinations.

 

Beyond simply speaking up, what’s one concrete action an individual contributor can take to bring about meaningful DEI change in their organization? 

When it comes to DEI, I find that listening is a vastly underrated tool. Bringing about meaningful change doesn’t automatically happen with nice words on your wall and website, it happens when employees truly start listening to one another with the intent to understand rather than reply or argue. 

This does take courage — the courage to be vulnerable and the willingness to potentially misspeak. Without courage, our individual walls stay up with little room for growth. 

Without courage, our individual walls stay up with little room for growth.”

 

Because things that require courage often involve risk, meaningful change can take time. It involves building authentic trust within a relationship, to show that you truly care and are willing to put in the work to understand another’s perspective — not just in the moment, but that you’re committed to learning and growth.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via Shutterstock and Fivetran.

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