A Look at Our Evening with BlackRock's Female Tech Leaders
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BlackRock, in partnership with PowerToFly, recently hosted an event at their Manhattan office for women in UX, data science, software engineering and related fields, featuring the impressive women who are driving innovation at the firm.
Scott Wilkinson, BlackRock's Head of User Experience, Aladdin Product Group kicked off the evening and discussed how technology is at the heart of everything BlackRock does, and why the UX function is critical to the company's success.
In a fireside chat, BlackRock's Deputy Head of Aladdin Product Management Sarah Schaffer talked about how she's constantly been challenged in each of the seven roles she's held at BlackRock, and how she balances her professional and personal demands as a working mother.
The fireside chat was followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A, where Sarah was joined by fellow tech colleagues Traci Entel, Senior Technology Business Partner, COO Functions; Rachel Schutt, Data Science Core Lead, Aladdin Product Group and Sabrina Sullivan, User Experience Design Lead, Aladdin Product Group to discuss their journeys at BlackRock and what it's like to be a woman in tech.
The event took place at the Aladdin Product Group's recently remodeled office in midtown Manhattan
A packed house of women in tech
Scott Wilkinson, BlackRock's Head of User Experience, Aladdin Product Group welcomed our guests
BlackRock's Deputy Head of Aladdin Product Management Sarah Schaffer participated in a fireside chat with PowerToFly CEO Milena Berry
A panel discussion on "data meets design with Traci Entel, Senior Technology Business Partner, COO Functions; Rachel Schutt, Data Science Core Lead, Aladdin Product Group; Sarah Schaffer, Deputy Head of Aladdin Product Management; and Sabrina Sullivan, User Experience Design Lead, Aladdin Product Group
An audience Q&A with BlackRock's female tech leaders
BlackRock swag for the attendees
All attendees received awesome BlackRock reusable water bottles
At Veracode, the human resources (HR) department goes by “People Success.” And when you listen to Maura Maher and Kendra Dupuis talk about their work on the People Success team, that name sounds about right.
Maura and Kendra shared, “The mission of the People Success Team is to cultivate a passionate, committed, diverse workforce enabled to deliver big outcomes that help our customers change the world.”
As a people business partner, Maura spends much of her days coaching people, solving problems, and bringing new ideas to the conversation on making Veracode a great workplace. Kendra, on the other hand, manages learning and development efforts as a principal L&D business partner which includes welcoming new hires during a comprehensive onboarding program.
Together, their work ensures new Veracoders can thrive from onboarding to success — and we sat down with both Maura and Kendra to hear exactly what that looks like.
Crafting a strong onboarding experience
Kendra and Maura acknowledge that “information overload” is a common challenge for People teams when onboarding new hires — so they actively focus on implementing methods for a smooth transition.
“We’ve found that breaking up the Veracode orientation sessions into two, rather than cramming all of the information into one session, allows new hires to digest the information before moving on to the next topic,” explains Kendra.
Another way they mitigate information overload is through a buddy system. “We assign each new team member a Verabuddy and IT buddy to help navigate the day-to-day,” says Maura, who has also served as a Verabuddy herself. “And, for specific roles, the People Team partners with the manager to create a custom onboarding plan and learning path. This approach helps set expectations for behavior and drive focus for the content that matters most at each stage of their onboarding.”
At the 45- and 90-day mark, the learning and development team facilitates survey check-ins, and business partners use this information to pinpoint opportunities for improvement.
Helping employees thrive through continuous learning
The employee journey extends far beyond the onboarding process at Veracode. As a learning and development partner, Kendra and her team design programs for every level within the organization.
For example, with individuals seeking to enhance their skills, Veracode offers a comprehensive three-part program that dives deeper into essential competencies that contribute to personal and professional success: effective communication, embracing change, and two-way feedback.
Veracode also offers a comprehensive learning program for enhancing leadership skills and capabilities known as Managing for Success.
“If instructor-led training isn’t the right fit, Veracode offers self-paced learning through LinkedIn Learning, allowing individuals to choose their own learning paths based on the skills they’re looking to develop,” Kendra adds.
Fostering open communication
The focus on continuity extends to the People Business Partners as well.
“We have an open Zoom policy and host office hours on particular topics or programs at Veracode,” Maura explains. “We also stay in close connection with the hiring managers and key stakeholders to keep a pulse on the sentiment and engagement of our new colleagues.”
On a company-wide level, Veracode offers regular programs that help gauge employee sentiment and gain 360-degree feedback.
4 tips to make the most of your HR team
When you look at your own career, Maura and Kendra encourage you to take advantage of all your People team offers. Here are their four top tips for doing so:
Make the investment to get to know the People team. Take time to get to know your partners and resources on the People team to build a relationship.
Ask the team about career development and progression at the company. It’s important to invest in yourself and your career development. Take the opportunity to learn the job architecture and what the career progression landscape is at your company.
Be proactive in sharing feedback. This includes suggestions and solutions to improve the company and onboarding experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and bring best practices from prior experiences.
Share the good news. Celebrate and share your achievements so your business partners can better advocate for your career growth.
For both Maura and Kendra, it’s the daily challenge of helping people become their best selves at work that draws them to the profession.
“You never know what challenge or new scenario you will encounter when you get to work each day,” Maura enthuses. “I love the role I play in creating that moment when the potential of a person, team, or business is realized.”
And, as a people person at heart, Kendra enjoys witnessing the evolution of team members.
“What excites me about learning and development is the opportunity for growth and transformation,” she says. “Realizing how knowledge can sharpen skills and empower individuals to reach their full potential is why I come to work every day.”
Diversity and inclusion survey questions are tricky. To get at the information you’re looking for, they can’t be too long, too numerous, too specific, too vague, or too repetitive. You need to create that Goldilocks-style “just right” kind of survey. Diversity and inclusion survey questions also need to be rooted in a larger data collection strategy that informs why, how, and how often you survey your employees. Too often, and responses drop off. Too infrequent and your data doesn’t reflect a proper sample.
Above all, you want to get at the heart of if and how your Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) efforts are having an impact. Bear in mind that every organization’s environment is unique. Today, we’ll share sample diversity survey questions that work. Remember, modifications should be made as appropriate. To make things easy, we’ve also included a diversity and inclusion survey template to power your survey efforts from start-to-finish. Ready to get started?
Diversity and inclusion engagement survey questions should begin with demographics. You want to correlate opinions with certain demographics. This provides insight about employees’ needs. Below, you’ll find basic demographic questions with response options. Consult with your organization’s Employee Resource Groups for the proper options and wording in your region of the world, and follow inclusive language best practices throughout.
1. What best describes your race or ethnic identity? Choose all that apply:
Black/African-American, African, Middle East North African, Multiracial, South Asian, East Asian, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, Central Asian, Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, White, decline to state, prefer to self-describe (use open field)
Your diversity questionnaire is not complete without providing space for open feedback. Allow long answer fields for the following questions, noting that all answers are optional.
41. What barriers do you face here in achieving your full potential?
42. How have you experienced exclusion in the workplace?
43. What can the organization do to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for you?
Managers and leadership
Managers and leadership should answer the same diversity and inclusion survey questions above. They have valuable added insight about how DEIB is experienced in their roles. Add these additional questions when “manager” level is indicated in the demographics section.
Use the same 5-point Likert Scale with values such as:
44. I understand what diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is.
45. As a manager, I clearly understand my role within diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging policies.
46. I have the support and resources I need to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
47. The recruitment process provides qualified and diverse candidates for open positions.
48. I openly discuss diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within my team.
Allow open-field, long-answer responses for these questions:
49. What resources or support do you need to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging on your team?
50. How have diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging impacted your team?
Do’s, don'ts, and data analysis. Oh my!
Sending out diversity, equity, and inclusion survey questions should be a regular occurrence. To ensure future engagement with the survey, follow these best practices:
If statistics are not your strong suit, then your survey software should have some auto-generated reports and charts for you. To get the most out of your DEIB data, you should consult with someone on your business team who is responsible for data analysis. Do this before surveying when you’re structuring your DEIB survey questions as well as afterward when you’re analyzing the data.
Diversity and inclusion survey questions are not one-size-fits-all
Asking the right diversity and inclusion survey questions is all about context. There is no one-size-fits-all DEIB survey. Each organization is as unique as the people who bring it to life. While these diversity and inclusion survey questions are a good template, go the extra step to make it right for your teams. Talk to your ERGs about demographic questions. Bring your data analyst onboard to help structure the survey. Always have a strategic plan for your data, and be transparent about how results will be communicated company-wide.
An account manager is at the heart of ensuring clients are successful. Watch the video to the end to learn how to join RTB House and thrive as an account manager!
How does an account manager work? What does the role involve? Bryan Hernandez, director of account management, Pam Kazadi, senior account manager, and Michael Toledo, associate director of account management at RTB House, give you a quick intro to RTB House and walk you through a day in the life of a senior account manager. Finally, you’ll gain some insight into what they look for in candidates and how to crush the interview process.
At RTB House, the account manager is at the core of maximizing client success, perfecting ad placements, and optimizing user experiences. Learn how account managers are instrumental in maintaining the right synergy between brands and users. Discover the depth and impact of this critical position at RTB House, a global technology leader in online advertising.
The interview process for an account manager role consists of four rounds of interviews. The first round is an interview with a talent acquisition specialist. This is an opportunity for the talent acquisition specialist to vet the candidate and ask questions about their career background and work requirements. The second round allows the hiring manager/director to talk with the candidate to get a sense and feel for who they are and gauge if the client is a great fit for the role, team, and company culture. The third round involves a business challenge task. The challenge lets a candidate showcase their knowledge and abilities. If the candidate proceeds to this stage, they can present their thinking to the hiring committee. In the final round, the candidate will have an interview with the human resource business partner.
Account manager’s profile
RTB House looks for people with excellent communication and presentation skills. The account manager will manage all communication with new and existing clients and between all internal stakeholders within various departments. Account managers lead all assigned account integrations and provide a top-level onboarding experience for their clients. They must show proficiency in highly developed, analytical, and problem-solving skills to create marketing strategies to help grow their clients’ businesses and optimize the performance of their campaigns in line with goals. Lastly, relationship building is essential for an account manager to build, grow, and maintain client relationships.
Are you interested in joining RTB House? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Bryan Hernandez, Pam Kazadi, and Michael Toledo
If you are interested in a career at RTB House, you can connect with Bryan, Pam, and Michael on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More about RTB House
RTB House is a global company that provides state-of-the-art marketing technologies for top brands worldwide. Its proprietary ad-buying engine is the first and only in the world to be powered entirely by Deep Learning algorithms, enabling advertisers to generate outstanding results and reach their short, mid, and long-term goals.