Lauren, a Market Response Manager, tells us how when she joined Personify in January 2021, one of the first questions she asked was, “How do you celebrate Black History Month?” And how being able to immediately join an enthusiastic Culture team was a wonderful welcome and a fantastic way to connect with colleagues.
Tell me about your role at Personify.
I come from an entrepreneurial background in an industry that shut down during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was looking for a company with flexibility, remote offices and a great group of people. Joining the Marketing team when I did, gave me a chance to define my role and craft a pathway to making an impact. At the one-year mark, I was promoted, and I’m now the first point of contact for prospects seeking additional information or demonstrations on our nine products. My role is to create interest in potential customers and connect them with the Sales team.
Why else do you think working at Personify is a good fit for you – and others who may be seeking a new opportunity?
You can carve your own path here and be recognized for your efforts. It’s a place that lives their values and wants to hear your feedback.
Working here on this team is very satisfying. I think the pivot to being part of a big company after running your own business can be daunting, but I’ve found a purpose and an opportunity to make an impact at Personify. I’m very vocal about anything that’s not working or not filling a need from the prospect position. I go out of my way to gather detailed feedback and channel that feedback into issues with potential solutions. What is impressive is that not only are my opinions heard, but I can see my ideas implemented. It’s very validating.
Our executive leadership is deeply involved at every level. For example, both our CMO and our new CEO have open-door policies with access to their calendars for anyone that wants to sit down and share feedback or ask questions. It’s a positive and tangible way they live our company value of transparency. They go a step further by hosting monthly all-hands meetings where anonymous questions can be submitted. These can often be complex topics, but they don’t shy away from the discomfort.
When the CMO or CEO knows your name, face and role, it creates pathways for you, including access to mentorship and a level of visibility to further your exposure and career. Our CMO meets with everyone on his team regularly. Despite being at a company of several hundred people, our CEO Scott strives to meet with everyone here annually. When I met with Scott, he asked me how I was adjusting to learning all of the products and expressed interest in the weekly Black History newsletter I’d created when I came on board.
What is the one thing you think every company should be aware of when celebrating Black History Month?
If there’s one thing I’d like to see more companies do that Personify does, it is to celebrate the cultures of their people, not just their corporate culture. I’d encourage anyone who wants to be acknowledged and doesn’t feel they are, to speak to their leadership. If Black History Month is important to you and makes you feel seen, heard, and better understood, you shouldn’t be afraid to share it with your team.
My advice to leaders is to show your teams you care about their different cultures and experiences in your organization. It’s vital that you put thought and action behind your words. I wrote a blog describing the activities that a company can implement to declare their commitment to the movement; ways to go beyond photos on a social media post. Personify is very much that place, and we’ve incorporated a celebration of Black history and Black accomplishments into our year.
Why is being at a company with a thriving Culture team important to you?
As a Black woman, I want to share my experiences and knowledge with the people I work with; in my personal life, I share Black history and information with my friends and my community. I believe, if we can all bring our different backgrounds to the table to communicate amongst each other, we will all benefit. We will learn to work better together – and to live better together.
What else would you like people to know about you?
I am a very adventurous, almost fearless person. I’ve gone bungee jumping, skydiving, and traveled in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings and Queens when I was in Egypt. Travel is one of my passions, and while Cairo was a hands-down favorite, I’m looking forward to visiting two dream destinations, Capetown, South Africa and Thailand, in the near future.
If you want to be part of a company that will celebrate your diverse background and experience, while working with people like Lauren, we’re hiring for a number of roles. You can learn more and express your interest on our Careers page.
People of Personify
The “People of Personify” is a multi-part series featuring profiles and interviews with leaders and talented team members at Personify who are driving innovation for professional associations and event management partners.