Every Destination Is Unique: How CarGurus Honors Each Employee’s Journey Through Community-Building

A sense of community drives diverse perspectives, cross-team collaboration and continuous growth at CarGurus. Built In sat down with three ERG leaders to learn how.

Written by Jenny Lyons-Cunha
Published on Sep. 19, 2023
Every Destination Is Unique: How CarGurus Honors Each Employee’s Journey Through Community-Building
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At CarGurus, all roads lead to the crux of its company mission: helping people reach their destination. 

“Every employee has a different destination for their career, family and life,” said Senior Product Manager Milica Golubovic. “CarGurus is excellent at recognizing that.”

A hybrid working model, comprehensive benefits and tailored learning pathways are manifestations of CarGurus’ care for the employee journey — but its seven ERGs are among the most vibrant ways the company celebrates community in the workplace. 

For CarGurus’ ERGs, honoring the destination means building networks and enacting broader change, said Golubovic, who is a co-founder and co-leader of Women in Tech, a subcommunity of the Women@CarGurus ERG.

“We work with engineering and product leadership to send 12 Women in Tech members to the Grace Hopper Celebration each fall,” she said. Referencing another ERG to which she belongs, Golubovic explains, “Parents@CarGurus works closely with our People team leaders to ensure our benefits support all types of families — these are just a few examples.”

 

WHAT CARGURUS DOES 

CarGurus harnesses the power of technology and data to bring trust and transparency to the car buying and selling process. The online tools and features are designed to empower both dealers and consumers with the flexibility to choose their own journey through an all-in-one platform for car shopping, buying, selling, sourcing, marketing and more.

 

Here, Michaella Bransfield, director of sales, Canada and co-founder of Women in Sales — which is also part of Women@CarGurus — chimed in to underscore the importance of driving impact. 

“CarGurus is at the nexus of two industries — tech and auto — that are still opening up to women and others from traditionally marginalized groups,” said Bransfield. 

“Based on employee feedback, we assembled a task force to help make CarGurus a leader in diversifying these spaces and making them more equitable,” she continued. “Our recommendations have inspired changes in our hiring and compensation practices, and drove the creation of guidelines for our employees and partners.” 

It’s a sense of community enrichment that is common among CarGurus’ diverse and far-reaching ERGs, said Senior Sales Innovation Specialist and Co-Leader of People of Color@CarGurus Corey Ricketts. The ultimate employee destination for Ricketts, POC@CarGurus is a safe space for Black and brown employees. 

“Our group is a haven for Black and other brown-identifying employees to discuss the challenges they face today — and brings cultural awareness to one another and our allies,” he said. 

Some members of CarGurus’ ERGs and communities also serve on the CarGurus’ diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging council, explained Ricketts. “This cross-section of individuals provides broad input on our DEIB efforts as a company, especially when it comes to representation, education and career development. Having ERG members involved makes every group more impactful.” 

 

CARGURUS’ ERGS AND COMMUNITIES

  • AccessAbililty@CarGurus connects Gurus who are disabled and neurodiverse.
  • AAPI@CarGurus brings Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander Gurus together.
  • CG Salutes Service supports veterans and those with service backgrounds.
  • LGBTQ+@CarGurus brings together Gurus within the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Parents@CarGurus amplifies the voices of CarGurus’ parent community.
  • POC@CarGurus celebrates CarGurus’ People of Color and intersecting identities.
  • Women@CarGurus galvanizes women at CarGurus. It includes CarGurus’ Women in Tech and Women in Sales communities.
Krista Photo
Krista Photo

 

Growing by Gathering Others 

Ricketts wasn’t a founding member of POC@CarGurus, but he’s found immense value in his journey to leadership within the inclusive ERG.

“When it was time for the founders to pass the torch, I seized the opportunity to help,” he said. “I wanted to continue the great work the team was doing and get even more people engaged and really drive home a sense of community,” he said. 

To cultivate a sense of belonging, Ricketts has leaned into the relationship he’s built with his colleagues — and the logistics when it comes to hosting events.

“Knowing exactly what’s happening, when, who’s going, what we’re eating, where to park and so on goes a long way in getting folks to show up,” he said. “Our community is enthusiastic about events, but translating that enthusiasm to attendance has been a focus area for me.”

Ricketts’ care for the details recently paid off at an offsite field trip to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Boston. Standing under the luminous, 20-foot bronze memorial in the Boston Common, Ricketts felt a profound sense of camaraderie with his colleagues, both members and allies of POC@CarGurus. 

“The statue itself is incredibly striking, and admiring it with the group was a powerful and unique way to celebrate our culture and Bostonian history,” he said. 

INTRODUCING: ACCESSABILITY@CARGURUS

CarGurus recently launched its seventh Guru-led ERG, AccessAbility@CarGurus, which was created for those with neurological differences or disabilities. The new ERG: 

  • Fosters a welcoming, inclusive and supportive workplace culture that values the unique abilities and perspectives of all individuals.
  • Aims to provide resources, education and advocacy to ensure all employees, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, have equal opportunities to thrive and contribute to CarGurus’ success.
  • Strives to break down barriers, eliminate stigma and promote understanding of neurodiversity and disability in the workplace.
  • Establishes CarGurus as a workplace that doesn’t just accommodate but also celebrates and harnesses the strengths of all individuals — including those with neurological differences or disabilities.

 

CarGurus
CarGurus

 

Making Space for All

Seven years ago, as Bransfield walked back to her office from a meeting with her colleague, the seed of CarGurus’ Women In Sales community was planted. 

“At the time, there weren’t a lot of women on the sales team, and we really felt we needed a place for us to benefit from each other’s unique insight and approaches,” she said. 

Today, the fruits of the conversation are flourishing — open dialogue, skill-building, best practice sharing and professional development abound among women at CarGurus. 

“What started as a few lunches grew to panel sessions, networking events, presentations from outside speakers, local volunteering and more,” Bransfield shared. “It’s been rewarding to see this growth from two women casually talking to hosting formal events buzzing with engagement  from dozens of employees.” 

These days, showcasing women in leadership has been a priority for Golubovic.

We have a number of exceptional women leaders at CarGurus, and our Fireside Chat series enables Gurus to benefit from their wisdom and experience,” she said. “People are still talking about our chat with two senior directors — Anne Hjortshoj from UX and Christina Valente in product ops — who shared powerful, candid perspectives on navigating careers.”

From their time leading ERGs, Golubovic and Bransfield’s eyes are open to the value of shared experiences. 

“Speak up if you’re curious or unsure about a way you’re feeling. Chances are you’re not the only one with something on your mind,” Bransfield said. 

“Find a partner and enlist help from others,” Golubovic added. “Galvanizing a whole community requires lots of work and perspectives.” 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by CarGurus.

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