‘Your Passions Can Lead to Impact’ — How Jebbit’s DEI Committee Drives Change

Three committee leaders at the marketing tech company describe how the committee has impacted them and their peers by enabling them to shape their workplace.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Nov. 28, 2023
‘Your Passions Can Lead to Impact’ — How Jebbit’s DEI Committee Drives Change
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Most people are familiar with TED Talks — but what about JEBTalks?

Willy Annan, customer success manager at marketing tech company Jebbit, said JEBTalks were implemented by the organization’s culture committee as a way to enable employees to highlight critical topics, such as mental health and LGBTQIA+ experiences in the workplace. 

Culture committee leader and Customer Onboarding Manager Savanna McIlwain said, “I’m incredibly grateful for these events, because it provides unique perspectives from ‘Jebbies’ that some may not yet have heard about, and it allows our employees to engage and connect on a deeper level than a virtual happy hour would.”

Annan explained that this initiative is merely one component of the company’s DEI committee, an initiative rooted in three pillars — culture, policy and hiring. The committee, which was established as a way to boost employees’ personal and professional well-being, enables team members to play an active role in creating a sense of community across the company. 

“Your passions can lead to impact,” Annan said. “Areas that you feel need to be addressed can be addressed and have true bottom-line business impact.” 

By supporting employees’ personal and professional experiences, Annan noted, the DEI committee serves as a direct reflection of Jebbit’s core values while also holding them accountable for striving to achieve goals in an equitable manner. Guided by those principles, committee members get to uphold major aspects of the company, from its internship program to its employee benefits. 
 

JEBBIT’S CORE VALUES

  • Be an expert beginner
  • Build on trust
  • Take initiative
  • Do what scares you
  • Care for the whole person

 

 

While policies and processes are a key component of the DEI committee, there’s an equally strong emphasis on fun and connection. McIlwain said the culture subcommittee ensures employees have the chance to engage in bonding events, whether that involves playing Codenames together or learning about Latin American heritage. 

For Annan, the opportunities presented by the DEI committee aren’t just impactful from a professional standpoint. Rather, he believes his involvement in the initiative has allowed him to tap into his true passion — being a friend to others. 

“I love creating connections with people, planning fun events and creating opportunities for everyone — and the hiring subcommittee is the place where I can do that,” he said. 

Below, Annan, McIlwain and Customer Onboarding Manager Emily Paciulla share more about Jebbit’s DEI committee and the impact it has had on them and their peers. 

 

ABOUT JEBBIT

Jebbit’s platform enables brands to connect with their audiences by building quizzes, lookbooks, lead forms, surveys and more. Using the platform, brands can deliver engaging experiences without using code while capturing customer preferences as zero-party data.

 

What’s the mission of Jebbit’s DEI committee?

Willy Annan
Customer Success Manager

The mission is to create, uphold and magnify a safe and inclusive space for all employees. 

We have subcommittees focused on hiring, policy and culture. I’m the head of the hiring subcommittee, the purpose of which is to audit our hiring practices to ensure equity for all employees, create an environment that supports learning and development and ensure that the Jebbit we portray to those who don’t work here reflects our core values.

Within our policy subcommittee, led by Customer Onboarding Manager Emily Paciulla, our goal is to identify and build an internal structure that allows all employees to thrive. We focus on developing policies based on issues that are brought to light by teammates and the current social and political climates.

Finally, there’s our culture subcommittee, led by Customer Onboarding Manager Savanna McIlwain. This subcommittee is dedicated to being a cultural cornerstone for all employees, ensuring that Jebbit is an inclusive and fun place to work.

 

What makes the DEI committee and its work different from other company groups?

Emily Paciulla
Customer Onboarding Manager

Our policy committee has the unique opportunity to shape company policy and advocate for fellow coworkers. 

For example, we recently took on the project of building out a single resource that documents all that employees have access to regarding parental leave. After polling the team, we realized there was a lack of understanding surrounding employee benefits. As we built out this policy, our main understanding and focus was that if Jebbit employees have to advocate for themselves in order to receive certain benefits, it makes things inherently unequal.

 

Savanna McIlwain
Customer Onboarding Manager

The culture club’s desire to spread joy and awareness and improve the well-being of fellow employees brings forth a level of collaboration and openness that I’m not sure other companies have in a virtual environment.

 

What are some of the most impactful initiatives the team has put on that bring the DEI committee’s mission to life?

Paciulla: Our policy subcommittee has done some amazing work surrounding Jebbit’s presence within the marketing space. As a marketing tech company, there are many ways that our tool could potentially be used to cause harm to people and communities, such as unethically collecting data. Our group has developed policies to allow employees to remove themselves from clients if they find their work unethical. On the flip side of that, we have created a terms of use policy that gives us the authority to remove problematic content when a Jebbit customer uses the tool in a manner that has the potential to harm other people.

McIlwain: In our culture subcommittee, we will continue our mix of fun company bonding events as well as educational opportunities. We’ll play a companywide game of Codenames, coded by our VP of engineering, and we will also play Hispanic and Latin American mini games together. The first initiative is just for fun, and the second will be an impactful educational experience with a charitable donation as the final mission. 

 

What was the inspiration behind some recent initiatives, and what do these events mean to you?

Annan: The hiring subcommittee recently created our first full-fledged internship program. Historically, interns had been selected ad-hoc and had internal connections. Wanting to create a more equitable playing field, Jebbit partnered with a nonprofit that works with first-generation college students to find interns. The program involves different departments within Jebbit. This gave way to our first graduating class of interns. 

McIlwain: The culture subcommittee has taken on the implementation of JEBTalks, also called Jeb Table Talks. These panel-style or speaker-focused events illuminate relevant life and workplace topics, such as mental health and wellness, LGBTQIA+ experiences in the workplace and women’s issues.

 

STAYING IN SYNC

Given how much goes on within the DEI committee, it’s important for those involved to meet regularly to stay in sync. Paciulla said the policy subcommittee gathers biweekly to discuss current projects, brainstorm ways to get buy-in from the leadership team, share ideas and address potential issues. 

On the other hand, the hiring subcommittee meets on a monthly basis to focus on the internship program or employer branding. “As hiring picks up, we’ll also be looking at additional areas where we can hold our talent acquisition team accountable for being proactive about building diverse pipelines for our job openings,” Annan said. 

The culture subcommittee meets on a biweekly basis to chat about recent happenings, share reflections on past events and plan for upcoming initiatives. “All of our future planning involves input from each team member and soundboarding of new ideas,” McIlwain shared.

 

 

How does the committee’s work fit into the larger mission of Jebbit?

Annan: One of Jebbit’s core values is, “Care for the whole person.” The policy subcommittee exemplifies this by working to create an environment where everyone is supported and feels like they have every opportunity to succeed.  

“Be an expert beginner” is another one of our values. When putting together the internship program, everything hadn’t been done before. It’s super important to come in with a positive attitude and recognize that everything is a learning opportunity. 

Our newest company value is, “Build on trust.” We know that some level of relationship or bond is critical. The culture subcommittee is working to establish bonds among ‘Jebbies’ so that we’re able to trust in each other and log on as our best selves every day.

“Take initiative” and “Do what scares you” are the last two values. Every member of our DEI committee and subcommittees, particularly Paciulla and McIlwain, exemplify these values on a daily basis. Their commitment to moving the needle on these topics and pushing the leadership team takes a ton of initiative and a fearlessness when getting outside their comfort zone.
 

 

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

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