How Zeta Global Supports the Diverse Team Powering its Success

Zeta Global’s commitment to building genuine connections has cultivated a powerful community furthering diversity and inclusion across the company.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on May. 26, 2023
How Zeta Global Supports the Diverse Team Powering its Success
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“Starting in June of 2020, there was a sea change in how people wanted to engage at work. Employees didn’t just want to show up to work. We wanted to enact change and invest in our culture.”

Director of Technical Training Lindsay Becker’s observation about the deepening internal engagement at work could apply to many companies, but it is especially relevant for her team at Zeta Global.

Becker’s colleague Victor Sanchez, director of solutions, noticed this shift as well. “After the murder of George Floyd, our CEO hosted several open forums and sparked a deeper focus on diversity, equity and inclusion,” he said.

Rather than treating DEI efforts as a response to current events or one-time workplace needs, Zeta Global invested in building a dedicated DEI staff, developing employee resource groups and promoting mentorship across the company.

By the time Efeohe Suleman joined the Zeta team as an intern in 2021, employee resource groups had become a force multiplier for DEI efforts and offered a path for her to engage deeply with the team as her career developed.

Now a senior strategic solutions consultant, Suleman’s journey at Zeta has led her to furthering that work in her role today.

For Becker, Sanchez and Suleman, Zeta Global’s investment in moving the needle forward from a cultural perspective hasn't just been a benefit — it has become a driving force behind growth for Zeta’s team.

 

 

Creating Authentic Spaces With Zeta Pride

When Lindsay Becker saw Zeta update their logo on social media to a Pride-specific rainbow logo in June 2020, she reached out to the marketing team in appreciation — and shortly thereafter, she received a message asking if she’d be interested in developing a group to support LGBTQIA+ employees at Zeta.

“We decided we wanted to build a group that could affect change within Zeta,” Becker said. “We’ve found opportunities to help our peers become better allies and sowed seeds internally to build a community here. And now, we are starting to have conversations about moving externally to engage in queer tech conversations and with organizations like Lesbians Who Tech and Out at Work to let people know that Zeta is a safe and inclusive place to work.”

Lindsay Becker, Director of Technical Training: Education is central for us. The more we can teach, the more people are better able to understand someone else’s journey. 

One of our key accomplishments is beginning monthly community conversations earlier this year. We come to the table with a designated topic, but we find that we use a lot of the time to talk about what’s on people’s minds. It’s a very authentic and safe space where people can be unobtrusively authentically themselves.

 

We are committed to building a safe and supportive community where people can show up as they are.

 

We run a relatively wide gamut both educationally and culturally. We’ve had high-profile speakers and Ask Me Anything panels with our ERG chairs, which offer an opportunity for employees across the company to respectfully ask questions. People have asked about how to support people coming out in their personal lives and about coming out or transitioning at work themselves. Culturally, we’ve also focused on keeping things fun with Drag Queen Bingo and the New York Pride March. 
 

Building a Fun and Inclusive World With Zeta Mundo

For Victor Sanchez, being part of Zeta Global’s international team has been a highlight of his time with the company. From partnering with staff in the Philippines to getting to know his India-based team, Sanchez has been able to grow his understanding of how cultures around the world work, collaborate and celebrate together.

Sanchez has been able to share his own culture across Zeta’s team as well. Zeta Mundo is committed to empowering Hispanic and Latinx Zeta team members through hiring opportunities, mentorship and career advancement. 

Victor Sanchez, Director of Solutions: During Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve hosted educational panels and discussions to talk about challenges we’ve faced and how we’ve overcome them. But we also focus on building community through cultural activities throughout the year. We had an enchilada cooking night. We’ve also hosted a mariachi event and a Cinco de Mayo educational event.

Our ERG has also been able to work together with Zeta Pride to use our own Zeta Marketing Platform (ZMP) to better communicate across our team. We can utilize the powerful tools we have right here in house to connect people on our team with our ERGs. By using ZMP, we can make sure people are receiving relevant and valuable information, and we are also able to access data and insights on how people are engaging with ERGs, which supports DEI initiatives across the company.

 

Bridging the Representation Gap With Bridge Builders

When Efeohe Suleman joined the Boyd Initiative as a recent college graduate, she knew she was looking for an internship that would support her growth as a media professional. Soon, she met her future mentor, Stephen George, when he presented to the group about Zeta and specifically Bridge Builders, an ERG supporting Black and Brown employees at the company.

“I joined Bridge Builders because of my mentorship with Stephen, but I stuck with it because of the community,” she said. “From joining as a member to now serving as co-chair, I loved the Bridge Builders community, and that’s where I planted my feet.”

Efeohe Suleman, Senior Strategic Solutions Consultant: The vision is for Bridge Builders to bridge the gap for underrepresented talent in the ad tech industry. One key initiative is the internship program that’s being developed. This program would connect talent from HBCUs to internships and careers as Zeta — which is how I came here as well.

We have had a variety of activities, such as panels, Black History Month trivia and karaoke — events that are really good at not only educating, but bridging the community that we have within the ERG and across Zeta as a whole.

 

A group of Zeta employees with a Zeta banner
Zeta

 

Mentorship at Zeta

After joining Zeta through an external mentorship program, Suleman found the support and guidance continued.

And that experience isn’t isolated to those who join Zeta early in their careers. Both Becker and Sanchez have participated in Zeta’s mentorship programs and point to those relationships as transformational to their work life.

“Asking ‘What is it that you want? What are your goals? And how can I help you achieve those goals?’ is at the heart of the mentorship program here,” Sanchez said.

Becker: Mentorship actually changed the course of my career. We had talked about the requisite stuff, and one day, my mentor asked me, point blank, “Are you happy doing what you’re doing?”

It took me aback because I typically am looking forward and thinking about what will get me to that next level. So, I sat down and I thought about all the things that I was doing currently in my role that were making me happy, the things that I really enjoyed and then the things that I didn’t so much enjoy. Fortunately, that led to our learning and development team. I really liked figuring things out and tinkering, and I really liked teaching people. I really liked getting them to understand and appreciate our platform as much as I did. 

 

“Mentorship changed the course of my career.”

 

Suleman: I had a unique perspective coming into my role as an intern because I had a mentor to guide me through the process and help me refine my career goals.

My mentor was a safe space to ask questions. I was able to accelerate my understanding of Zeta, our platform and my job because I had somebody to go to. And Stephen, my mentor, not only helped me connect with Bridge Builders but also the people who I needed to know across our team. It took a lot of the guesswork out of it for me and helped me feel like I was playing on even ground.

My manager and VP have also been extremely supportive and helped me find room to grow here. They said, “Wherever you want to go, we’ll help you get there,” and put the opportunities in front of me. I am given space to grow and experiment and try new things, all of which support the great internal mobility here at Zeta.

 

“Wherever you want to go, we’ll help you get there.”

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via Zeta Global.

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