June 2nd, 2020

mom walk

Wow.

Today we had a company town hall. We use a tool called Slido that allows employees to post questions and other employees to vote them up. Despite the many other public and private disruptions to our business going on right now, one of the top-voted questions was a question about what role we as a company should play in the current conversation around Black Lives Matter.

The CEO said "well, i don't really know, i'm not sure, i need some time to think about it and get back to you". Say what? What fucking question did you expect you were going to get on a town hall? The head of branding said "well, it's a complicated issue, we don't want to come across as just ticking a box, there needs to be actions behind whatever we say..."

Then, the head of HR. The fucking head of HR.

"I think the most important thing to remember is that all lives matter..."

Wow. Wow. Wow. I nearly dropped the call right then and there, i couldn't believe it.

Almost immediately, a follow-up question got voted to the top of the pile basically saying "what the fuck" in much more polite language. And there was some doubling down, then some doubling back, then confusion from all executives as they tried to waffle their way around something they clearly had never even thought about.

Meanwhile on Slack (text chat) in one of our diversity and inclusion channels, people were speechless. Like, nobody could even post a comment, just a 😶 emoji and Black Lives Matter.

Later on she posted an apology and that she didn't know better etc etc. I mean, i do understand that some people are truly ignorant on this topic, but that is telling in itself. BLM has been international headline news since 2014! Six years of not paying attention to this story doesn't exactly inspire confidence in your leadership.

Our company's Glassdoor has the usual mix of good and bad reviews, but some of the ones that stand out the most for me are the reviews pointing out the lack of diversity. Tech companies anyway are renowned for being sausage factories that are almost all white and Asian, but ours is notably more so than others. I think i already shared one of my favorite quotes from a Glassdoor review where someone posted that coming into work it's like they are surrounded by Children of the Corn.

Well, i had to leave the office after that. I went to the fruit shop and bought some chilled melon and a bottle of cold beer, which i will now drink because i need some self care. What a bubble i live in, thinking people might read the news from time to time. Wow.