Fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in tech: why I joined Looker

Kelli Dragovich, Chief People Officer at Looker

May 24, 2019

As someone who’s been a Looker user for over three years,I've come to know Looker as an awesome, game-changing product. More recently, I’ve found that Looker the company is filled with genuine, caring, and passionate individuals that naturally treat each other how I've always wanted to be treated at work.

Authenticity & belonging

Throughout my career journey, I’ve found that great cultures focus on ensuring that their workplaces foster a sense of belonging. This is has become increasingly apparent in recent years, with talent flocking to and staying at companies where they can be their true selves without having to separate who they are at home from who they are at work. Additionally, I’ve seen that people gravitate to companies where respect and transparency is shared not only among their peers and managers, but from leadership teams as well.

The role that DEI plays

The concepts underneath the diversity, equity, and inclusion umbrella are different, yet all equally important to a company’s culture. Organizations can be strong or weak across any combination of these three areas and will often claim victory when they’ve checked one off the list. But to be truly authentic, I believe there must be a commitment to being strong when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion together in the tech industry.

Demographic diversity as an example is necessary, but far from sufficient. If we are not ensuring that our teams are also inclusive and equitable, simply being a demographically diverse team won’t make our experiences any better. As a female who identifies as LGBTQ+ and is now part of a 50/50 gender-balanced executive team at Looker, I am eager to help continue building in this area with the knowledge and learnings I’ve gotten throughout my journey.

From an external customer perspective, smart organizations are also working to mirror the demographics of their workforce to the demographics of their user base. This allows product teams to identify with all different types of personas and create amazing customer experiences. At Looker, this is even more critical, as our users are those in every function across companies, all working towards a shared goal.

I encourage organizations to share their views and their progress externally as often as possible. Committing to publishing and sharing where you are currently, even if it's uncomfortable, helps ensure progress is being made around diversity, equity, and inclusion in tech. I've been fortunate to have been at prior companies like Intuit and Hired who have taken this path, and Looker has already made a tremendous amount of progress across these areas.

Why I love the dreaded role of “Human Resources”

To support a business optimally through hypergrowth, proactive companies are looking to grow their teams in responsible ways that constantly blend their talent strategies with their business levers. Because of this, our roles within the people organization (aka Human Resources) are very unique. People teams can provide a holistic view of the most optimal ways to intersect the best strategies through rapid evolution.

It’s a role I believe is never complete and can never be mastered — which is part of what makes it so exciting. Just as humans and businesses continue to change and evolve, so do the roles and responsibilities of those in People/HR roles. We must continue to listen to others, be open to learning and being proven wrong, and continue pushing the envelope as we evolve our thinking and practices around talent and DE&I.

Looker is my title

I could not be more excited about joining Looker because Lookers already have these mindsets. Thanks to the founding team, the importance of people has been present at Looker since the beginning. As Looker has scaled, company values have helped to solidify a sense of humility, openness, and genuine caring in our offices all around the world. That’s special, and it’s something that Lookers are working hard to protect and grow.

I am personally excited to help connect the work that has and continues today across culture and diversity, equity, and inclusion together through one holistic People & Inclusion strategy that has the ability to expand as we scale. I look forward to Lookers being thought partners and thought leaders within the external tech community, while also continuing to improve, learn and challenge ourselves internally.

The work in promoting and living values across diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry never ends - it just evolves. And it is with that mindset that I am thrilled to move forward and join the Looker team.

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