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We need to be the change we want to see: Lauren Wetzel, Chief Operating Officer, InfoSum

Lauren Wetzel, Chief Operating Officer, InfoSum

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Lauren Wetzel is the chief operating officer of Infosum. Here she pens her thoughts on the importance of diversity in technology.

We all need role models to identify with, to know what we can achieve in life, and to show us that there is no limit to what we can do or become. Recently, we’ve talked about this in terms of LGBTQ+ youth and how we all need someone we look up to, that inspires us to do great things. Our VP, Corporate Marketing, Ben Cicchetti, put it best when he said that we need to be the person we needed when we were young. That means role models as well as allies. I was and am lucky in that way. I had amazing role models growing up who inspired me.

CHALLENGE THE STATUS-QUO

A core value of InfoSum is challenging the status quo. This cannot be achieved without diverse teams. To create the most disruptive and unique solutions across the data collaboration space, we encourage our colleagues to think differently, share their unique perspectives and draw from their individualism to overcome any challenge.

For us, walking the walk is more important than talking a big game. Businesses perform better when they hear from both a diverse employee base and a diverse leadership team. We must take the time to listen and learn from those around us, especially those who have had a different background from ourselves. To put it simply, having a diverse team is not just good citizenship, it’s good for business.

Doing the work also means prioritising more than just making high-profile social justice donations. Putting effort into building a strong recruiting team, prioritising retention of your diverse staff and leadership, focusing on supporting mental well-being throughout the company, and creating employee resource groups will ensure that we showcase our commitment to developing our staff.

IT STARTS WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The first step is embracing that people come from different groups and backgrounds that have shaped them and made their journeys different. This is actually two-fold.

We don’t know what some of our peers, colleagues, or strangers we encounter are going through. We need to treat everyone with respect and patience. Additionally, we must respect that others’ journeys to where they are now may have been vastly different based on their race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Those journeys have made their outlook and experience different. Those different experiences are the greatest strength that companies and our societies can rely on. We do not live in a monolithic society, and our companies should not be that way.

CREATING AN INCLUSIVE, REPRESENTATIVE AND EQUITABLE ENVIRONMENT

At InfoSum, we’ve taken a strong position on Diversity and Inclusion. We’ve outlined company-wide commitments, implemented several technical resources, and delivered ongoing internal education into our recruitment processes to remove any potential unconscious bias. By implementing our applicant tracking systems’ candidate anonymisation feature and shifting to a ‘value assessment’ focused process, we can better define an individual’s potential impact, and not just look at technical skills. Finally, we champion the idea of a diverse interview panel, removing any possibility of individual unconscious bias and allowing the team to have input in a candidate’s ability to succeed in a role.

Along with new company-wide standards such as a flexible and hybrid working environment, we’ve made it a priority to raise awareness of mental health. Whether in discussion or in programs we invested in for our employees, we have prioritized providing a range of mental well-being applications, employee assistance program support, personal coaching, and mental health days. Our ongoing commitment also extends to personal development by giving everyone dedicated time and resources to focus on focus on learning new skills or honing existing ones.

Last year we also launched key internal networks such as our LGBTQ+ and Women@InfoSum networks. We also recently founded the InfoSum Culture Committee which champions our culture and helps shape our growth in a way that is representative of our teams, not driven by the people or leadership teams. And through our mentorship and buddy programs, we connect individuals across our business to help encourage, educate and support them at every stage of their career at InfoSum.

We continuously listen to our employee base to give everyone the resources and support they need to become their best selves and be the person they needed when starting out in their career.

ABOUT LAUREN WETZEL

Lauren Wetzel is the Chief Operating Officer of InfoSum, one of the hottest new technology companies in the field of privacy and customer data collaboration. As COO, Lauren manages strategy, operations, marketing, client services, business development, and the company’s all-important People function.

Prior to joining InfoSum, Lauren was SVP, of Strategy and Corporate Development for AT&T’s advertising company, Xandr. Before diving headlong into operational roles, Lauren worked for several years as a strategy consultant within Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WORKING AT INFOSUM

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