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Making Workplace Diversity Actionable

In Spring 2021, I attended a product management summit hosted by the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. At the summit, I had the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from product managers and leaders from many different backgrounds. I learned a ton about what it means to be a product manager, and am very excited to apply my new knowledge in upcoming projects.

One conversation, in particular, sparked my interest. My group was discussing challenges that we face working remotely, and how many people we collaborate with every day we have never met in person. As a result, there are many small but important things that we don’t know about our colleagues that can make a huge difference for individuals. Diversity initiatives within companies can only go so far without the necessary tools. Name pronunciation and personal pronouns were two specific areas that I was able to identify after further thought and research about the topic.

Thinking back to my own personal experiences at MangoApps, a digital workplace platform that has offices in both Pune, India and Issaquah, Wa, this was the perfect example and opportunity for improvement. As a part of my internships, I have worked extensively with the development teams in India but have never spoken to many of them. All of our communication was through online workspaces at chat, and the time difference makes it hard to hop on a call or talk face-to-face. As a result of this, as well as a language and culture barrier, I still don’t know how to pronounce many of their names or what pronouns they use.

The MangoApps platform was the perfect place to help solve these problems. I pitched my idea for two new features to be added to each employee profile and business card within the MangoApps platform:

The MangoApps team loved these ideas, and I began to create mockups for each of the new features. After some discussions about the implementation of each feature, we finalized the design which is currently being developed by the MangoApps development team.

Both of these initiatives, although seemingly small, go a very long way to help promote inclusivity and diversity within the workplace. Individual employees feel respected and connected to their colleagues, creating a richer environment for everyone.