Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Supporting a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce

January 27, 2021  |   Kham Ward

Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are words simply defined and essential to creating a positive work environment. However, it is difficult to implement and encourage all three across a company. The term diversity focuses on tolerance. Inclusion is the bridge that transforms diversity into belonging. Where diversity is like being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance. Finally, belonging is when a person feels they can bring their authentic selves to the workplace, free of judgement. In that same party analogy, belonging would be dancing like no one is watching. 

I was motivated to focus my career on diversity, inclusion, and belonging after a chance encounter with law enforcement based on stereotypes. As embarrassing, confusing, hurtful, and frustrating as the experience was, I recognized the dangers of stereotyping, and made a conscious decision to employ the opposite. I’ve dedicated my life’s work to engaging and educating others on diversity, inclusion, and belonging matters, preparing individuals to thrive in a complex and interconnected world. I’m proud to join LiveRamp as the first Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) to integrate these initiatives into everything we do.

At LiveRamp, our DIB efforts are a cornerstone of our innovative culture. We believe our team and business do not sit apart from society, and strive to create a work environment where all are welcome and can thrive. We recognize and encourage every LiveRamper to feel empowered to bring their whole self to work. Cultivating this environment, we’ll catalyze and progress towards building an equitable future for all. 

Our three pillars of DIB at LiveRamp focus on this commitment to our people and society: workforce, product and customers, and community. These pillars reflect the intricate relationship of diversity, inclusion, and belonging—both internally and externally. To be effective, all three must work together harmoniously for an environment that is equal parts diverse, encouraging, and accepting. Creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace where colleagues feel a sense of belonging leads to producing better outcomes for our employees and business. These efforts don’t stop within our workforce, but extend to our communities, where we continue to support meaningful initiatives to eradicate systemic inequalities. 

Since joining LiveRamp, I’ve developed an internal speaker series for LiveRamp employees, titled “Let’s Take A Walk.” The series is a space to share thoughts rooted in a new narrative around the underrepresented community’s experience by having external guest speakers share their stories. It is our hope that this series will allow all LiveRampers—from different walks of life, viewpoints, and ideals—the ability to find common ground and see it as a support, as educational, and as a change agent for an inclusive community. Some key speakers so far in the series include:

  • A candid discussion titled, “Supporting Black Employees through Crisis,” with two global leaders in the inclusion and diversity field: Donna DeBerry, former Chief Diversity Officer at Nike and Starbucks, and Francis Aremo, Founder and EMEA Regional Chair for Indeed’s first racial employee resource group (ERG) outside the U.S. 
  • In celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we hosted “From Protest to Progress” with a keynote from Carlotta Walls LaNier, the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine. In 1957, LaNier and eight other courageous African-American students integrated LIttle Rock Central High School, testing the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional, a pivotal moment in the American Civil Rights Movement. 

In addition to these powerful discussions, I’m proud of our ERGs, who have spearheaded programs that support our three pillars of DIB. Some programs of note include:

  • The Gender Pronoun Campaign: In partnership with EQUAL (Empowered Queers and Allies at LiveRamp, we’ve integrated and encouraged LiveRamp employees to list their preferred pronouns on Workday, Slack, email signatures, and Zoom
  • During LatinX Heritage Month, we held talks for employees featuring Irma Olguin, Jr., CEO and Founder of Bitwise, and Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona’s 7th congressional district
  • Black at LiveRamp’s Back-to-School Drive donated over $10,000 worth of books, headphones for remote learning, and supplies to schools in Oakland, Philadelphia, and New York City
  • The 12 Days of Giving Campaign raised over $26,000—including a 2:1 LiveRamp contribution match—for organizations that were selected by ERGs during the holidays

To learn more about why diversity, inclusion, and belonging matters in everything we do at LiveRamp, visit our DIB page.