Experiment, Try Something New, and Crowdsource from Within — Andrew Cada from Attentive

AllVoices Team
AllVoices Team
November 11, 2021
5 Min Read
Experiment, Try Something New, and Crowdsource from Within —  Andrew Cada from Attentive

This post is a part of our series, Culture Champions — Spotlighting the actionable advice, tips, tricks and learnings from top ERG leaders who are making a difference in their workplaces and communities.

Andrew enjoys building companies and helping teams grow through rapid and hands-on recruiting. 

  • 11+ years Recruiting experience
  • 5+ years HR/People Ops experience
  • 3+ years experience managing people
  • 2+ years managing IT and Office Ops
  • 15+ years of DEI programming and evangelism, starting as an RA at UC Berkeley

Outside of work, he enjoys nature documentaries, drag shows, and trying new restaurants.

What was your journey to becoming PRISM employee resource group (ERG) leaders at Attentive? 

I joined PRISM first as a member and was 9-months into my time with the company before considering becoming a co-lead. At the time, one of our co-leads went on sabbatical and as a Lead Engineering Recruiter, I wanted to be present for the community as we entered (and are in) a stage of high growth. I also recognize that we’re at a unique time and place as a society, and in my job, I have the opportunity to build numerous 1:1 relationships with LGBTQ+ candidates. By taking on a leadership role within an ERG, I was reinforcing my own excitement to represent the company in a more visible and impactful role and to keep making connections between existing and potential coworkers. 

What are the goals of PRISM? (i.e. internal, external, community, professional development, recruitment, inclusive product design, programming) 

PRISM is Attentive’s LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, +) Community. We empower employees and their allies by fostering a culture of inclusivity and belonging in the workplace. PRISM is a part of AWAKE, a company-wide community that represents A Will to take Action for more Knowledge and Empowerment in all things related to diversity and inclusion at Attentive. At Attentive, we believe our greatest strength is our people; we are a stronger company when each one of us can be our true selves at work and AWAKE allows employees and ERGs to have a safe space to pursue that empowerment.

What are some of your accomplishments over the past year in the employee experience and how would you measure your impact? 

Attentive is fortunate to be growing our HR, People and Operations teams alongside all other areas of the company. During COVID, our office ops team turned into a virtual events and culture team. Those amazing folks really helped scale programming and events for ERGs, especially as we are a remote first company with employees choosing to work from either our NY office, their local coworking space, or at home. We’ve also been fortunate to see significant investments from a budgeting and resourcing perspective, which has allowed us to plan quarterly events accessible to the entire company, as fundraising campaigns through a charitable platform that allows for company-matching (Millie), fireside chats with interesting and recognizable guest speakers, as well a safe space within slack to just chat and socialize. 

How are you celebrating and honoring Trans Awareness Week this year? What is your advice to other ERG leaders across companies who’re aiming to make their workplace more trans-inclusive? 

We have an entire week of programming that will include pronoun training and best practices, a Millie charitable giving campaign with company matching to Point of Pride and Trans Lifeline, a cocktail/mocktail making class through Confetti, and a fireside chat with a leader from Glamazon - Amazon’s LGBTQ+ group (organized through Mindr).

When we decided to make Trans Awareness Week the pillar of our Q4 content and programming, I made a call for volunteers from the group to build a sub-committee with the hopes of involving employees who identify as trans. As I do not identify as trans, I wanted my role to be that of a listener, and an ally to navigate budgeting and project management needs alongside my co-lead, Rebecca. The events and content of our week was ultimately the result of a collaboration with two members of PRISM, my co-lead and I, and an employee on our People Operations team who helps ERGs with their mission/goals.

What insights would you like to share with new ERG leaders? 

At a growth-stage company like Attentive, there’s a lot of project management and building from the ground up. Our team is great at sharing best practices and we’re drafting a playbook for new ERGs/ERG Leads, but that doesn’t limit us from having the freedom to experiment, try something new, and also crowdsource from within our community. 

How are you celebrated and compensated as ERG leaders at Attentive? 

At Attentive, ERGs are provided a small annual stipend for meeting goals set by our People Team, and we’re often called upon by the People Team to provide insight and advice during critical times or important conversations. 

What is your call to action for leaders to support the work of ERGs? 

I’ve been fortunate to work at companies where executives and team leads recognize that ERGs reinforce a sense of belonging and enhance an employee’s psychological safety in the workplace. These both contribute to job satisfaction and retention. As an executive, allowing employees to organize around identities or topics that are important to them can be a huge culture win. Participating through listening to your employees invested in creating, maintaining, or supporting ERGs can help you identify future leaders. And involving your HR/People teams to work with your ERGs for any type of guardrails or budgeting can be a way to reinforce that HR is not just a back office job. 

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