May 25, 20225 min read
When the pandemic began and workers left the familiarity of their offices and shifted to work from home, once routine, daily lives morphed into one unexpected disruption after another — personally, professionally, and as citizens of the world. As the weeks turned to months, and work from home became the norm, Sprinklr employees began to form employee resource groups (ERGs) known as We Care to find connections and encourage a culture of belonging in shared communities.
Shruti Sharma is a people leader for Culture and Talent; Priscilla Tran is a Digital Campaign Producer, and they joined Sprinklr last April and August, respectively. Joining a new organization as a fully remote employee brings some unique challenges — feeling disconnected from colleagues and those outside of your department is just one of them. Shruti and Priscilla were matched in Sprinklr’s Mentorship Program, and they began to learn about one another’s roles within the organization, interests outside of work, and shared cultural backgrounds.
During this same time, the unprecedented events of 2020 continued to leave communities reeling. For the Asian population, there has been a 164% increase in hate crimes — the highest levels ever recorded across the United States — and exposure to the “bamboo ceiling” in professional settings.
The current news headlines represent both positive and negative sentiments reflecting the reality faced by Asians.
"Asian-American Professionals Push for Visibility at Work" (Wall Street Journal, April 2021)
"‘I wish I spoke up sooner’: 12 Asian American leaders talk career, identity and representation in the U.S." (CNBC Make It blog, May 2021)
In a one-on-one meeting, Shruti discussed the recent violence against the NYC Asian community with Tim Tran, Manager of Recruitment Operations. She had recently finished a project for a graduate school class on diversity, equality, and inclusion programs, where she took a deeper look at Sprinklr’s We Care groups. With inspiration by what she’d learned in her class, a desire to make sense of what was happening in the Asian community, and encouragement from Tim, Priscilla, and Sprinklr VP, Culture of Belonging Fozia Raja, the Sprinklr We Care group to support the API community began.
May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) month, celebrating the history and contributions of Asian Americans in the United States. To coincide with the commemoration of AAPI Heritage Month, Sprinklr is launching We Care: Pan-Asian Network to globally support the community here. The mission of the group is to:
Celebrate diversity and bring to light similarities in order to empower one another
Provide a space for the growing Pan-Asian population to voice their shared experiences and stories
Create a platform for Sprinklrites to connect regarding leadership, mentorship, and allyship opportunities in a hybrid work environment
The global Asian and Pacific Islander (API) population and its diaspora hail from at least 14 countries and work in 16 countries where Sprinklr has offices. Despite this geographic distance, the API community seeks to be unified through our shared understandings. Allies are invited to join as we strive to learn and raise the collective awareness of API culture and talents.
“As a first-generation, British-born Asian, my heritage is a reminder of the struggles my family faced to reach a land of better opportunity. A reminder of the sheer hard and manual work they performed to pave the way for a better life for me and my siblings and the generations to come. I'm grateful for the colorful heritage, the strong values of family, respect, charity, and community that are fundamental to my background and to who I am today.”
—Fozia Raja, VP of Culture of Belonging, Sprinklr
The goals of the We Care: Pan-Asian Network are focused on the engagement efforts in four thematic areas: cultural, business, career development, and wellness.
Launching We Care: Pan-Asian Network in May and aligning with AAPI Heritage Month gives a great opportunity to jumpstart conversations on how we are unified through similar cultures and experiences. Throughout the year, the team will focus on sharing traditions, celebrations, and recipes from Sprinklr employees across the globe.
There are many resources available to Sprinklrites, like Diversity & Inclusion internal training programs in Sprinklr University and Mentoring at Sprinklr. The We Care: Pan-Asian Network team will continue to adapt and collect resources that cater to the needs and goals affecting the API community.
The Pan-Asian community at Sprinklr is the largest minority group within the organization. And with a CEO and three C-level executives having an API background, there’s a wealth of experience and knowledge that the group can learn from. The We Care: Pan-Asian Network will host speaker sessions with internal leaders and individual contributors that will encourage employees to pursue their career aspirations here at Sprinklr.
The API community often treats their own health and wellness as an afterthought. We Care: Pan-Asian Network will collaborate with our Benefits and Wellness teams to host events with guest speakers who can share the impact and importance of prioritizing your well-being.
The theme of AAPI Month 2022 is Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration. Here at Sprinklr, and now with the help of We Care: Pan-Asian Network, we hope to accomplish continued collaboration across the organization.
“Through collaboration we challenge our own thinking; we create a space for innovation, learning, better communication, and quicker problem solving,” says Fozia Raja, Sprinklr VP of Culture of Belonging. “By true diverse collaboration we are also creating a culture of belonging, where everyone has a voice and a part to play.”
We Care: Pan-Asian Network hopes to grow the membership base by collaborating across departments and promoting awareness of the network. Throughout the year, there will be ongoing learning opportunities, mentorship programs, expert speakers, and a chance to participate in service activities. We Care: Pan-Asian Network is a resource where Sprinklr employees can come together to learn and connect with one another in a hybrid work environment and demonstrate what employees can do as allies to collectively create leaders of tomorrow.
“I am honored to serve as the group’s executive sponsor. Having worked in scaling organizations with strong Asian leaders for the majority of my career, I know that representation matters – if you can see it, you can be it. But none of these firms had a dedicated space to bring the API peer community together; this sets Sprinklr apart in recognizing and uplifting our voices.”
—Asha Aravindakshan, VP of Operations, Sprinklr