Last modified on February 24th, 2022
By Jessica Garcia
At AppFolio, we’re passionate about telling the important stories of our diverse backgrounds and perspectives all year long, and this month we highlight our Black employee community as part of our celebration of Black History Month.
Recently Be @ AppFolio, our employee resource group for members of the Black community, hosted a company-wide panel as part of their ongoing mission to amplify Black voices, build connections, and accelerate professional growth to develop current and future leaders at AppFolio. Enjoy these soundbites from the event!
What is the best way to foster a diverse workplace in the tech industry?
“The key is accessibility. When I tell people I work for a tech company, they immediately assume that I know how to code computer software. Attracting and hiring diverse candidates begins with sharing the variety of opportunities available for people with different skill sets and levels of experience. You don’t necessarily need a background in computer science — you can find your place here by doing what you do best.”
– Jared Griffin, Customer Care Representative
When have you felt the most supported and safe at AppFolio?
“We’ve created spaces for Black AppFolians that serve as support networks for each other, like our Slack channels and Be @ AppFolio. I also really value the relationships I’ve built over the last eight years, spanning across all different backgrounds, ethnicities, and colors. Meaningful relationships have been essential to my career growth at AppFolio.”
– Beth Gilbert, Senior Director, Community Association Market
On the flip side, where do we have room for growth?
“Honoring holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth have been great additions to our culture at AppFolio. Taking it a step further, we could open up different spaces to invite deep conversations about events going on in the world. Having hard conversations is a way of bringing people together and creating more understanding across different cultures.”
– Derek Lewis, Corporate Business Development Representative and Co-Lead, Be @ AppFolio
What excites you about Black History Month?
“Being Black in itself is exciting, especially being a Black woman. I’m still learning about our rich history, and as I continue to learn, I’m also sharing about it and celebrating it with others. We are our Black history, but we’re also more than that — we’re mothers and fathers and lawyers and chefs and scientists and inventors and amazing software sales people! I love that we can get together and share our culture, our food, and our experiences.”
– Tanisha Franklin, Senior SMB Account Executive and Co-Lead, Be @ AppFolio
“I love the energy of Black History Month. Growing up, I didn’t learn much about Black history, and when you don’t know your history you don’t really know yourself. But learning causes a shift — you realize what you’re capable of and that energy stays with you. That energy stays with me all year round, but it’s even more prevalent during this month. Black History Month is an acknowledgement of us — that we’re here. I appreciate that.”
– Jevon Grant, Customer Care Representative
Comments by Jessica Garcia