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This post is part of a series highlighting the diversity and inclusion work for employees, teachers, and students at VIPKid. This content is a start at being more transparent around conversations about equity and inclusion at VIPKid and we will continue to showcase the ongoing work in future blogs.
For those who work at VIPKid corporate offices, a sense of equity is at our core. When our Founder and CEO, Cindy Mi, first set out to start VIPKid, she envisioned a global classroom where barriers to entry for education were removed and all children have equal access to high-quality education. This ethos is what draws many of our employees to work at VIPKid.
As a fast-growing company that has connected teachers and students from different cultures since day one, our corporate employee resource efforts have lacked formal alignment to the broader mission. We are now taking a step back to examine our efforts towards diversity and inclusion and are committed to changing this and getting it right. While there may have been an implicit understanding that cultural exchange is celebrated, we know we can do better. We are re-examining our employee training practices to understand how we can make our workplace truly diverse and inclusive.
Especially during these past months, reflecting on the tragic racial injustices in the U.S. brought broader conversations at all levels about how we demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for our employees globally. This is not something that is addressed easily or quickly, but it is something we take great care in learning so that all of our employees feel supported, empowered, and trust in the future of VIPKid as a leader in global online education.
With executive support, employees from across the company are developing a strategy to improve our training and communication practices. The first step is creating opportunities for open conversation and extensive training for our teams, managers, and executive teams.
We believe that a culture of openness shapes our workplaces and has allowed us to have tough conversations and reflections. Since the early days of the company, transparent communication between leadership, employees, and across teams created an innovative and inclusive environment. Through forums like “Ask the Founders,” and ‘Town Halls,” employees have the opportunity to share feedback and ideas that continue to shape the company’s growth.
In our corporate offices, VIPKid is committed to:
- Providing a work environment that is free from racism and eliminating racism at every level of our organization.
- Ensuring that individuals impacted by racism do not feel that their grievances are ignored or trivialized, and that they will not suffer any retaliation or victimization; and
- Pursuing these commitments in ways that value all employees and our broader community, which we serve and with whom we collaborate.
Our goals as a company are to:
- Attract the best, most diverse talent to represent the breadth of teacher and student communities.
- Leverage the unique skills, perspectives, and cultural competence of our workforce to inform our products, services, and our teacher and student experiences.
- Create an environment where everyone feels valued and is treated fairly.
In this last quarter, we have taken the following actions:
- Dedicated budget and resources to diversity and unconscious bias training for all employees internationally in 2020.
- Established a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, bringing our cross-functional U.S. employees in our corporate offices together to share ideas and experiences that help support our diversity goals.
- Created an inclusive audit for our U.S.-based employees, including building a more robust employee guide for standards of conduct, anti-discrimination, and harassment.
- Donated to local and national social justice organizations.
- Included and highlighted diversity and inclusion projects as part of quarterly employee objectives and key results.
These efforts are just the beginning, and we recognize that there is much more that VIPKid can do to support our employees and build a more inclusive workplace in our corporate offices. We firmly believe that employees with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences are essential to accelerating innovation at VIPKid. We are dedicated to continuing to build an equitable and inclusive culture where all employees feel safe and respected.
This was written in partnership with the VIPKid Global HR team whose mission is to create a warm, trustworthy, industry-leading environment to support the development of everyone at VIPKid. Our multipart series also explores our student and teacher commitments to VIPKid’s journey in building a more diverse and inclusive community.