Julia Betts spent over 15 years with her previous employer working on communications, employee engagement, and more recently, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Just a few months ago, she jumped at the opportunity to join Calendly as our Head of Engagement and Communications.
As part of her work here at Calendly, Julia and her team will be tasked with formalizing Calendly’s engagement, communications, and DEI strategy holistically as we look to continue to build and grow our inclusive culture.
Q: How did you get involved in DEI work?
At my former company, we had begun forming the foundations of a DEI function for about a year. It was important to the company but not an urgent priority.
That soon changed after George Floyd’s murder. A Black task force formed independent of the DEI function and started engaging on actions to improve their DEI experience. The leadership team was scrambling on how they should lean into the sudden changes. The employee base was eager to know what we were doing to make progress.
To say it was a significant learning moment is an understatement, especially working with the newly established Black task force. Partnering with that community to drive change was rewarding because it went deeper than impacting a company DEI strategy, it impacted humanity.
Sure I grew professionally, but more importantly I grew personally and learned so much more about what has been happening in this country for a long time and how much privilege I have had. It was such an eye opening personal journey that re-ignited my passion and desire to fuel change through this work.
Q: What does inclusion mean to you? In other words, how do you define inclusion?
To me, inclusion is the collection of behaviors we are trying to drive in every group ensuring that all team members feel welcomed, valued, respected and heard. Ultimately they have a sense of belonging.
Q: What impact have you seen on companies who have a strong focus on DEI?
It is very well studied and reported that when organizations put intentional focus on DEI, it drives better business outcomes such as more innovation, profit, and productivity. Also, most people want to be a part of a place where they feel they belong so intentional focus positively impacts retention and engagement.
Q: What made you choose this opportunity over others?
The opportunity to make an impact in a fast paced environment with talented people. Calendly is growing at a rapid pace and ensuring we provide the culture and experience our teams want is not going to happen organically as we scale, especially in a remote-first world. This new Engagement and Communications function has a great opportunity and responsibility to ensure our teams feel a sense of connection and belonging to Calendly and one another.
Q: Now that you’ve been here for two months, what are you most excited about?
I’m excited about the opportunity to show what an Engagement and Communications function does to impact the cultural experience. As the company scales and grows we need to be deliberate about how we create experiences to connect, build relationships, and how we communicate the ongoing changes taking place. A big part of that is putting intentional focus on DEI and it’s clear there is more than enough opportunity to do that here at Calendly. I’m beyond excited to see what the future holds and to be a driving force in shaping that with everyone.