Diversity and Inclusion at Endace

Original Entry by : Katrina Schollum

By Katrina Schollum, People Partner, Endace


Since we established our Diversity and Inclusion Committee earlier this year, we have been busy working to cement the importance of our Diversity and Inclusion program at Endace.

As a group, we have held regular discussions across our four focus areas; gender, ethnicity, generations and people with different abilities, to establish how we can achieve positive outcomes for people and the business, increase awareness and break down barriers. We are committed to community-led objectives that support and celebrate individuality and foster a sense of belonging for everyone. In this blog post we are pleased to share some of our progress.

Establishing Who We Are

It was important to us to understand who we are at Endace, and what is important to us as we shape our path forward.

We created anonymous reporting on gender, nationality and cultural ethnicity and were able to share the statistical data visually with the whole organisation, which we will continue to do as we track our changes over time. We can report we have at least 24 different nationalities within Endace and we are extremely proud of our very culturally diverse workplace.
One of our biggest pieces of work was an internal survey that sought specific input across our four key areas. The Committee invested a lot of effort into asking the right questions so we could understand where there was lack of clarity, what areas we are doing well and what areas need improvement to focus on. As a result, we were able to clarify our key messages and share these across the organization via various channels including workshops, promotional activity such as email newsletters and posters, and team meetings.

Diwali Decoration Competition - Endace
Winning Diwali entry

We were also able to meet a popular requests to celebrate key cultural celebrations throughout the year – such as sharing Māori themed food at our New Zealand offices to celebrate Matariki (which marks the beginning of the new year in the Māori lunar calendar). In addition, we celebrated Diwali with a global team competition to learn more about this festival of lights. We plan to promote and celebrate many more of these occasions on an ongoing basis – giving everyone at Endace an opportunity to learn more about other cultures represented in the team.

These activities are all great examples of the success of our community-led approach. By seeking input from the entire team we better understand what’s important and where we can add value to our diversity and inclusion initiatives. Sometimes it is relatively simple things that can make a big difference.

Community Led Initiatives
Marjo Montejo - Endace - reflects on Women in Technology Day
Marjo Montejo reflects on women in technology on International Women’s Day

Our Committee has put together a plan of strategic, measurable objectives from our group discussions. Some of the activities that have already been delivered including calendar events such as World Autism Awareness Day. We also highlighted International Women’s Day by sharing photos and personal stories about what the day meant to our team, and about what it means to be a woman in the tech industry.

We also recently held Cultural Intelligence workshops that were attended by 79.5% of our organisation. The workshops gave us tools to improve on the understanding of cultures other than our own and break down barriers to support greater participation, integration and increase the sense of belonging.

Recently, for Transgender Awareness Week, a member of our transgender community at Endace shared his story in a powerful interview with Sasha Blair, VP People & Legal, to answer some questions about the trans community and his experiences. The recording was shared internally and some fantastic feedback was received. Our ongoing conversations around gender have made a noticeable difference in using gender-neutral and inclusive language.

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, we have planned some thought-provoking activities to celebrate and support individuals. The immediate focus will be educating ourselves on Neurodiversity and understanding how it adds value to our business.

Neurodiversity in the tech sector has at times been overlooked but major tech organisations are making great strides in this area and we are keen to see how we can contribute to these initiatives too.

While change takes time, we will continue to celebrate what makes Endace unique and keep taking steps to ensure our team can strengthen their feeling of belonging, and feel their individual voices are heard, valued and respected. We anticipate the more initiatives we implement in our organisation, the more positive outcomes we will observe. Our agenda will support our achieving an increasingly inclusive environment and we look forward to sharing our progress.


Our 2021/22 Internship Program Begins

Original Entry by : Katrina Schollum

We are very pleased to have recently welcomed six Interns to join us for their 13 week, R.E.A.L (remarkable, enjoyable, authentic, learning) Summer Internship program in our R&D Center in Hamilton, New Zealand.  We had a fantastic response to, and level of interest in, our individual projects and we look forward to seeing what this year’s Interns can learn and achieve.

Induction Day

Working remotely meant a different look and feel for Day 1 of our program with introductions happening via Teams.  Our Interns were introduced to life at Endace virtually, including a welcome from our CEO Stuart Wilson.

The afternoon kicked off with a team-building activity which was facilitated by Team Up Events and involved 4 different teams in an online race against the clock.  Moving around the continents, learning, answering questions, taking group photos, and lots of laughs – it was a fun part of the day getting to know our new team members and testing how good our online communication skills have become!

One of our mentors, Norbert, confirmed the ‘Travel Around the World’ activity was “fun for us, but also a good chance to get to know the Interns and break the ice – which is not easy working remotely.”  After the ice was broken our Interns and their individual mentors had the opportunity to continue the conversation and begin their projects together.

Our Program

We are proud of our history, contribution to ongoing learning and continuing our strong bonds to our company origins in tertiary education.  From day one, our Interns learn about Endace’s history and products and develop relationships with their mentors.  This year, we are thrilled to have three mentors and managers who, in previous years, were themselves Endace Interns and offer unique insight from both sides of the relationship.  Sam, one of the new mentors, said “being an Intern at Endace was challenging but in the best possible way. I learned so much in such a short time, and the support and guidance I received along the way allowed me to make a smooth transition from study into the workplace. I am excited to be able to pass on some of what I learned to the next crop of Interns.”

Across 13 weeks the Internship program focuses on commercially relevant, individual projects and providing structured training including lunch-and-learns to introduce other areas of the business such as finance, HR, marketing and operations to create  a well-rounded experience.  The Internship program culminates with our Interns delivering a presentation at a shared learning session involving Interns and their mentors, members of the senior leadership team and project managers.

2021/22 Interns’ first day in the office
2021/22 Interns’ first day in the office

The Endace Internship Program is a great way to help computer science students and graduates build talent and experience and grow the industry. It also helps us showcase Endace as an employer of choice for IT and engineering graduates in New Zealand.

Our Interns become sought-after graduates with meaningful, hands-on experience and we will be following their achievements with interest.  ­­It was fantastic to finally have our Interns join us in the office so we could meet face-to-face, and we look forward to seeing them share their progress at the close of the program.


Diversity and Inclusion at Endace

Original Entry by : Endace

By Garima Bhatia, Test Manager – Appliance QA, Endace


Endace has recently started an exciting initiative which we wanted to share.

We have always been a culturally diverse workplace with people from all over the world representing many different nationalities and cultures. We are proud of this and want to recognize and celebrate the diversity we already have at Endace.  Each of our individuals has unique perspectives, skills, experiences and backgrounds that bring valuable contributions to the organization.

Supporting this diverse set of individuals to feel included is important; so people feel they truly belong to the organization they are working at and can achieve their maximum potential.  For Endace as an innovative organization, this means reaping the rewards of diverse thinking, and a stimulating work environment that leads to a satisfied team with strong collaboration and teamwork.

It is important that diversity is not only accepted, but celebrated, in ways that gives this diverse group of people a strong sense of worth and belonging. Everyone should feel accepted and valued for who they are in order for Endace to build a corporate culture that demonstrably supports and celebrates every individual’s self-expression.

What are we Doing?

Our approach to making diversity at Endace inclusive, by embracing our different mix of people, is a bottom-up approach. Our People team conducted an internal survey, and a series of discussions and presentations, to encourage input from people across the organization. In these sessions, we examined and discussed what diversity means and how acceptance and celebration of diversity go hand-in-hand with inclusion. We discussed how this benefits the business by allowing it to tap into the potential a diverse workforce has to offer, and how it benefits individuals by encouraging their individuality in a productive way.

This process was widely supported across the organization and led to agreement across the board that an active focus on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) was an important initiative for everyone at Endace.

As our CEO Stuart Wilson said “this initiative is to ensure everyone has an equal voice so the business benefits from the best of the abilities that we have as a diverse team at Endace. I am motivated to give a voice to those who may be reluctant to step forward and I am looking forward to seeing what we achieve together.

The D&I Committee: and Our Voices

D&I can be “in the eye of the beholder”. So our challenge was to gain an organization-wide perspective of what diversity means to everyone at Endace. We needed to understand where we are now and what we want to focus on improving.

We established a community-led group, by calling for volunteers from across Endace, to collect input and ideas from across the organization, that could be implemented in conjunction with the People team. We found we had many people that are enthusiastic about this initiative and who wanted to be part of the group proactively taking steps to better understand and support our team members.

As Sam from the Software team says, “the differences that exist between us all are a strength, not a weakness. The D&I Committee provides a platform for us to celebrate and better understand this.

We had people who wanted to voice opinions on many different issues and were willing to dedicate time and ideas.

As Michael in the Support team said, “being part of Endace’s Diversity & Inclusion team resonates strongly with my personal commitment to breaking down barriers for marginalized and vulnerable communities.  I am passionate about making a positive difference, whether it’s in relation to gender, age, ability, sexuality, or cultural diversity.”

 

One very motivated volunteer, Kate, provided a very perceptive insight; “I believe acceptance of difference makes us stronger and smarter. It is not the diversity that is key, it is the openness to it.

 

We were also fortunate to have a senior leadership team member, John Attala, Endace’s VP of Worldwide Sales, sponsor the initiative as the D&I group leader. John said,

As the son of a first-generation immigrant, our family’s diversity stood out. My parents became leaders in their careers and community and I believe our cultural differences educated our community in a small way. Diversity and inclusion are important to me and I’m excited to be part of the first Endace D&I Committee. I hope together we can help facilitate a workplace that is safe, welcoming and where ideas are freely shared because I believe diversity is the one true thing we all have in common”.

Once assembled, the group was trained by the people team on D&I fundamentals and tasked with identifying focus areas and specific objectives Endace could undertake to ensure D&I are embedded across the organization.

So Far: and What’s Next?

The experience of being in the D&I committee so far has been a unique one. We have identified the focus areas we collectively agreed to work on and identified teams to work on each of these focus areas. These teams are responsible for ensuring the overall group makes progress by firstly building awareness of issues in their specific focus areas and then by identifying actions that will address those issues and ensure diversity is not only accepted but overtly celebrated across the organization.

We have taken our first steps – including having all managers participate in an “unconscious bias” workshop. This workshop helped attendees to understand that biases do exist, how they can identify and become conscious of them, and how to be mindful that these biases don’t get in the way of everyone being treated fairly.

As we move forward, we are driven to actively support our organization becoming a place where individuality is celebrated and everyone has a sense of belonging, of having a valued voice, is accepted and respected, and has opportunities to develop.  Change happens over time, but we know this can be achieved through our commitment to community-led initiatives and the hard work of our D&I Committee.