Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stop the Frickin' Bullying Already!

The highlight of my day (besides the train pick up line on my way to Chicago) was hearing the enthusiastic, the entertaining, the straightforward gay Jew (her words not mine) from Facebook talk about Diversity & Inclusion at her company.  Sarah Sperling, lead, Diversity & Inclusion programs, Facebook, San Francisco, California knocked her session out of the ballpark today at the annual Society of Human Resources Management Diversity & Inclusion Conference at the Chicago Marriott Downtown on the Miracle Mile.

The ideas were flowing and the energy in the room was outstanding primarily because of her unique and energizing style.  Her bio started with a trip down her Facebook timeline (fitting).  She then shared her experience in this role which is only a bit over a year mind you with not prior D&I experience.  The honor was in the fact that Facebook picked her!  During her inaugural year the employees started not one (which was her intent) but seven different Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).  She did say she needs her own ERG to take naps because there are so many young millennials there.  It would be the "over 40 group" of course. 

Some of us over 40 experienced our children being bullied for the first time via social media in the early days of My Space and Xanga but Facebook really does not like their platform being used for negative purposes.  Sarah said she loves to go to schools and talk to teenagers and say "Stop the Frickin' Bullying Already!" I wish she came to my daughters high school about 10 years ago.  It's good to hear that the goal of Facebook is to be for "good" so they start pages like a family safety center available for parents on the platform to help fight bullying on social networks. Another awesome site very relevant to the topic is facebook.com/facebookdiversity.com. Go LIKE this page now! The goal of the page is as follows:

At Facebook, we value diversity on an individual level and the impact that every person can have. We are dedicated to creating an environment where people can be their authentic selves and share their own diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and ideas.

With the gorgeous Shirley Davis moderating this session it was widely worthwhile for anyone in this space.  I think Sarah did an excellent job of sharing how Facebook encourages their 4k employees to be their authentic self on a daily basis!

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