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Introducing Okta’s Inclusion Council: Integrating Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging with Business

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Madhavi Bhasin
Director, Diversity and Inclusion

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“Every job is a D&I job. To build an equitable, inclusive company, every single person needs to do their part. If you stay exactly where you are, and turn your job into a D&I job, you can often create more organizational change.”Aubrey Blanche

Business leaders understand their hiring needs and challenges in creating inclusive environments much better than dedicated diversity and inclusion (D&I) advocates. The role of D&I leaders is to act as enablers and facilitators, focused on suggesting strategies that create equitable spaces and processes. These strategies can be implemented only through the commitment of individuals and leaders across the organization. Rather than simply adhering to compliance standards to realize this goal, we launched a new partnership model. This new structure will help ensure that more Oktanauts are active participants in building an even more robust culture of inclusion and belonging at Okta.

In the past year, Okta has created huge momentum around diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIB) initiatives. From Women at Okta talks and the Pride Parade, to cultural celebrations and participation in recruiting events, our DIB function and Employee Resource Groups have created visibility and awareness around creating balanced teams and an inclusive workplace.

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Despite this progress, there's still more work to be done. In order to drive this momentum forward, we launched our first ever Inclusion Council this past quarter. The goal of the Inclusion Council is to ensure that the conversation and ownership of inclusion and belonging are even more deeply integrated within Okta’s business approach and culture. Okta’s Inclusion Council consists of 26 employees across multiple business units, levels, and global locations.

Meet our Inclusion Council

A few of our Inclusion Council members share their thoughts on the value of diversity and inclusion, and this new partnership:

  • The APAC team is growing rapidly, especially in Asia, so I see DIB having a critical impact on fostering inclusive growth in the region. Ensuring DIB is recognized and integrated when new Okta employees start in the region allows us to foster one global, inclusive community. —Kate Sloane, Marketing Field Associate (Sydney)
  • It’s especially important to have diverse perspectives on a product team. Having a diverse team will help us improve our user experience on all fronts—accessibility, internationalization, and simple user experience. —Johnatan Uribe, Sr. Product Designer (San Francisco)
  • DIB has a direct impact on revenue, which is very tangible for Sales, so the risk of not investing in DIB is lost revenue. This is just one example that reflects the importance of diverse perspectives, ideals, and input in order to drive revenue. —Curtis Moore, Director, Named Accounts (Remote, New Jersey)
  • I believe in empowering the ideals of diversity and inclusion. Giving people the opportunity to be included will enable us to build better products, drive personal success, and ultimately make for a stronger company culture. —Eric Souder, Sr. Manager Business Development (Bellevue)
  • Being in a customer facing role, my involvement with our DIB programs will allow us to bring the One Okta approach to our customers, drive customer satisfaction, and help win the World’s Largest Organizations. —Millan Vallabh, Sr. Customer Success Manager (Remote, Calgary)
  • DIB is important to any legal department as the legal industry has traditionally not been very strong on such issues. Thus, DIB is an area where Okta can continue to lead through thought leadership and serve by modeling best practices. —Adrian Chua, Director, Corporate Counsel (San Francisco)
  • Diversity in tech is so important. There is a lack of female representation in the tech industry, and I want to make sure that we have continued representation in all of our departments at Okta. If we don't invest, then we run the risk of getting stuck in an echo chamber where there is no thought diversity and no innovation. —Julie Leung, Sr. IT Support Engineer (San Francisco)

We recognize that there is a lot to accomplish, but the launch of the Inclusion Council is an exciting milestone in our DIB journey. Learn more about our DIB efforts and programs here or check out this video

 
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Madhavi Bhasin
Director, Diversity and Inclusion

Madhavi is a change leader with over 10 years of experience in successfully managing global programs focused on social impact, capacity building and sustainable change. She is passionate about designing approaches for collective impact through social change projects. Currently she is leading Okta’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Prior to joining Okta, Madhavi led a global technology entrepreneurship program for young girls (ages 10-18) at Technovation. Outside her fun work life, Madhavi loves to meditate and listen to imaginary tales from her preschooler.

 
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