Three Months In and Leading a Diversity Workshop

By : Gabe Beneditti

3/2/22

It was my first week at VidMob. Between the highly educational and exciting onboarding sessions, I heard about an internal group called ACTION Taskforce for the first time. The group was a place where people could gather to discuss initiatives plus share insights and ideas about diversity in the company. Little did I know it would become that and so much more.

As someone who grew up in the LGBQTIA+ community in Brazil, educating myself on diversity really impacted my childhood. It made me strong and confident, but mostly, helped myself and everyone around me gain a better understanding of the world and become more empathetic humans. Topics like diversity, equity and inclusion are priorities of mine, so learning more about the ACTION Taskforce was the next logical step.

During our first meeting, I was quietly listening to everyone's thoughts and discussion points when suddenly a question was posed, "Does anyone have any ideas on what we could do for Pride Month?" All it took was the raise of my own hand. I introduced myself and shared an idea with the group to put on an educational workshop.

Coming out Stars was an event I had attended the year prior. It focuses on empathy in our community and uses a gaming exercise based on a study done by the University of Southern California. In short, the main idea is to place participants in other people's shoes, raising awareness around LGBQTIA+ struggles, leading with empathy and inclusiveness. I wanted to bring this notion to VidMob.

Right away, I was met with reception from our internal ACTION group and even asked if I would be comfortable hosting the event. Immediately, hands went up to help me with the design of the presentation, how to set up the event, who I should talk to and more. Within minutes, I had a team of volunteers. The following week, we met and got to work. By the next month, the new guy (me) was presenting our workshop to the entire VidMob company. Not only was the event a huge success, but we also ended up creating an entire campaign filled with Pride swag, social media support, a newsletter, an internal trivia event and more. It turned into the biggest Pride Month yet at VidMob!

The way I felt embraced and trusted on this initiative boosted my confidence and comfortability on sharing ideas across my team and throughout the company. The amazing people I met pushed me forward to become a better leader and professional. Joining the group was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made and I can't wait to see what other amazing things ACTION does next!