By Lenesto Page, Emma Anderson Beavers, Serrita Rubino, Kyausha Lewis, and Amber Nobles
Happy Black History Month from Blacksphereians!
Blacksphereians is Chronosphere’s newest Employee Network. Founded by nine Chronosphereians across different departments, we’ve come together for one mission: To create a safe space to celebrate Black and African American history and culture, while learning alongside our advocates and allies within Chronosphere.
Black History Month is an important time to recognize the remarkable achievements of Black Americans throughout U.S history and today. It’s also the perfect moment to step back and reflect on the roles that each and every one of us play in establishing an inclusive environment, both inside and outside of the workplace.
Why we’re excited to celebrate!
We’re excited to celebrate Black History Month here at Chronosphere because “it provides the needed emphasis on showcasing the importance of African Americans in society,” says Serrita Rubino, a founding member and Technical Account Manager.
Additionally, “As a remote-first company, it can be a challenge to learn, recognize, or get to know other Blacksphereians. I love hearing more about their professional story,” says Kyausha Lewis, another founding member and Senior Marketing Operations Manager.
Here are a few more responses from our other Blacksphereian founders in regards to celebrating this month:
“I love our company’s diversity and the attention that we pay to it,” says Lenesto Page, Senior Technical Account Manager.
“What excited me most is the fact that [there’s] support from Staff that is allowing for initiatives for this month to not only happen, but be fully supported — fiscally and otherwise,” says Emma Anderson Beavers, Talent Acquisition Operations Specialist.
“I was always taught that Black History is American History — so I’m thrilled to share and celebrate a very special part of American History with the entire Chronosphere family. Additionally, I love how education and awareness is so important to Chronosphere when it comes to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, so I’m so proud that Celebrating Black History is being showcased in meaningful learning opportunities for all Chronospherians,” says Amber Nobles, Workplace Experience Manager.
Let’s walk through just a few ways that we were able to bring Black History Celebrations to Chronosphere this month.
Fireside Chat: Career Growth in Tech
Blacksphereians organized the company’s first Black History Month event with a fireside chat with Entrepreneur, Information Technologist and Author of Career Rehab, Kanika Tolver, hosted by our very own Head of Product, Jeff Cobb.
We were ecstatic to host Kanika, a highly-decorated information technologist, who dedicates her time to advocate for diversity in science and technology. Kanika has experienced a very common phenomenon: career burnout. But that hasn’t stopped her from paving the path for her ideal career.
One of Chronosphere’s values is “Nothing is impossible;” or as Chronosphere’s CEO and co-founder, Martin Mao likes to put it, “impossible is nothing!”
It just so happens to be Kanika’s favorite slogan, too. As Kanika mentions, “Impossible is nothing” perfectly encapsulates the challenges that Black Americans have faced in so many different industries — especially in tech.
Welcome to Career Rehab
Kanika dives into just how important it is to keep tabs on how innovative and energized your work leaves you feeling: When you’re not feeling inspired at work, it’s time to rebrand yourself, and shift your mindset from being an employee to a brand.
“If you saw yourself on a shelf, would you buy yourself?” Kanika asked.
Checking yourself into career rehab doesn’t mean you’re playing quits; it means that you’re showing up for yourself and your goals, so that down the line you’re doing the best work that you can, for yourself.
Black History Month initiatives like this have excited our entire founding group and we truly see them adding value here at Chronosphere.
“Bringing in an outside person like Kanika to talk about career growth is amazing,” says Lenesto.
“Having an amazing speaker like Kanika who could speak to career growth as a person in tech and as a black woman was truly exciting,” says Emma.
What we took away from the chat
It’s all about advocating for yourself, for your employees, and for your brand. Career burnout doesn’t have to be a taboo topic. Kanika says as a black professional in tech, it often feels like power and respect in the workplace are lacking as a result of discrimination and little diversity among executive leaders. While respect and power can come from within, employers must support their employees so that they can flex that superpower muscle.
The thought of starting a new networking group can be intimidating — but as founders of Blacksphereians, we are nothing short of excited. Read for yourself in this Q&A with our Blacksphereian members!
How do we feel about being a founding member of Blacksphereians?
“Great! Being a voice and collaborating with colleagues on shaping the content is important to me.” – Serrita
“It’s a great experience. Most companies consider interest groups once a company is more established. Great to see Chronosphere start this early in our corporate journey.” – Kyausha
“As an African American woman, I feel very proud to be a founding member of Blacksphereians. Groups like this are so important, not only to provide a space for Black and African American members of a company, but also for advocates and allies to provide support.” – Emma
Where do we see Blacksphereians going in the future?
“I’m open to possibilities as we grow as a company, and grow as a group. My hope is that we will have a positive presence as Blacksphereians beyond Black History Month.” – Kyausha
“Seeing how we can be advocates to onboarding practices, to expose unconscious biases and how to practice awareness, and showing how Chronosphere values the diversity of thought with those that have a different life experience.” – Serrita
“To the dark side of the moon, no pun intended.” – Lenesto
“[I see] Blacksphereians becoming a group that can create awareness events and propose changes if any are needed as the company continues to scale.” – Emma
“I see Blacksphereians not only helping to increase camaraderie and inclusion here at Chronosphere, but also understanding and awareness. I think it will be a beautiful journey.” – Amber
What else did Blacksphereians plan?
As part of the initiatives offered to Chronosphereians this month, Modern Health’s Allyship Circle was available for the entirety of February for those interested in learning about microaggressions, how to address them, and what it means to stand next to historically marginalized communities.
And for every Monday in Slack, we launched Melanin Mondays — an opportunity for us to add some levity and inspiration to our coworkers’ weeks!
We also encouraged our teammates to show their advocacy by updating their Zoom backgrounds and email signature to join in the celebration.
I truly appreciate that Chronosphere has helped to put forward so many opportunities for us to celebrate the treasure which is Black History. This has allowed everyone – whether they identify as a member of the African Diaspora or as Advocates and Allies of the Black community, to select the resources that work not only best for them to learn, but to also celebrateAmber Nobles
At Chronosphere, we believe that our power and potential starts with the people at the individual level. As we continue to grow and reach new heights with both our product and culture we will never stop finding new and creative ways to celebrate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Chronosphere. After all, we do love to innovate.
‘Til next year, and Happy Black History Month!