Within EverQuote, the Women’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) operates all year round to bring together women working across the company. The ERG works to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women both within and outside EverQuote, and to engage people of all genders in seeing and recognising the contributions of women in tech and beyond.
During the month of March, the Women’s ERG activities were ramped up to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, incorporating external speakers, internal panels, social events and setting up a book club.
| When women support each other, incredible things happen.
Our Inspirational Women events kicked off by first recognising that we have women right here at EverQuote that lead and inspire us every day.
We organized a panel where Senior Women leaders from across geographies (US, Northern Ireland, India) and functional teams shared their journeys, experiences, leadership lessons with a co-ed audience within the company. This event drew a large, engaged audience that was keen to hear more from the panelists asking insightful questions and following up with panelists after the event.
One panelist Sonal Verma (Quality Lead, Call Center Ops, India), commented on how positive the follow up interactions were - allowing her to see how taking part and sharing her experience had motivated and inspired women that want to follow in her leadership footsteps. Those in attendance shared that seeing women like themselves, that have been on a similar journey and that have experienced and overcome similar challenges, helped them to see how they could excel into leadership and senior positions themselves.
Virginia Toombs (Director, Engineering Operations, Northern Ireland), shared what she enjoyed about taking part, “I really appreciated getting to know Janet, Sonal, Sara and Ashwini better and building that sense of camaraderie that is harder to do remotely. We have all had different journeys and it did bring it home just how diverse EverQuote is and how much experience we bring to the table, and I loved that."
Next up we welcomed an external guest, the extremely accomplished and engaging Fallon O’Dowd, Chief of Staff for the president of CBS. In her current role, Fallon helps the marketing team to develop and implement campaigns that build brands, engage audiences and drive business performance.
Formerly the Chief of Staff to the CEO at Dropbox, Fallon helped grow the company from 400 to 2,00 employees and helped take the company public in 2018.
Her volunteer efforts have been equally impressive, working on the leadership council at Upwardly Global to help refugees and asylum seekers enter the professional workforce.
Fallon joined us at our company wide Town Hall for a Q&A with questions focused around her experience as a woman of color working first in tech and now in the entertainment business.
| Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.
A major benefit of working in a company with a Women’s ERG is the opportunity to meet and connect with other women that you may not come into contact with as part of the day job. While working remotely, the group has focused on creating a mixture of spaces that allow women to come together, chat, socialize and have fun.
Coffee chats run at various times of day throughout the month, gave us the chance to meet people from different locations across the globe and aimed to recreate the “we just bumped into each other in the kitchen” vibe. The casual nature of the events, and the wide ranging job roles that the women held meant that conversation was much more informal and much less work related than our (sometimes many) other video calls. We learned more about each other as people, we heard about hobbies and aspirations (including a creative writer in our midst), we met pets and families, we discovered a little more about the ways in which our experiences as women differ in relation to geography and culture.
We also hosted a “friends and family” friendly Muffin Baking night, a really fun night with a minimal preparation to participate (just a few ingredients) and maximum taste.
Our head chef of the night (and ERG leader), Danielle Fong, guided us through a tasty muffin recipe while we perched our laptops in the kitchen and followed along. A complete break from the day job, this was an event that meant people could participate in different ways; baking, observing, getting the kids involved.
It created a light hearted, shared experience at a time when they can be so hard to come by. And there were muffins at the end of it. #winning
| We are all of us more complicated than the roles we are assigned in the stories other people tell. ― Tara Westover, Educated
Each woman working at EverQuote was offered a gift voucher during March in order to kickstart a book club with a focus on authors that are women, technical leaders that are women and books on feminism.
The original list of book suggestions would have kept us in our armchairs for a very long time, but after some deliberation and a vote we settled on three to start with:
- Educated, Tara Westover
- Hood Feminism, Mikki Kendall
- Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
In the coming months we’ll be coming together to discuss each of the books in turn, sharing what we’ve taken away from it, what we liked, what we didn’t, what we’ve learned.
| We all have a Wonder Woman inside us!
While March is over for another year, the efforts of EverQuote to create a welcoming community and inclusive environment where all employees can contribute, grow and lead remains.
The ERGs receive support and funding from the organization, including a quarterly budget and an executive sponsor from the senior leadership team. In the case of the Women’s ERG this sponsor is Ryan Grimard (SVP, Product Engineering) who is an exceptional sponsor and ally.
The fantastic ERG leaders (Abbey Cohen, Ashwini Tumne, Clara Hunnewell, Danielle Fong, Laura Greenberg, Lena Hajjar, Nitzan Peleg, Sonal Verma) will continue to bring in external speakers and create spaces where women can find support and build connections.