Tag Archives: people

Working to help the HBCU Smart Cities Challenge

Post Syndicated from Nikole Phillips original https://blog.cloudflare.com/working-to-help-the-hbcu-smart-cities-challenge/

Working to help the HBCU Smart Cities Challenge

Working to help the HBCU Smart Cities Challenge

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a proud member of the HBCU (Historically Black College or University) alumni. The HBCU Smart Cities Challenge invites all HBCUs across the United States to build technological solutions to solve real-world problems. When I learned that Cloudflare would be supporting the HBCU Smart Cities Challenge, I was on board immediately for so many personal reasons.

In addition to volunteering mentors as part of this partnership, Cloudflare offered HBCU Smart Cities the opportunity to apply for Project Galileo to protect and accelerate their online presence. Project Galileo provides free cyber security protection to free speech, public interest, and civil society organizations that are vulnerable to cyber attacks. After more than three years working at Cloudflare, I know that we can make the difference in bridging the gap in accessibility to the digital landscape by directly securing the Internet against today’s threats as well as optimizing performance, which plays a bigger role than most would think.

What is an HBCU?

A Historically Black College or University is defined as “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education.” (Source: What is an HBCU? HBCU Lifestyle).  I had the honor of graduating from the nation’s first degree-granting HBCU, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania.

One of the main reasons that I decided to attend a HBCU is that the available data suggests that HBCUs close the socioeconomic gap for Black students more than other high-education institutions (Source: HBCUs Close Socioeconomic Gap, Here’s How, 2021). This is exemplified by my own experience — I was a student that came from a low-income background, and became the first generation college graduate in my family. I believe it is due to HBCUs providing a united, supportive, and safe space for people from the African diaspora which equips us to be our best.

The HBCU Smart Cities Challenge

There are a wide range of problems the HBCU Smart Cities Challenge invites students to tackle. These problems include water management in Tuskegee, AL; broadband and security access in Raleigh, NC; public health for the City of Columbia, SC; and affordable housing in Winston-Salem, NC—just to name a few. Applying skills with smart technology to real-life problems helps improve upon the existing infrastructure in these cities.

To solve these problems, the challenge brings together students at HBCUs to build smart city applications. Over several months, developers, entrepreneurs, designers, and engineers will develop tech solutions using Internet of Things technology. In October, Cloudflare presented as part of a town hall in the HBCU Smart Cities series. We encouraged local leaders to think about using historic investments in broadband buildout to also lay the foundation for Smart Cities infrastructure at the same time. We described how, with solid infrastructure in place, the Smart Cities applications that are built on top of that infrastructure- would be fast, reliable, and secure — which is a necessity for infrastructure that residents rely on.

Here are some quotes from Norma McGowan Jackson, District 1 Councilwoman of City of Tuskegee and HBCU Smart City Fellow Arnold Bhebhe:

As the council person for District 1 in the City of Tuskegee, which represents Tuskegee University, as the Council liaison for the HBCU Smart Cities Challenge, as a Tuskegee native, and as a Tuskegee Institute, (now University) alumnae, I am delighted to be a part of this collaboration. Since the days of Dr. Booker T. Washington, the symbiotic relationship between the Institute (now University) and the surrounding community has been acknowledged as critical for both entities and this opportunity to further enhance that relationship is a sure win-win!
– Norma McGowan Jackson, District 1 Councilwoman of City of Tuskegee

The HBCU Smart Cities Challenge has helped me to better understand that even though we live in an unpredictable world, our ability to learn and adapt to change can make us better innovators. I’m super grateful to have the opportunity to reinforce my problem-solving, creativity, and communication skills alongside like-minded HBCU students who are passionate about making a positive impact in our community.
– Arnold Bhebhe, Junior at Alabama State University majoring in computer science

How Cloudflare helps

Attending an HBCU was one of the best decisions I have made in my life, and my motivation was seeing the product of HBCU graduates — noting that the first woman Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, is a HBCU graduate from Howard University.

The biggest honor for me is having the opportunity to build on the brilliance of these college students in this partnership, because I was in their shoes almost 25 years ago.

Further, to help protect websites associated with HBCU Smart Cities projects, Cloudflare has invited students in the program to apply for Project Galileo.

Finally, the HBCU Smart Cities Challenge are continually looking for mentors, sponsors and partnerships, as well as support and resources for the students. If you’re interested, please go here to learn more.

Why Cloudflare’s one of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces in 2022

Post Syndicated from Janet Van Huysse original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-top-100-most-loved-workplaces-in-2022/

Why Cloudflare’s one of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces in 2022

Why Cloudflare’s one of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces in 2022

At Cloudflare, we have strived to build a workplace where our entire team feels safe and excited to bring their whole selves to work, so they can do their best work. That’s why we are proud to share that Cloudflare has been named one of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces in 2022 by Newsweek and Best Practice Institute (BPI). Most Loved Workplaces recognizes companies where their workers love, and feel in sync with, the company they work for.

With this, and as we’re approaching the end-of 2022, we thought this was a good time to reflect on some of the things that go into being one of these Most Loved Workplaces and just some of what makes up our workplace and culture.

Why Cloudflare’s one of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces in 2022

Something that really grounds our entire team is Cloudflare’s mission: to help build a better Internet. When you are solving some of the toughest challenges facing the Internet — helping make the Internet secure, fast, private, and reliable globally — you need a range of talented individuals to do this. The people at Cloudflare are exactly that, and are essential to our impact on the Internet.

The Internet wasn’t built for what it’s being used for today. In order for the Internet to work the way it does today, from powering critical infrastructure, to making it so that a busy working parent can order a healthy dinner right to their home, requires constant innovation on our part to make sure these online services can withstand the demand online, load quick, and not face cyber attacks and breaches. Cloudflare has a significantly large responsibility online, with about 20% of the web running through our network today — and every single team member here is contributing to this.

In addition to the results from Newsweek and BPI, Cloudflare additionally conducted an internal survey of its global team. This presented results of 94% of surveyed employees stating that they are inspired by Cloudflare’s mission to help build a better Internet. At Cloudflare, 92% of employees say their manager treats them with respect and 92% state that their work is important to the company.

Why Cloudflare’s one of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces in 2022

“I’ve worked for so many Fortune 500, top companies in tech, and never have I felt more valued and grown so much than at Cloudflare. I love going to work, love working with my manager and team, we learn so much from each other and are motivated to smash sales goals and grow our presence in the world. ”

“…I love this company, management, and most of all my team. I am proud to be building a better Internet, and will continue to do so for years to come.”

“Honestly it is the best I’ve ever worked; it is a lot of work, and sometimes it can be stressful, but I’m sure I can count on my manager for support, and they take their time to explain again and again without making me feel bad for asking.”

“Having had the privilege to work at Cloudflare for the past five years, I can genuinely attest that our people are clearly our biggest asset. I personally feel empowered, respected, and yet intellectually challenged daily. It is impressive for any single company to assemble such a diverse and thoughtful group of co-workers. And it all starts with our leadership.”

Benefiting and having community

Cloudflare offers a comprehensive total rewards and benefits package, and invests in supporting team members through a variety of initiatives and programs.

Examples of benefits range — from our commuter benefits program, for employees working in an office or a hybrid role, we help support the transportation costs associated with commuting — to health and family benefits programs including fertility, caregiving, childcare, and family forming/planning, as well as emotional and mental health benefits — and, we encourage everyone to find a comfortable work-life balance by offering a take-what-you-need vacation policy.

One example of programs is Cloudflare’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), employee-led and company-supported groups of underrepresented and/or marginalized employees. These groups are focused on key Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives with leaders, executives, and members for each group, who join together in the workplace based on shared characteristics, life experiences, or interests. ERGs are generally based on creating a community of support and belonging, enhancing career development of their members, and contributing to the development of a more inclusive culture at Cloudflare. Today we have 16 ERGs at Cloudflare ranging from Proudflare, Womenflare, and Afroflare to Cloudflarents and Mindflare (you get the theme!).

Flexibility to work in your best environment

What’s been at the center of how we’ve approached supporting our team these past couple years is flexibility and experimentation. Cloudflare’s workplace shifted from completely in-office since the company’s launch and leading up to March 2020, to then an entirely new remote environment that we hadn’t had before. This has been a big experiment for us, and it’s an honor to be recognized among the top workplaces uplifting its people. We recognize that every team’s needs are different and that most of us want some level of flexibility in how and where we work. At Cloudflare, we support a variety of work environments that give teams the opportunity to establish their own optimal working arrangements. Whether that be hybrid, remote, or in-office that fit with their objectives and enable collaboration — each employee has flexibility.

Growing team

Cloudflare has grown its global team by 93% over the past two years and has overall prioritized the recruitment, retention, as well as success of employees. To give a sense of this, in 2021 we received more than 200,000 competitive applications, extending 1,455 offers — while seeing a 92% acceptance rate across the board, and alongside continuously low attrition rates.

Now approaching the end-of 2022, we have over 3,100 team members globally. As our co-founder, President & COO Michelle Zatlyn says, “Companies are collections of people. One of the best parts of my job is the people I get to work with.” And we are continuing to hire worldwide with hundreds of open positions across the organization ranging from Sales to Engineering. To learn more about the Cloudflare career opportunities, please check out Cloudflare Careers! And an enormous high-five to the entire Cloudflare team for your continuous effort and hand in helping build a better Internet.

Building a sustainable workforce, through communities

Post Syndicated from Janet Van Huysse original https://blog.cloudflare.com/building-a-sustainable-workforce-through-communities/

Building a sustainable workforce, through communities

Building a sustainable workforce, through communities

At Cloudflare, we have our eyes set on an ambitious goal: to help build a better Internet. Today the company runs one of the world’s largest networks that powers approximately 25 million Internet properties. This is made possible by our 1,900 team members around the world. We believe the key to achieving our potential is to build diverse teams and create an environment where everyone can do their best work.

That is why we place a lot of value on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity, equity, and inclusion lead to better outcomes through improved decision-making, more innovative teams, stronger financial returns and simply a better place to work for everyone.

Building a sustainable workforce, through communities

To become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, we believe it’s important to focus on communities within and around our company.

Building internal communities at Cloudflare

At Cloudflare, like most workplaces, there are built-in communities: your direct team, your cross-functional partners and (because we take onboarding very seriously) your new hire class. These communities, especially the first two, are important to help you get your job done. But we want more than that for our team at Cloudflare. We believe that community builds connection and fosters a sense of belonging.

Because of that, we have supported the growth of over 16 Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s). We use the term ERG broadly at Cloudflare. We have many ERG’s focused on traditionally under-represented groups in tech: Afroflare (Black, African diaspora), Latinflare, and Womenflare; groups that have been historically marginalized: Proudflare (LGBTQIA+), Cloudflarents (parents and caregivers); as well as interest and affinity groups like Mindflare and Soberflare. To read more about all of our ERGs, visit our diversity, equity, and inclusion webpage or read about them on our blog. In addition to creating a community of support and belonging, our ERGs also work to enhance career development of their members and contribute to the development of a more inclusive culture at Cloudflare.

Building the skills to build communities

We define an inclusive culture as one where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected with a sense of belonging. We do not leave this to chance. We make investments in training and programs to develop and deepen the skills needed to nurture and preserve inclusive communities at Cloudflare.

One of our earliest offerings was Ally Skills training. The aim of this workshop is to help build awareness of the types of behavior and language which can be harmful to inclusivity at Cloudflare, and teach simple, everyday ways to support people who are targets of systemic oppression. During the workshop, team members share strategies on how to act as allies and how to create a long-lasting, inclusive culture at Cloudflare. As the program was being rolled out, the management team did the workshop together and quickly realized these were not skills reserved for ‘allies’ but it was our expectation that this was how all of our team members treated each other. These were necessary skills to be successful at Cloudflare. As a result, we reworked some pieces of the workshop and renamed it: How We Work Together.

We have also partnered with Paradigm IQ and Included to create a three-part Unconscious Bias Education Program. These workshops are a mix of eLearning and facilitated workshops where we learn about how to help mitigate unconscious bias and make our company a more welcoming and inclusive place for everyone. tEQuitable is an additional comprehensive resource which helps us create a safe, inclusive, and equitable workplace. They provide an independent sounding board where our employees may confidentially raise a concern, access a just-in-time learning platform, and get advice from professional Ombuds. They also help us identify systemic workplace issues and provide us with actionable recommendations for how to improve our workplace culture. What we especially love about tEQuitable is that it’s all about empowering our employees with tools and resources to address issues that may be impacting them, or they may witness impacting others, so we all play an active role in maintaining and nurturing our culture.

One other program worth highlighting is our Week On: Learning and Inclusion. This program came as a response to the murder of George Floyd in the US at the end of May 2020. Our Afroflare global leaders suggested we use Juneteenth as a full-day of deep learning from external experts on topics ranging from the history of race and racism to the psychological impact of racism on people of color. In 2021, we expanded it from a one-day program to a week full of programming with topics ranging from antiracism keynotes, inclusive people management workshops and inclusive recruiting practices.

Holding ourselves accountable to an inclusive culture

Increasing awareness and skill-building is valuable, but it is not enough. We also have to hold ourselves accountable by analyzing data, setting goals and measuring progress objectively. Each year we set company-wide goals around our diversity, and for the last few years we’ve added individual goals for managers — one focused on building a more diverse team, and one focused on building an inclusive team culture.

We also place a high value on behaviors at Cloudflare. This is imperative because we believe that culture is defined by the behaviors we reward. So in order to have a healthy and inclusive culture, we must reward the behaviors that promote and preserve that. We have defined these behaviors as our Cloudflare Capabilities.

Building a sustainable workforce, through communities

We screen for these Capabilities during our interview process, and they are used in performance and promotion conversations. We hold ourselves accountable by using a very simple formula: Performance = results + behaviors. Equally weighted.

Our Recruiting Efforts

Speaking of interviewing, hiring is an important part of our diversity story. We believe that diverse teams win, and we put in a lot of effort to build diverse teams across the company. We have many team members who took unconventional paths into tech, and we believe that makes us stronger as a company. In fact, many of our job descriptions read: We realize people do not fit into neat boxes. We are looking for curious and empathetic individuals who are committed to developing themselves and learning new skills, and we are ready to help you do that. We cannot complete our mission without building a diverse and inclusive team.

In addition to an inclusive and expansive mindset around hiring, we also have interviews dedicated specifically to fit against our Capabilities, as well as leveraging technology and tools to help identify great talent who help to increase the diversity of our teams.

We have also made investments in events and partnerships that help support our diversity recruiting efforts. In August 2016, Cloudflare was one of the first companies to partner with Path Forward when it first launched its program in California. [Fun fact: that’s how I learned about Cloudflare and became interested in working here]. In Singapore, we have a similar partnership with [email protected].

We also engage with organizations and participate in events that help us reach talent from underrepresented groups. We have sponsored and spoke on stage at events like Lesbians Who Tech and Grace Hopper, where our co-founder, President and COO, Michelle Zatlyn, delivered the keynote in 2020. We regularly attend events and conferences hosted by AfroTech, Women Who Code, Girls Who Code, TAPIA, NSN, and more.

Engaging with external communities

Our ethos is to support and connect with external communities as well. Prior to the pandemic, when our offices were fully open and social and professional events were a thing, we regularly hosted external organizations to host events in our communal spaces. One example of such an organization is Wu Yee Children’s Services, a San Francisco Chinatown-based nonprofit that connects parents and caregivers to affordable childcare options, offers payment assistance to low-income families, and other family and community services. We were honored to host their orientation session. Another organization we hosted was Women Who Code SF. We regularly hosted their “ algorithm and interview prep” workshops, which helped women coders gain the skills they need to land good jobs in the tech industry. Unlike many of our tech company peers, we did not offer free lunch five days a week. It was important to us that our team members got out of the office and supported local businesses and restaurants. It is important that we do not isolate ourselves, but rather are part of a larger community.

We also believe in giving back to our local communities. Prior to COVID, Cloudflare dedicated one week every year to volunteer efforts. Coordinated across many of our large office locations, we would dedicate each day for a full week volunteering at employee-nominated, local non-profit organizations. Our participation pivoted to virtual during COVID, but we are anxious to return to in-person giving when we can.

While we are proud of these efforts, it is in using Cloudflare products and services for good that is truly special. Cloudflare’s mission to help build a better Internet means we are in a unique position to help vulnerable websites, applications and services be safer, faster and more reliable online.

A few to highlight:

Project Galileo

Organizations working in the arts, human rights, civil society, journalism, or democracy, may apply for Project Galileo to get Cloudflare’s cybersecurity protection, for free. Since 2014, we’ve been leveraging our services to support vulnerable public interest web properties including, but are not limited to: minority rights organizations, human rights organizations, independent media outlets, arts groups, and democracy and voter protection programs.

Our support of one of these organizations has blossomed over the years. We are proud to announce our partnership with The Trevor Project. Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. We support the organization through monetary donations, a partnership with our LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group, Proudflare, and free Cloudflare services through our Project Galileo Program.

Since 2017, we have donated about $8 million in cybersecurity tools under Project Galileo.

Athenian Project

Cloudflare launched the Athenian Project in 2017 to provide our highest level of cybersecurity services for free to state and local governments in the United States that run elections. The project is designed to protect these websites tied to elections including information related to voting and polling places, voter registration and sites that publish election results. And voter data from cyberattack, and keep them online. During the 2020 U.S. election, we worked closely with civil society and government agencies to share threat information that we saw targeted against these participants and protected more than 292 websites in 30 states, including the Missouri Secretary of State, Solano County in California and The Colorado Department of State.

In recognition that election security is a global issue, we recently announced our partnerships with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute to extend our cybersecurity protections to election management bodies around the world, as well as organizations that support free and fair elections. We look forward to continuing our work to protect resources in the voting process and help build trust in democratic institutions around the world.

Project Fairshot

Around the world, governments, hospitals, and pharmacies are struggling to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Technical limitations are causing vaccine registration sites to crash under the load of registrations. At Cloudflare, we want to help. Cloudflare’s Waiting Room feature allows organizations with more demand for a resource — be it concert tickets, new edition sneakers, or vaccines — to allow individuals to queue and then allocate access. Waiting Rooms can be deployed in front of any existing registration website without requiring code changes. As we watched the world struggle to fairly and efficiently distribute the COVID-19 vaccine we wanted to lend our technologies and expertise to help. Under Project Fair Shot, Cloudflare is providing Waiting Room to any government agency, hospital, pharmacy, or other organization facilitating the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine for free until anyone who wants to be vaccinated can be, until at least 31-December 2021.

We all need to work together to get past this incredibly difficult time worldwide and are humbled to have helped so many different organizations around the world such as the County of San Luis Obispo, Verto Health, and the Ministry of Health for the Republic of Latvia, and more!

Why we are publishing our diversity data

At Cloudflare, we believe in being principled, curious and transparent. Publishing our diversity report is aligned with these values.

We are Principled: One of the Cloudflare Capabilities is “Do the Right Thing” — that includes long-term thinking about how we build an innovative and sustainable workforce. We have a fundamental belief that fairness is the right thing. We believe that equity is the right thing.

We are Curious: Creating a more diverse and sustainable workforce is hard work. We want to draw lessons from the things we try, and we want to learn from what others are trying. Sustainable communities is not a zero-sum game, and we believe we can all benefit as an active part of the broader community.

We believe in Transparency: For many years, we have been transparent with our team about our diversity data and our goals, and we have measured our progress regularly. Now we are taking the step to share publicly because we believe in accountability and accept the responsibility to build a diverse and sustainable workforce.

You can check out our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage with our diversity report here.

While there is always more work to be done, we are grateful for the empathetic and curious team that makes Cloudflare what it is today. Together, we are optimistic we can build a better — and more inclusive — Internet.

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Post Syndicated from Andrew Fitch original https://blog.cloudflare.com/how-employee-resource-groups-ergs-can-change-an-organization/

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are important to a company’s success. They foster community and a sense of belonging, help drive organizational change, and improve the overall quality of an organization’s culture. Most importantly, they help organizations become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. I’d love to share the history of ERGs at Cloudflare, as well as how they function and help influence the company.

The history of ERGs at Cloudflare

When I joined Cloudflare in 2017, one of the first things I did was search “LGBTQ” in our company chat. A chat room of a dozen or so employees titled “LGBT at Cloudflare” popped up. There was evidence of some historic chatter in the room, and it was clear some employees had gathered for drinks after work before. I immediately introduced myself to the group, and asked if they would be okay with me setting up a meet & greet event. We booked a conference room, ordered lunch, found an article to discuss, introduced ourselves, and collectively decided we wanted to continue hosting such events. In our second meeting, we decided we should make things official by deciding on a name. This was the birth of Proudflare, our employee resource group (ERG) for LGBTQIA+ employees and our allies, and the first official Cloudflare ERG. I was honored to serve as Proudflare’s first global leader.

Cloudflare employees have founded and advanced fifteen other ERGs since 2017. Afroflare, our ERG for people of the African Diaspora, was the next ERG to form, later in 2017. The most recent is Flarability, our accessibility ERG. All of our groups are focused on fostering community, celebrating diversity, supporting career development, and educating those around us, but serve different communities. We decided early on that if each ERG focuses on education, celebration, and inclusion, we’ll be successful in supporting our underrepresented communities and stimulating positive change at our company. We have come a long way and still have a lot of change to make, but I can safely say that we have definitely helped make Cloudflare more diverse, inclusive, and equitable.

Scroll down to read the mission statements of each of Cloudflare’s ERGs. You may also read more about our ERGs through blog posts they’ve published at Cloudflare.

What is an ERG?

Our definition: At Cloudflare, ERGs are employee-led and company-supported groups of underrepresented and/or marginalized employees or groups of employees who are focused on key Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. These employees join together in the workplace based on shared characteristics, life experiences, or initiatives. ERGs are generally based on creating a community of support and belonging, enhancing career development of their members, and contributing to the development of a more inclusive culture at Cloudflare.

ERGs are led by passionate volunteer employees who serve in roles as global leaders, regional leads, initiative leads, communications leads, and executive advocates. We ERG leaders agreed early on to support each other in our work, so we formed an Inclusion Council. This council is made up of all ERG leaders as well as Cloudflare’s inclusion workshop facilitators and serves as a steering committee in order to surface and incite feedback on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) topics. We meet monthly, in rotating time zones so we may include leaders from all regions. Some of our most successful ERG partnership initiatives were forged in our Inclusion Council meetings between Womenflare and Afroflare, Asianflare and Desiflare, Mindflare and Proudflare, Latinflare and Afroflare, and more.

Most ERGs leverage executive advocates to help gain support from our senior executives and help those executives become more involved in DEI initiatives. Advocates meet regularly with ERG leaders, review company-wide or external-facing ERG communications, amplify the voices and visibility of ERGs through written communications and participation in events, and advocate for the ERG at the executive level. An example of a successful partnership between an Executive Advocate and an ERG is our CTO, John Graham-Cumming and Womenflare. John has held several meetings with Womenflare members to listen to their needs and experiences, share company decisions, and find ways to better advocate for the women of Cloudflare. He also meets with Womenflare’s leaders biweekly to help with major initiatives and any roadblocks to progress.

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

How do ERGs impact organizations?

The most important function of an ERG is to create a sense of belonging and community amongst their members and allies through chat room conversations and regular connection opportunities. ERGs typically also produce initiatives around global education and celebration opportunities such as Women’s Empowerment Month, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, etc. These initiatives include DEI discussion events, company-wide presentations, company-wide emails, blog posts, social media campaigns, Cloudflare TV segments, publication of antiracism resources, spotlighting of underrepresented and marginalized employees, advising Cloudflare teams on decisions such as inclusive benefits package selection and accessible office space construction, and helping to promote inclusion education programs.

Through these connection opportunities and initiatives, ERGs influence the overall organization. They attract more allies and encourage them to take DEI actions, help educate employees on systemic barriers to DEI, and help make the workplace more inclusive and enjoyable for everyone. I see ERGs as impactful grass-roots movements within a company and I’ve witnessed their positive impact firsthand.

Thank you for reading about Cloudflare’s ERGs. Sixteen ERGs is a good number, but I’m really looking forward to supporting the foundation and growth of even more, and helping our existing ERGs flourish. If you are interested in starting an ERG at your company or learning more about ERG best practices, I encourage you to check out the Human Rights Campaign’s article, Establishing an Employee Resource Group.

Cloudflare ERG mission statements:

Afroflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Our mission is to help build a better Global Afro-community at Cloudflare and beyond. We support each other’s growth, share our community’s stories, and help to make Cloudflare a more diverse and inclusive company.

Asianflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

We provide a supportive environment for all employees of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, work to create more awareness of the struggles our community has faced and continues to face today, and celebrate our rich shared cultures.

Cloudflarents

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

We provide community and resources for parents and families, and welcome allies, people who are interested in becoming a parent, or who are family-oriented.

Desiflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

We foster networking and build a sense of community amongst Cloudflare employees using the rich South Asian culture as a platform to bring people together.

Flarability

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

We curate and share resources about disabilities, provide a community space for those with disabilities and our allies to find support and thrive, and encourage and guide Cloudflare’s accessibility programs.

Greencloud: Sustainability Group

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Greencloud is a sustainability-focused working group made up of Cloudflare employees who are passionate about the environment and addressing the climate crisis.

Judeoflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

We provide a forum for the Jewish people of Cloudflare where we support each other and celebrate our shared heritage.

Latinflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

The mission of Latinflare is to help create a more diverse workplace, create a sense of community + belonging for Latinx employees, and connect with the communities where we work.

Mindflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

We provide the Cloudflare community resources around mental health, as well as increase awareness and destigmatize mental health more broadly throughout our communities.

Nativeflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

With a shared goal of education, we recognize the heritage and cultural presence of Native American employees at Cloudflare and illuminate the historical impact of policies and racism that continue to fuel prejudice and injustice, even to this day.

Proudflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Our mission is to Educate and Celebrate, Globally! We find ways to support and provide resources for the LGBTQIA+ community and make sure that the Cloudflare community is a welcoming, inclusive place for all.

Soberflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Ensure the Cloudflare community is welcoming and inclusive to those abstaining from alcohol and/or drug use by increasing awareness and destigmatizing the decision to choose sobriety.

Vetflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

We encourage the recruitment and retention of veterans of military service from any military around the world. We also provide a supportive environment and community space for those who have served to network.

Women in Engineering

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Our mission is supporting women’s professional development and success within Cloudflare.

Women in Sales

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Our mission is to provide community experience and resources to help women in our sales organization to grow professionally and support each other collectively.

Womenflare

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can change an organization

Womenflare’s mission is to create a community where all who identify as women feel supported and represented at Cloudflare.

Cinco de Mayo – What are we celebrating anyway?

Post Syndicated from Hady Mendez original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cinco-de-mayo-what-are-we-celebrating-anyway/

Cinco de Mayo - What are we celebrating anyway?

Greetings from Latinflare, Cloudflare’s LatinX Employee Resource Group, with members all over the US, the UK, and Portugal. Today is Cinco de Mayo! Americans everywhere will be drinking margaritas and eating chips and salsa. But what is this Mexican holiday really about and what exactly are we celebrating?

About Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for “Fifth of May”, is an annual celebration held in Mexico on May 5th. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army‘s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. The victory of the smaller Mexican force against a larger French force was a boost to morale for the Mexicans. Zaragoza died months after the battle due to illness. A year after the battle, a larger French force defeated the Mexican army at the Second Battle of Puebla, and Mexico City soon fell to the invaders.

Cinco de Mayo - What are we celebrating anyway?
Source: (https://www.milenio.com/cultura/la-batalla-de-puebla-minuto-a-minuto)

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. More popularly celebrated in the United States than Mexico, the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. These celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863. The day gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s thanks especially to advertising campaigns by beer and wine companies. Today, Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl. WOW!

In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades or battle reenactments. Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16th.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo

Cinco de Mayo - What are we celebrating anyway?
Photo credit: Gail Williams via Flickr.com (license information)

What Cinco de Mayo means to me? Stories and perspectives from Latinflare members.

Before COVID-19, Latinflare members across the US were planning to host “dip contests” and “make-your-own-margarita happy hours” to recognize Cinco de Mayo. In our new “work from home” world, we decided to still celebrate the holiday, but in a new way. I asked members of Latinflare to share what the holiday means to them and their families. Here’s what they shared. Please feel free to share your own personal stories in the comments section if you’d like!

What Cinco de Mayo means to me by Alonso – Cloudflare London

Having grown up in Mexico, my experience of Cinco de Mayo was quite different from many of my US-based friends and colleagues.

Originally, Cinco de Mayo commemorated the Battle of Puebla, which took place on 5 May 1862. In that battle, the Mexican Army defeated the French Army, which later overran Mexican forces and conquered Mexico City. My experience of Cinco de Mayo was mostly as a bank holiday where you get to stay home from school or work. Other holidays like Día de la Independencia (Mexico’s equivalent to 4th of July) get more headlines, fireworks, and celebrations. For the longest time, I didn’t quite get when US-based friends would text me to wish me a “Happy Cinco.”

One of the fascinating things about Latinflare, and other Employee Resource Groups at Cloudflare, is that you get to learn from colleagues and their collective experiences. Hearing stories -like the ones shared in this blog- about the significance of Cinco de Mayo to employees across the U.S. is fascinating. The Hispanic community in the US has augmented this day, which now celebrates the rich heritage of immigrant families from across Latin America. So from all our friends at Latinflare, I wish you a very happy Cinco!

A perspective from Salvador – Cloudflare Austin

About 7 years ago when I was still living in Guadalajara, Mexico, Cinco de Mayo was a regular workday (full of meetings) and I remember American co-workers asking me how I was going to celebrate!  I was like: “Why do you ask?”, “That’s not a Mexican holiday!”, “We just had a holiday (May Day)”.  I had to Google it so that I could explain to Americans what this holiday was about: Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory over France on that day back in 1862. It is also known as “Battle of Puebla”, referring to the state in central Mexico where the battle took place. That’s the only Mexican region where Cinco de Mayo is a major holiday.

I am still surprised how this minor holiday is more celebrated in the US than in Mexico, but celebrations are never a bad thing so, keep celebrating this date!! Viva Mexico!! Now that I live in the US, this is a great date to hang out with friends and share Mexican food (tacos, guacamole, nachos, etc.) so they can taste authentic Mexican food.

Weighing in from Texas is Ricardo – Cloudflare Austin

Unfortunately, in my experience, there are some misconceptions about this day: mainly that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence day (which it is not). Growing up in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo meant that I didn’t have to go to school and got to stay home. In the US, however, it is a day to celebrate Hispanic heritage!

Mostly a holiday in Puebla says Alex – Cloudflare Austin

I don’t really believe that Mexican families outside of Puebla are very aware of Cinco de Mayo. Even though I didn’t grow up in Puebla, I learned a bit more about the holiday due to the fact that my middle school in Ojocaliente, Zacatecas was named “Gral. Ignacio Zaragoza” after the general that defeated the French army in that battle in Puebla in 1862. This only made me try to be extra friendly to any French person that I’ve met. So even though we are not celebrating Mexican Independence Day,  I don’t have the heart to ruin the party for everyone.

Resources for Celebrating Cinco de Mayo during Quarantine

Whatever your thoughts or experiences on the holiday, if you choose to celebrate it, we found some cool resources for celebrating the holiday at home. Here are just a few:

Wherever you are, we are wishing you a happy and healthy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo - What are we celebrating anyway?
Photo Credit: S Pakhrin via Wikipedia Commons (license information)

About Latinflare

To learn more about Latinflare and how we got started, read our first blog post “Bienvenidos a Latinflare”.

Cinco de Mayo - What are we celebrating anyway?

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