My Year of Inclusion at Netflix
This past week I celebrated my one year anniversary of being at Netflix. It has been an incredible, breathtaking, exciting, humbling, and fast twelve months. Every day I am pushed to learn something new about my colleagues, our incredible global content, and myself - which is thrilling. I find myself reflecting on our Inclusion work here at Netflix, and where we are going. So here are some quick, early-morning-with-coffee thoughts.
I have never been in a company where I have never once needed to have the conversation of why we need to think about, or work on, inclusion and diversity. Let me repeat that - NEVER ONCE. The level of engagement here is incredible. Netflix is an amazing company and I am proud to be among my stunning colleagues.
Because of the buy-in on Inclusion, and our culture, we get to bring ideas into action and see what works - which is a gift and a tremendous responsibility. We want to get things right, but know that we will sometimes get it wrong. Which brings me to observe the following….
I feel passionately about enabling every one of our employees - regardless of their backgrounds, gifts, biases, and privileges - to engage in, and be perfectly imperfect about, the work of Inclusion. Being inclusive is hard. It is uncomfortable. It requires courage and humility, because you will likely find out that you are wrong about something that you believed to be a given.
We can’t control everything. We know that the world outside of our walls is difficult and not always accepting of difference. We are working against centuries of marginalization and separation around the world. We are dealing with passionate disagreement about how society should work. No workshop or program alone can address it. We need to change fundamentally how we address difference - scorning it, holding it at arms-length, or ignoring it, just does not work.
I want each of our employees to take more steps towards each other, to explore their differences, and to trust that it will be okay (even if we disagree). Action is great and necessary, but only if it serves to move us closer together - just doing something because it sounds cool or fun does not mean it advances the effort. We need to be more curious, and be willing to fail, in order to get closer. We need to be okay with the notion that we are not going to “fix” this in a day - inclusion is really a constant growth opportunity. And we need to be able to step up and be real allies for each other.
I have never been more cognizant of how my life experiences impact my work, and how conscious and conscientious I need to be to create inclusion across the globe. For those who do not know me, I am an almost-fifty years old, US born, Latinx, straight, cisgender, English-speaking, former lawyer, mother of two boys. Well before I started at Netflix, I thought I had a pretty good grasp on the gifts of my life experience, where I do and do not have privilege, and also how my experiences shape my approach to the work of inclusion. This job has challenged me and made me open my eyes even wider than before. I am learning new things daily, and now I repeatedly ask myself - are the actions that I am taking going to advance our employees across the globe? Where may I be forcing a US view? To be inclusive, I need to be humble and consider that, while I have a lot of experience in Inclusion, I have much to learn about what it really takes to be an inclusive global company - and so do we all. And while I can visit our offices around the world, I still don’t know all that I need to know to be an effective Inclusion strategist in each of our regions. I need my colleagues. For all of my stunning colleagues across the globe that are reading this - thanks for being such incredible teachers and Inclusion collaborators.
Finally, I love my team, who are so brilliant and keep me sharp and humble. I look forward to seeing what we can do over the next year.