8 episodes

How does one change the world? How can we as people, as employees, and as allies in tech make a meaningful impact on the causes we care about? That’s what Sustainability @ Work is after as a podcast. We’re sitting down with not just leaders and representatives from leading sustainability causes. We’re talking with the people on the ground, doing work to support and uplift those charities, and seeing how both sides are helping make a real difference in the world. Because that’s how change happens; people at all levels coming together.

Sustainability @ Work Sustainability @ Work

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

How does one change the world? How can we as people, as employees, and as allies in tech make a meaningful impact on the causes we care about? That’s what Sustainability @ Work is after as a podcast. We’re sitting down with not just leaders and representatives from leading sustainability causes. We’re talking with the people on the ground, doing work to support and uplift those charities, and seeing how both sides are helping make a real difference in the world. Because that’s how change happens; people at all levels coming together.

    S@W Episode 7: How Do You Know You’re Doing Good?: Evaluating Your Sustainability Impact

    S@W Episode 7: How Do You Know You’re Doing Good?: Evaluating Your Sustainability Impact

    Maybe your company gives employees volunteer time off, or donates to sustainability organizations. Maybe you support a hybrid or remote work model that prioritizes employee work-life balance. You’re doing your best to make the world a better place, but… how do you know, for sure, that you’re making the positive impact you think you are? Are there areas your organization is falling short on? After all, true sustainability isn’t a zero-sum game, and can’t happen on the margins; it needs to permeate every part of an organization’s operations to make a true, lasting impact.

    This is where the B Corp certification process, overseen by B Lab, comes into play: a comprehensive way for businesses to track their philanthropic efforts and hold themselves accountable for making the world a better place. In this episode of Sustainability @ Work, we’re looking at how B Corp certification serves as a model for businesses to go beyond profit and commit to making a positive impact.

    Key Quotes
    00:03: “I think inherently, people are good, and they want to do good. But how do you know you’re doing good?”
    04:09: “Typically, corporations are in business to make profits, and to make money for their shareholders… but B Corp believes that businesses can use those profits to give back to society and the world.”
    06:03: “[The B Corp certification process] is about more than committing to something. It’s about making it part of our identity, part of who we are, part of our culture.”
    08:30: “Your heart has to be in this, but your head’s got to be in it too, because you’re going to have to deliver on all of this.”
    09:26: “[B Corp certification] isn’t just a framework for how we treat the environment; it’s also a look inwards at how we treat our people.”
    11:25: “Honestly, I don’t know how you go through this process and don’t end up wanting it even more if you don’t get it.”
    12:44: “The B Corp certification makes you put your money where your mouth is.”

    Guest Speakers
    Will Shu
    CIO, Gerent; CIO, Riverstrong
    With over 27 years working with technology, Will has spent the last 10 years spearheading Salesforce digital transformations in the finance and education sectors. Additionally, for the past several years, Will has worked to help Gerent achieve B Corp certification, auditing both internal and external processes to ensure the company remains committed to doing as much good as possible.

    April Bollwage
    Senior Director of Education (Recruiting, Admissions, & International), Gerent
    April Bollwage is an impassioned education leader with 20+ years of operational and admissions experience in for-profit education, higher education, and state-funded nonprofit training programs. April prides herself on creating collaborative team environments that use technology to unite and empower people of varying perspectives. She specializes in enrollment management, strategic operations, mentorship, data analysis, and Student 360 experience. April is a certified Salesforce Administrator, Education Cloud Consultant, and Business Analyst.

    • 16 min
    S@W Ep 6: Moments Of Sponsorship: Creating Opportunities For Women In The Salesforce Ecosystem

    S@W Ep 6: Moments Of Sponsorship: Creating Opportunities For Women In The Salesforce Ecosystem

    Women have taken the tech sector by storm. Today, there are more female professionals in the Salesforce ecosystem than ever before; and yet, there is still plenty of work to be done in terms of ensuring equal representation across all organization levels — especially within senior leadership. It is here where dedicated communities of support for women in tech become vital. Employee resource groups allow members to connect not just as professionals, but as rounded people, and advocate for their collective success. The result goes beyond mentorship to sponsorship: the opening of doors that allow for talented employees to become incredible leaders.

    This episode, we’re talking about building communities of mutual support for women navigating the Salesforce ecosystem and how mission-critical it is for leaders to look beyond mentorship and embrace the idea of professional sponsorship.

    Key Quotes
    03:58: “It's difficult to… believe in an imaginative role when you don't see people who look like you, sound like you, dress like you, with similar interests as you, in those roles that allow you to propel yourself into those spaces.”
    05:24: “[The Salesforce Women’s Network] really is a way for the women at Salesforce to activate their philanthropy, whether it's volunteer time, or their financial resources to hold up and support organizations that really are aligned with our Salesforce core values.”
    10:45: “That’s the thing with community: you go in with a shared value, get to know the people that share that value, and suddenly you see yourself in something bigger than yourself.”
    13:36: “We are all very much the same, but our cultures and countries approach things differently. And there’s so much to be gained by spending time with those different from you. There’s so much learning to be had.”
    14:35: “When you pull somebody down, you pull yourself down, and that is not going to make the business successful, or you successful. Period.”
    17:08: “It's incumbent upon each of us… to create and take ownership in the culture that we have, in our values, as well as those that we purport and talk about.”
    20:35: “When [employees] feel safe, when they feel heard, and when they feel secure, they bring you magic. And that magic results in cash money, baby.”
    22:45: “If we want change… it is our responsibility to go after it and propagate it. It is not going to happen for or to us. We have to take ownership, step into the gaps, and make things happen.”

    Guest Bios
    Sterrin Bird
    Senior Director, Nonprofit Industry Advisor, Salesforce
    Sterrin brings over 30 years of experience to her current role at Salesforce, having served as chief revenue officer and chief development officer for some of the largest nonprofit organizations in America. In addition to her current position as senior director and nonprofit industry advisor, she is also the global philanthropy chairperson for the Salesforce Women’s Network, which helps female employees activate their philanthropy towards causes aligned with Salesforce’s values.

    Rosa Campagna
    Sales Director, Retail and Consumer Goods, Gerent
    Rosa comes to Gerent with over 5 years experience in Salesforce and technology, as well as a prior background in public relations and marketing. Outside of her current role as sales director for the retail and consumer goods vertical, Rosa is also a community leader and founder of a Toronto-based dance company with over 150 active members.

    • 23 min
    S@W Episode 5: The Power of Mentorship: Empowering Black Trailblazers in the Salesforce Ecosystem

    S@W Episode 5: The Power of Mentorship: Empowering Black Trailblazers in the Salesforce Ecosystem

    It can be challenging to find your footing as a new employee entering the Salesforce ecosystem. This is especially true for members of underrepresented communities of color, for whom historical gaps in representation translate into a lack of meaningful models for what success looks like. Finding someone who believes in you enough to give you that one crucial opportunity to grow as a professional – or finding a community of peers with whom you can grow together and lift each other up – can be an unbelievably empowering experience for professionals at any stage of their career.

    In this episode of Sustainability @ Work, we’re looking at the impact mentorship and community efforts can have on helping members of underrepresented communities grow and succeed, creating a deeper, more inclusive workplace overall. In particular, we’re celebrating the ways in which Tiffany Spencer and Tech Forward Solutions have helped inspire young Black Trailblazers to dream bigger and aspire higher in their careers.

    Key Quotes
    01:45: “‘How do I get to the next level? And what does it look like being one of very few Black people in the space? How do I navigate this space, and… what does the next step in my career look like?’”
    04:25: “I realized that [students] had not been exposed to Salesforce as a platform and didn’t understand how platforms like it could be beneficial as they graduate and start to look for jobs.”
    05:02: “I was inspired [to start Tech Forward] to create more diversity… and ensure our HBCU students and underrepresented communities were aware of this amazing ecosystem.”
    11:20: “Sometimes you need to know that there isn't one prescribed way of doing things. And it's okay to bring your own flavor and your own experience to a role, and you're not expected to know everything.”
    12:30: “I was really inspired to create a space where Black Salesforce professionals can come together and really celebrate each other, be seen, be visible, be uplifted.”
    15:10: “Just that kind of spark of joy that came from the event that said, ‘You know what? I am excited about my career. And I want to keep on that journey.’”
    18:35: “We've had individuals that have gone through our boot camps, and that have now at this point, gotten multiple certifications... they really get a bigger vision for this whole industry that they're part of."
    19:21: “Sometimes we don't know what an employee's goals are in the short term. And if you can't speak to what they want to do in the next year or two? You can maybe only speak to what you need them to do in the next three to six months.”
    20:48: “It's all about just opening the door to have that first conversation to take the first step and then figure it out from there.”

    Guest Bios
    Tiffany Spencer
    Founder & CEO, Tech Forward Solutions
    An industry veteran with over 15 years experience in the Salesforce ecosystem, Tiffany founded Tech Forward to share her expertise and passion for the technology with new HBCU students and members of underrepresented communities. Tech Forward, and its consulting arm, Tech Forward Solutions, is a nonprofit organization focused on helping HBCU students and new employees gain crucial skills and Salesforce consulting opportunities. With these valuable experiences under their belt, these professionals are able to grow in their careers and obtain higher paying salaries, making for a more inclusive, welcoming Salesforce ecosystem.

    Kirbie Pillette
    Director of Product Strategy, Financial Services, Gerent
    Kirbie brings over 15 years of Salesforce implementation experience to her role as Gerent’s Director of Product Strategy for Financial Services. Prior to joining Gerent, she traveled the world, leading Salesforce implementation efforts worldwide in over 30 different countries.

    • 21 min
    S@W Episode 4: Contemplating Giving on the National Day of Service: What Does It Mean to Serve?

    S@W Episode 4: Contemplating Giving on the National Day of Service: What Does It Mean to Serve?

    On the National Day of Service on January 16th, 2023, millions of people nationwide will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by volunteering their time and energy to any number of worthy causes. But taking that first step towards making the world a better place can be profoundly intimidating. Where do you start? What does it mean to serve? How do we decide how we can give back?

    In this episode of Sustainability @ Work, we’re sitting down with Gerent employees for four different reflections on what it means to serve and how our lived experiences can shape the ways we choose to give our time, energy, and effort to others.. From food and clothing drives to home repairs to comforting people in their time of need, we’re looking at real stories of doing good — and the impact that small gestures can have on those around us.

    Key Highlights
    00:00: Intro: What does it mean to serve?
    02:26: Lisa French: Delivering 32 turkeys to hungry families during Thanksgiving
    06:48: Curtis Nicewaner: Stepping up to build a house for friends in need
    10:56: La Keisha Riley Burton: Providing support to grieving parents through the Levi J. Burton Foundation
    15:32: Inspiring the next generation to give back through donating to clothing drives
    19:27: Conclusion: The importance of taking the first step

    Guest Bios
    Leanne Benoist
    Sales Director, Education, Gerent

    Leanne’s current position as Sales Director for Gerent’s Education practice is the culmination of a career heavily focused on all things learning and giving back. That experience exposed her to a variety of ways to give back and model charity and giving for the next generation.

    Lisa French
    Senior Business Analyst and CPQ Practice Lead, Gerent

    In addition to her role as Gerent’s Senior Business Analyst, Solution Architect, and CPQ Practice Lead, Lisa is a proud participant in the company’s VTO program. She was inspired to give many years ago, when a stranger paid for her childrens’ Christmas gifts on layaway, sight unseen. Now, she regularly donates food, toys, and clothing to families in need whenever possible.

    La Keisha Riley Burton
    Senior Project Manager, Gerent

    La Keisha brings over six years of consulting experience to her current role as Senior Project Manager at Gerent. When she’s not working, she runs the Levi J. Burton Foundation, which shares messages of support and handmade keepsakes with grieving parents who have lost children. The foundation also facilitates group forums, remembrance ceremonies, and meet-ups for parents to connect and support one another in times of need.

    Curtis Nicewaner
    Business Analyst, Gerent

    On top of his work as a Business Analyst for Gerent, Curtis is involved in a variety of charitable activities within his community. He runs 5Ks for fundraising, builds beds for children in need through Sleep in Heavenly Peace, donates food and clothing to families through his church, and over the past year, helped his friends build their house when supply chain disruptions led to a delay in the construction process.

    • 22 min
    S@W Episode 3 - Everyday Environmentalism: Tiny Actions Create Waves of Change (Feat. Ocean Bottle)

    S@W Episode 3 - Everyday Environmentalism: Tiny Actions Create Waves of Change (Feat. Ocean Bottle)

    It’s easy to envision the ocean as endless, vast, and empty. But in reality, our oceans are teeming with life. Billions of people worldwide rely on them every single day – and careless dumping of plastic pollution threatens to put countless lives (and livelihoods) into jeopardy. Case in point: At the current rate of pollution, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

    But what can we do as regular people? Combating climate change is a colossal effort, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed thinking about it. But there are steps anyone can take that can make our daily routines a little more environmentally-friendly. After all, one drop of water might not be much… but put enough drops of water together, and you get an ocean.

    In this episode of Sustainability @ Work, we’re discussing the importance of ocean cleanup, how everyday actions can empower us in the fight against climate change, and how one organization is stepping up to aid local communities and keep plastics out of the ocean.

    Key Quotes
    0:33: “The problem is that we're destroying this very thing that brings us life.”
    2:58: “In the UK, for example, the average Briton consumes about 150 plastic bottles every year.”
    4:07: “[You hear about the impact of pollution], and you're just thinking, ‘Somebody has to do something about this.’”
    6:02: “[The ocean] is an environment we are being allowed to be in, and so with that, you need to respect it and leave no traces… leave it better than when you went in it.”
    7:54: “What would you do if your sink was overflowing? Would you start mopping the floor, or would you go and rush to the top and turn it off? [Ocean Bottle’s] goal is really to ‘turn off the tap’ of ocean-bound plastic.”
    9:07: “Every single one of [Ocean Bottle’s] products funds the collection of 11.4 kilos of ocean bound plastic, which is equivalent to 1000 plastic bottles in weight.”
    14:06: “It doesn't occur to me to go buy a million water bottles anymore, right? If you thought about how much water we drink, that would probably equate to 10 plus regular plastic water bottles a day.”
    16:28: “I think it really goes to show that to create the biggest change, we don't need a few people doing good perfectly, but actually, you need millions doing it simply.”
    19:28: “[Ocean Bottle has] provided income opportunities for over 5000 collectors and their families… in over 300 communities across Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, and the Philippines.”
    21:42: “I would just encourage everyone to never think that they can't have an impact on something. So no matter how small it is, it's one more person doing that thing doing that action. And so collectively, we really do make a difference.”

    Guest Bios
    Emilien Henrotte, Impact Manager, Ocean Bottle
    Emilien is a sustainability advocate and environmentalist who dedicates his time, energy, and business expertise to furthering ocean cleanup. For the last year, he's dedicated himself to managing projects, developing value-partnerships, and, as he puts it, “being part of the solution, not the problem,” as Impact Manager at Ocean Bottle. Founded in 2019, Ocean Bottle is an impact organization that funds the collection of ocean-bound plastic waste through the sale of specially-designed reusable water bottles. Funds raised by the organization support collection efforts to prevent plastic waste from entering the ocean, with the sale of just one Ocean Bottle funding the equivalent of 1,000 plastic bottles collected.

    Marina Jackman
    Director, Health & Life Sciences (Providers), Gerent
    Marina has been immersed in the healthcare world for nearly a decade, and has been a lover of the ocean for her entire life. Her name, Marina, even comes from her father’s passion for the ocean, which he passed down to her at a young age. An avid diver, she regularly participates in ocean cleanup efforts in her own community of Monterey, California.

    References
    https:

    • 23 min
    S@W Episode 2 - Creating Communities of Support for Single Moms (Feat. the Judy Nelson Foundation)

    S@W Episode 2 - Creating Communities of Support for Single Moms (Feat. the Judy Nelson Foundation)

    Raising a child is no small feat; it takes an unbelievable amount of patience, commitment, love, and care. And being a single mother, doing it all on your own? It’s easy to see how that might feel absolutely impossible sometimes, especially when you factor in dueling priorities like paying the bills or going to work.

    So how can we support the single mothers in our life, and help them not just navigate the daily responsibilities of parenthood, but also achieve their hopes and dreams — whether that’s an education, a career, or even just a good night’s sleep? It doesn’t need to be anything big; offering to babysit, drive kids back from school, or even just pick up dinner can make a world of difference for busy moms.

    In this episode of Sustainability @ Work, we’re talking about building communities of support and what we can do to help the single mothers in our lives.

    Key Quotes
    00:00: “The feeling that a lot of I think single moms, or any single parent, fully feels is it's all on you.”
    01:21: “When I look back and I think about some of their earlier childhood days, I don't even know how I did it.”
    03:07: “As a young kid, you know, you're not always witnessing the challenges that your parents are going through in their pursuits of everyday life.”
    07:36: “When I was trying to pay tuition and pay daycare, you're trying to decide: do you pay that? Or do you pay the electric bill?”
    09:04: “ I can't forecast that my kid’s going to be sick tomorrow morning on a Monday when I have to wake up.”
    12:54: “[The Judy Nelson Foundation’s] mission is to provide single mothers the opportunity to further their education without financial or practical barriers.”
    15:39: “We're even looking into how we take care of [single mothers] being able to get meals while they're on campus, because they may be doing after school programs – there's dinner, there's all these kinds of barriers.”
    19:22: “What the Judy Nelson Foundation is trying to do in terms of creating the space, making it okay and helping these women actually get an education and fulfill those things so that they don't have to feel forever behind.”
    22:55: “That feeling of who you become together after whatever it is that you're going through is better than anything you could have imagined if you just summed it up as individual events.”

    Guest Bios
    Josh & Colleen Nelson, Board Members, The Judy Nelson Foundation
    Founded in 2021 by Josh Nelson and his mother, Colleen Nelson, the Judy Nelson Foundation works to eliminate the financial and practical barriers single mothers face when balancing childcare and pursuing their educational goals. The Foundation is named for Judy Nelson, Colleen’s mother and a lifelong advocate for women’s rights, educational access, and community support.

    Anandhi Narayanan, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Transformation in Manufacturing, Gerent
    In addition to being a professional consultant with over 17 years of experience in manufacturing, digitalization, and technology, Anandhi is a working single mother who spent years balancing her career goals with the needs of her family. During her tenure in IT, she led digital transformations for finance, supply chain, operations, and sales operations. For the past 4 years as a consultant, she has directed cross-cloud implementations, driving strategy and thought leadership for supply chain organizations across the Salesforce ecosystem.

    References
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-work-mothers/moms-feel-overwhelmed-by-responsibilities-poll-idUSTRE75E45K20110615
    https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/C460_Single-Mothers-Briefing-Paper-8.21.17-final.pdf

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

EMWhitehead ,

Food for Thought

Ethical considerations are essential in modern business. The world is complicated and the more reach you have, the more impact you have. S@W does excellent work looking at different ways that businesses of any size can maximize the good they do while engaging in regular operations. Moreover, the tone is approchable, not didactic, making for easy listening.

thedragonwiththegirltattoo ,

Cool perspectives on corporate responsibility from the ground up

Checked this one out on my commute today after spending some time listening to Jeff Stormer’s other podcast for Gerent and really enjoyed it. As a nonprofit professional who works with startups all over rural Virginia, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to support and encourage business practices that align with contemporary values and progressive priorities. As the workplace landscape continues to shift toward younger changemakers, it’s great to know there are people at all levels driving these conversations and that there are channels for bringing those thoughts to a wider audience. Jeff continues to knock it out of the park as a host and producer, so it’s easy and engaging listening as expected.

jrgoldb ,

Wow!

Another great podcast from Jeff with tons of lessons for my professional life and well being.

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