How to Drive Equality Through Remote Workplace & Culture

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How to Drive Equality Through Remote Workplace & Culture
May 25, 2022 / 33:53 / EPISODE 3
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May 25, 2022 / 33:53 / EPISODE 3
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From remote and hybrid workplaces becoming the norm to a renewed global focus on equity and inclusion, today’s workplace is significantly different from the one we started the decade off with in January 2020.

The cumulative effect of these experiences is a call for new workplace models and a rethinking of how the future of work can be shaped to promote diversity and equality both in the workplace and in our society.

With all this in mind, we welcomed Barbie Brewer to our Startup Guide to Growth podcast for a conversation on driving equality through workplace culture. Barbie is currently an advisor to ClickUp, where she was its Chief People Officer and formerly Chief Culture Officer at the hybrid and remote workforce pioneers Gitlab.

A few highlights from our conversation:

How remote and hybrid work inherently enables diversity

“In a remote environment, you get a much larger talent pool plus the benefit of diversity in different geographies,” Barbie says. “You inherently get more diversity just by going to different geographies. GitLab is a perfect example. We had employees in over 60 different countries. That embeds so much diversity in that context. Different cultures, from different countries, from different languages, from different ethnicities.”

Remote work doesn’t preclude those meaningful water cooler conversations

“A lot of people talk about you get to know people better when you see them in the office because you get to have the water cooler talk and the water cooler conversation,” she says. “The reality is, we’re still having those conversations with the people who sit next to us near that water cooler. We’re still having conversations with people who have similar interests to us, whether it be last night’s baseball game or next week’s football game, or a show on TV. And actually, by working remotely, you’re bringing people into your home. You’re bringing people into your life every day you get on a video call.”

Remote and hybrid workplace policies can’t be one-size-fits-all

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all, as you’re relating to the workforce,” says Barbie. It really is about each manager knowing what their employee needs to be the most productive and effective employee and accepting that. And then allowing for what’s necessary for them to be as productive as possible while also having a life. There’s no one answer for me, other than being thoughtful and considerate around it and being willing to think differently.”


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About Barbie Brewer

Barbie Brewer is the Chief People Officer at mParticle. She has over 20 years of experience in human resources and building corporate cultures. Previously, Barbie served as a VP of HR at Netflix during their formative years, and went on to become Chief People Officer at Gitlab and ClickUp. Barbie holds a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University.