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Leading in the Future of DE&I: Q&A with Markita Jack

Diversity. Inclusion. Equity. Belonging. These are the hard-and-fast principles that guide us as we grow, informing how we build our teams, cultivate leaders, and support our employees. Using these principles as our North Star, we strive to create a culture at work where all employees have a voice and are celebrated for the unique contributions and perspectives they bring to the table.

We’re dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusivity in tech, a promise that extends beyond public statements and exclamations. As a rapidly growing, public-facing martech company, we know that the actions we take, and the policies we implement to close the ever-growing gap in equity, set a high standard for others in our industry to follow. We wanted the next step in our commitment to DE&I to be action-oriented, and set a precedent for other businesses.

With this in mind, we are thrilled to announce that we have hired a Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Iterable: Markita Jack.

As Head of DE&I, Markita will play a key role nourishing a culture where everyone feels like they belong. Markita is passionate about people and progress, and will consult closely with Iterable employees (a.k.a., Iterators) and the executive team to develop and deploy scalable programs and strategies that foster a more diverse and inclusive culture at work.

Markita has a phenomenal background and brings deep expertise, breadth of experience, and importantly, passion for DE&I.

We sat down with Markita to learn more about her journey, why she chose Iterable, and what her vision is for expanding our inclusion and diversity efforts.

Without further ado, let’s meet Markita Jack!

Why did you join Iterable?

The short answer? Opportunity!

I spent the last 21 years in the banking industry, gaining invaluable experience as an HR Business Partner, SVP of Corporate Recruiting, SVP of Talent Acquisition & Employee Relations, and SVP of D&I. I loved my work and felt empowered and championed by my colleagues and leadership. But, 21 years in one industry is a long time! When you get to know a business intimately, it’s harder to take chances and separate yourself from the brand. First Horizon is an incredible company with some really amazing people, but once I was introduced to the team at Iterable, I knew I’d found the exciting and challenging opportunity I’d been waiting for!

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. I fought the disease, and conquered it. When I found out that I would survive, I made a commitment to live my life without bumpers—to really take back my identity and make my future my own. I promised myself that, if an opportunity presented itself to make a difference, I’d take it (even if it might seem scary or uncomfortable).

It’s with this emboldened mindset that I made the decision to join Iterable, which is a company that, I believe, has an incredible opportunity to make a difference in this world. Iterable has long been outspoken about its commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging, and it is not afraid to take a stance publicly on polarizing political and social issues. I loved Iterable’s passion and unwavering stance on social justice, and knew that this was the opportunity that I had been waiting for.

What excites you most about Iterable’s future?

As Iterable continues to scale, our influence will grow as well. The potential here—for positive and sustained impact—is impossible to ignore. I’m looking forward to working closely with our leaders, led by Andrew Boni, to identify opportunities to partner for change. We have an amazing story to tell as a company, and I want to empower each and every Iterator to tell that story through their unique lens, to their individual audiences.

What is your vision for Iterable’s DE&I strategy?

The foundation is already built for my work at Iterable. With leadership championing the company’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I have all of the tools I need to enact a robust and effective strategy. It’s rare to see such absolute support of DE&I initiatives. Iterable is leagues ahead of other companies who make a commitment to creating a culture that supports diversity. While ahead of the curve when it comes to DE&I, we still have work to do!

Iterable’s employees are the reason for our success—they are the driving force behind the incredible platform and products. My goal is to continue to empower Iterators to do the best work of their careers, building on the success of DE&I programs, campaigns, and initiatives already launched by the Iterable team. Iterable connects people with the products that bring them joy, and I want to take that mission statement a bit further: to connect employees with the careers that bring them purpose and joy.

A few tangible DE&I programs at Iterable include hosting office hours and focus groups to gather employee feedback, conducting allyship training for managers, amplifying our DE&I voice on social media , and recruiting more women and underrepresented minorities. These initiatives align with our core values of trust, humility, growth mindset and balance.

Being a remote employee yourself, what does it look like to build a strong culture within a distributed team?

The key to building a strong culture, in any setting, is intentionality. During this inflection point, leaders have to be intentional in their work to build community while remote; reinforcing core aspects of company culture that existed before the pandemic, and embracing changes to culture that manifest as the business adjusts to the new way of work.

Remote work has presented an incredible opportunity for company culture to be a little more “human”. Meeting with remote colleagues over Zoom has exposed so many dimensions of our personal lives (how we live, the colors of our walls, pets, family members, messes, etc). This new way of work presents an amazing opportunity for leaders to set a new tone, and build a stronger community and culture. By displaying vulnerabilities (for instance, having their kids on their lap during weekly Town Halls), and incorporating more conversational “Ask Me Anything” segments into globally broadcast meetings, leaders can build a strong remote culture that more explicitly values individualities and idiosyncrasies.

At Iterable, executive endorsement of remote community building goes even deeper. In Fall 2020, Iterable launched Affinity Groups, which are created and run by employees who share a common community or identity. These groups play a vital role in ensuring an inclusive environment where all are valued and empowered to succeed. As we evolve our hybrid work model, there will also be an evolution of our Affinity Groups, creating even more spaces to support community building and belonging at Iterable.

It’s incredible how remote work can bring us together if we are intentional about investing in culture and community.

Where do DE&I and the Future of Work overlap?

To ensure a more diverse and inclusive future in tech, businesses have to create opportunities for underrepresented individuals. And right now—as leaders discuss and develop a post-pandemic plan for the Future of Work—is the perfect time to take action. Weaving equity and accessibility into Future of Work discussions is a great way to get started.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity were certainly top-of-mind topics during Iterable’s Future of Work conversations and, last week, we shared an exciting update about our plans! This is only the beginning of our Future of Work journey, but it’s something I’m incredibly proud of because it’s setting a standard for other businesses in our industry to follow suit.

Hybrid organizations are the future, and we’re at the forefront of this movement. By allowing our employees to work remotely, without a detriment to their pay or benefits, we’re opening the window of opportunity for diverse and talented individuals in tech. Of course, our vision for the future of work is compounded by an incredible swath of benefits (like health and wellness stipends and fertility assistance) that truly create opportunities for a new, diverse workforce.

This is a meaningful moment for us as a company. It signifies our transformation from the old, traditional way of work, to a new, more agile and inclusive way of life. It represents what we hope the future will look like and it’s one of the reasons why I am so thrilled to start my journey with Iterable.

If you’re interested in working with Iterators, like Markita, who are leading in a more diverse and inclusive future in tech, explore opportunities on our careers page.

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