By Amelia Ransom, VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Smartsheet
Smartsheet runs on the belief that we can empower anyone to drive meaningful change.
It sounds bold — and it might be — but powerful ideas usually are. And if I know one thing, it’s that progress is always worth pursuing.
For me, one of the greatest ways to drive this change has been through diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever once said, “Businesses cannot succeed in societies that fail.” This quote has stayed with me, fueling my work. It serves as a good reminder that we’re way more connected than we think and that we all have a part to play in creating a better society. That mindset is fundamental to how we’re approaching corporate social responsibility.
Changing the way the world works means in part, helping the world work. Systemic inequities prevent many groups of people from fully participating in society — and we know societies that don't engage everyone cannot achieve true prosperity.
Pursuing social progress anchors our business in a greater purpose and holds us accountable to action. At Smartsheet, we believe our business is only successful if we’re helping create a world where anyone can thrive.
Smartsheet’s corporate social responsibility pillars for the next five years
To make a social impact, we have to look at the structures and systems in place. Racism and sexism are structural challenges in our society, whether it’s in the US or anywhere else around the world. These inequities are so deeply ingrained in every industry, from healthcare and education to technology and beyond. Environmental injustice, including the rising threat of climate change, exacerbates systemic issues, especially for low-income communities, people with disabilities, people of color, and women. We see our efforts through this lens; it’s the backdrop for our corporate social pillars.
Our employees care deeply about civil and social justice, advocacy, climate justice, and human services. So, that’s the foundation we’re building our corporate social initiatives on. Over the next five years, our company will focus on antiracism and eliminating sexism — and we’ll work with organizations that are already on the ground making a difference. It’s our responsibility to use our voice and resources to amplify the changemakers out there.
We’re in the right business to make a difference
Smartsheet also has a very real opportunity to level the playing field by making sure people have access to tools and resources that help them.
I recently talked to a woman who owns her own business in the construction industry. She said that because of Smartsheet, she could scale her business without having to invest more in personnel that she can’t afford. Our technology not only allowed her to grow the company, it meant she could compete against bigger organizations that have the capacity and capital for headcount that she doesn’t.
That’s exactly what we want to do — bring everyone in, create a space where anyone can build their dream. That’s the work that matters to us. It starts with tackling the systemic inequities that prevent so many talented people from realizing their vision and feeds into the incredible organizations who are on the ground connecting with their communities. It’s work that takes everyone. And we know Smartsheet is in the right business to foster the necessary teamwork and collaboration to make a difference.
How we’re showing up for our communities
We’re already partnering with different organizations around the world, and we’ve got more in the works.
Enabling access to STEM education through Sponsor X
We partnered with the McLaren Formula 1 Team to do something that’s never been done before in the sport. We’re giving up our prominent logo spot on their cars during the Australian Grand Prix and giving it to DeadlyScience, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide STEM resources and mentorship to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
Creating a more inclusive world through sports with the Special Olympics
As an official partner with Special Olympics International, Smartsheet isn’t just helping power the organization's strategic initiatives with our technology. We are joining in their efforts to create a more inclusive world through sports. Special Olympics Washington works hard to make sports more accessible to everyone and recently, we spent an unforgettable day with 70 Special Olympics athletes from across the state.
Our partnership with the Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena
Smartsheet is an official presenting partner with both Climate Pledge Arena and the Seattle Kraken. The strategic five-year partnership recognizes our organizations’ shared values in changing the way the world works and plays. They’re committed to making the Kraken Community Iceplex a place everyone can feel they belong, while also striving for greater diversity in the game of hockey.
Celebrating Giving Tuesday with our Employee Resource Groups
Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement and to celebrate, Smartsheet wanted to give back to the causes that mean so much to our employees. We asked our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to nominate and vote for non-profit organizations that directly support the communities they represent. They chose seven amazing, dedicated nonprofit organizations, including Asian Counseling and Referral Service, The Equal Justice Initiative, The Trevor Project and Black Girls CODE.
Become a change agent with Smartsheet
No great achievement has ever come from standing still. That’s why our team members empower anyone, in any organization, to embrace new challenges with audacity, creativity and relentless dedication. Together, we can ensure that change becomes something meaningful, not just something inevitable.