Working at Nava

Maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace

A conversation with Nava employees about the importance of corporate DE&I

In our country, people do not have access to the same opportunities and resources. Factors such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more can affect everything from getting a job to getting a loan. College admissions are no different, which is why affirmative action was so important to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in academia. When the Supreme Court upended affirmative action last year, it delivered a major blow to DE&I efforts at colleges and universities. 

At Nava, we believe our workforce should reflect the diversity of the populations we serve. We also recognize that many people face barriers to entering the professional world based on aspects of their identities. With the end of affirmative action, those barriers have become even higher for many people. 

One of the many initiatives we undertake at Nava to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce, is publishing our annual DE&I report. This report holds us accountable to our DE&I goals, such as being majority BIPOC by 2025. Measuring our progress is in part about looking at data on representation across all levels of the organization, but it's also about listening to people's experiences at work and reflecting on their stories.  

We spoke with three members of our employee resource groups (ERGs) and affinity groups about what DE&I looks like at Nava. 

Featured in this article:

Tamar Fox, Senior Content Strategist and member of the Jews at Nava affinity group

Michelle Hadfield, Software Engineer and member of Kaleidoscope, our ERG for people who identify as LGBTQIA+

Crystal Francis, Program Manager for our FedCiv portfolio and member of earthtones, our ERG for employees who identify as Black

On what an equitable workplace looks like

Tamar: An equitable workplace supports everyone to do their best work. As a Jew who doesn’t work on Jewish holidays, this means feeling supported when I’m taking time off. I can be open with my team about my religious life, take the time I need, and still do great work.

Michelle: Nava puts equity into practice by fostering a culture where people are valued beyond their productive capacity. We recognize the strength of character and depth of experience people develop through facing adversity, and we have established a standard for allyship and non-judgment. 

On the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Crystal: Diversity means embracing peoples’ differences and creating a workforce that reflects varied perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. Inclusion involves creating environments where individuals from diverse backgrounds feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique insights and talents. In today's organizations, diversity and inclusion are crucial for fostering innovation, driving performance, and creating a culture of belonging where every employee can reach their full potential.

On DE&I at Nava and where we can go next

Michelle: As Nava continues to succeed at DE&I initiatives, I think we can focus on creating opportunities for ambitious, talented people who may not have had access to the resources necessary to earn accreditations that would enable them to work in civic tech. 

Crystal: The Supreme Court's decision to end affirmative action is concerning, particularly as it pertains to DE&I. Affirmative action has helped address historical injustices and systemic inequalities, and its removal may exacerbate disparities, both in the workplace and in society at large. It's essential for organizations like ours to recognize the setbacks this decision may pose and adapt our strategies accordingly.

At Nava, I believe our initiatives are making strides toward improving DE&I, particularly through our commitment to fostering an inclusive culture and promoting representation across all levels of the organization. However, there is always room for improvement. I think we can broaden our focus beyond recruiting to retaining and promoting underrepresented groups while ensuring that our DE&I initiatives are timely, comprehensive, and sustainable.

PublishedFebruary 26, 2024



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