Why Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging are Worth Tackling

Why I Joined

I joined Blend because I believe in Blend’s mission to bring simplicity and transparency to consumer finance. I was instantly drawn to the idea that owning a home should be an experience that’s accessible to more people. In prioritizing diversity throughout my career, giving more people access is my bread and butter. Once I started the interview process with Blend, it was ultimately the smart, passionate people who really drew me in. It was inspiring to meet person after person who intrigued me or challenged the way I’ve thought about the status quo in tech.

Over the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a few folks on the Blend team, but only recently have dug into the company’s culture and values.  Two weeks into life at Blend, I’m already seeing their principles and core values in action. I’ve seen pieces of our culture come alive at lunch and on Pizza Fridays. I’ve watched teams meld into our new space and learn how to tell the story of its design. I’ve had executives tell me there are things about diversity and inclusion they don’t understand, but that they’re eager to learn more, do better, and really drive to create an inclusive company at Blend.

Blendkind’s overall commitment to impact, collaboration, transparency, humility, and hard work is truly inspiring. More than that, it makes me confident that we have the ability to innovate in ways that will really change the way we think about bringing ourselves to work. I’m looking forward to helping Blend think critically about what identity, self-awareness and pride mean in tech.

Ciara Trinidad

Why I’m Excited

I joined Lever really early on. I joined as employee #12 in 2014, and left this year just as we hit 130 employees. The experience was a whirlwind, and it’s that sort of energy that I thrive on. While at Lever, I had the chance to build really incredible things from scratch. I had the honor of building and influencing the culture and traditions, I loved every second of it, and I’m a proud Lever alum because of it.

I’m excited to build new capabilities and come up with fresh ideas at Blend, but also to do it at a scale that can really impact the way that we think about our culture and how we show up at work.

Diversity and Inclusion, of Course. But Why Belonging?

Diversity and Inclusion have recently captured the attention of more organizations. As tech company after tech company exposes their “diversity numbers,” and promises to do better, it’s become a buzzword for some and a movement for others. I’ve written about this before. It’s something that can make a huge impression on your customers, prospects and candidates. When I first started discussing the impact this role could have with the Blend team, it felt important to ensure that all people felt included in that. Often times Diversity can feel isolating to those who don’t consider themselves as underrepresented minorities. Belonging means that we will work to ensure that regardless of your identity, be that self-identified or government-issued, you have the freedom and the right to bring your authentic self to work.

More than that, DI&B, when done thoughtfully, can empower people to do their best work. I believe firmly that only when you are in a safe, welcoming, and authentic environment can you do your best and most innovative work — the work that will define your career. I feel outrageously lucky, excited, and empowered to do that at Blend.

Huge thanks to Sarah Frueh and Andrea Whiting for your editing expertise. Shoutout to Kaitlin Sullivan for the photos and incredible banter that made taking said photos less awkward.