As we celebrate Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month, we’re excited to share this Q&A with the founding members of the API Connections Employee Resource Group at FullStory. Read on to get to know FullStorians Eric Macam and Victoria Ng, and to learn more about API Connections.
Meet the API Connections ERG
Can you talk about the purpose of ERGs at FullStory and how API Connection fits into that?
Eric: Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at FullStory are internal employee-led workplace communities that form based on shared identity, characteristics, culture, or life experience and aim to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Each ERG is built on the four strategic pillars of Commerce, Community, Career, and Culture. The Asian Pacific Islander (API) Connection has the mission to build cultural awareness and foster a safe community for those who identify as Asian and/or Pacific Islander, as well as drive diversity and change in FullStory’s business operations.
How did API Connection get started?
Victoria: In the Spring of 2022, a colleague and I both independently had the idea of developing an ERG for folks of Asian Pacific Islander descent here at FullStory. We came together with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team to get the wheels turning so to speak and quickly grew our group with FullStorian representation across North America, Europe, and in the Asian Pacific regions! We built programming around the four strategic pillars that Eric mentioned, and established a leadership council to guide the group’s programming.
And Eric, how did you get involved with API Connection?
Eric: Not long after I began at FullStory in November 2021, I joined an informal group of FullStorians that were seeking to create more formal structure to support DEI programs broadly. At that time, DEI at FullStory was very much in its infancy and we did not even have any employees who were dedicated to DEI in their role. Early on I also made many connections with other colleagues who identified as API, including Victoria. When they mentioned that an official ERG for API FullStorians was forming I immediately wanted to help lead, especially with my experience with API ERGs at prior companies. One of my first official duties was writing a post in our internal employee weekly newsletter during May 2022’s API Heritage Month that highlighted some of the public art in Atlanta that featured API artists.
What sort of events will API Connection be holding this year and how can people get involved?
Victoria: We have a ton planned for API Heritage Month this month! FullStory starts each quarter with a Listening & Alignment Week, and we had the great honor of hosting a meditation session for the whole company as part of L&A week programming.
Each week in May, we’ll also be sharing recipes of API origins in one of our social Slack channels for all of FullStory to learn a bit about our hugely diverse cultures and gastronomy. Later in the month, API Connection members will be invited to a career-focused conversation with a FullStorian of API descent to talk about their career journey into a leadership role.
Lastly, we’ll be teaming up with QueerStorians, the ERG for LGBTQ+ FullStorians, to host a discussion on the film Everything Everywhere All at Once which will be open to all FullStorians!
Why is API Connection important to you and what do you hope FullStorians will gain from the ERG?
Eric: I was involved in Employee Resource Groups at some of my previous jobs, and while I was thankful for those and the way they celebrated API Culture, I never experienced the emphasis on equity and inclusion like we do here at FullStory across all of our ERGs. For example, I know many of us have blind spots from our cultural upbringings with regards to how we approach and own our career development. Simply being in a space like API Connection where many of us can collectively acknowledge those blind spots is incredibly impactful for me. API Connection has already brought many opportunities for our community to be better equipped in our career journeys through Career Circle talks with API FullStorians in leadership and a series of “Demystifying” sessions around performance reviews and equity compensation. There is always work to be done to promote diversity and inclusion at all levels of leadership at FullStory, but it is certainly exciting work to be a part of.
Victoria: I’ve never worked at a company with Employee Resource Groups before, and honestly that was pretty isolating at times in those previous jobs. Coming to FullStory, I was (and still am) so grateful for the welcoming environment and explicit support for underserved communities. It was a huge sigh of relief to know that: 1) I wasn’t the only one here who wanted an ERG for people of API descent, and 2) That I had the opportunity to take on a leadership role in the ERG—a position I wasn’t at all hired for but nonetheless encouraged to take on. My official role at FullStory might not have any outward “lead” flavor to it, but the opportunity that API Connection has given me allows me to practice those skills (and show them off on a resume! 😀).
To learn more about our different ERGs and the FullStory community, check out the FullStory Culture blog.