Ten years ago as I was looking for the next step in my career, It was important to join a company with purpose and integrity. Within five minutes of meeting Vlad Shmunis, CEO, Founder and Chairman of the Board at RingCentral, I knew we shared the same vision.
When I learned that Vlad is being honored as a Best CEO for Women (#8) and Best CEO for Diversity (#2) in the annual Comparably rankings; I was not surprised. This honor (based entirely on employee feedback) is the result of the culture he has created.
An Environment of Belonging
At RingCentral, diversity isn’t limited to ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexuality; we strive to build an employee base that brings unique perspectives, people with differing values, and uncommon backgrounds. In addition to diversity-focused hiring practices, the company also focuses on creating an environment of purpose and belonging so that people feel comfortable at work. As part of this effort, RingCentral has an active and diverse array of employee resource groups dedicated to helping all employees feel safe and accepted.
Response to Current Events
The world has been under a tremendous amount of stress in the past few months, COVID-19, economic uncertainty, the loss of normalcy in daily life and Black Lives Matter. I dare say there is not a single person who isn’t feeling the pressure right now. Vlad’s leadership during this time has been incredible. As each new challenge became apparent, employee welfare was his top priority.
Following the death of George Floyd and the ensuing Black Lives Matter movement, Vlad and his leadership team recognized the emotional intensity of the events and acted swiftly to help employees cope; creating safe places for dialogue, encouraging individuals and ensuring the entire company became a supportive environment where we could have uncomfortable conversations and learn from each other.
Danita Oliver, manager, accounts receivable operations at RingCentral and co-leader of our Black employee resource group said, “At a most vulnerable and painful time for Black people everywhere, we were encouraged knowing our company was against the atrocity of this heinous act. Our leaders stood with each one of us as we processed what it means to be Black in America and around the globe in this day. This did not happen at every company, but it happened here at RingCentral. I am grateful for this support.”
While I’m proud of our responses to recent events, it’s our daily practices to promote diversity, inclusion, and women that make RingCentral such a unique place to work. Vlad has continuously encouraged my efforts to empower employees of all backgrounds, whether I’m seeking funding for education, books, coaching, or other materials to help employees succeed, I can depend on his support.
Jackie Kobbe, director of delivery, appreciates the support she gets in building and developing her team, “With the rapid growth of my organization, we have made it a mission to hire strong women and individuals of diversity. My leadership has not only supported the growth of the team in these two areas but has gone above and beyond to lead the way in hiring and promoting.“
Employees are encouraged to “bring their best selves to work” by embracing people’s uniqueness diversity is celebrated. People are more collaborative, honest, and build stronger bonds, because they know they can be themselves 100% of the time.
According to Grace Lau, who leads content development for our SMB business, “At RingCentral, I’ve always felt supported and free to be myself—things like being able to dress how I want and talk openly about my partner with colleagues and friends may seem small, but they’re things that many queer folks don’t take for granted. They’re precious because so many companies don’t offer this kind of supportive environment. And it always starts with leadership at the top.”
Thank You and Congratulations
Thank you Vlad for your commitment to creating a work environment where everyone is encouraged to succeed. Your efforts continue to create opportunities for many people and the inclusive environment you created is one of the most significant contributions to our company’s success. This honor is well deserved! For anyone who wants to join an amazing organization, RingCentral is hiring!
Originally published Jul 23, 2020, updated Apr 19, 2021