Exploring PTC’s 'Power to Create' Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • 3/1/2022
  • Read Time : 3 min.
ptc-dei-journey-900

When I joined PTC as the company’s first-ever Chief Diversity Officer & Corporate Social Responsibility Leader, and moving into a new role during the height of the pandemic, I was presented with both challenges and opportunities, as it has for many practitioners in the human capital management space. It’s a complicated yet, in many ways, energizing time for those of us looking at the pandemic’s impact across organizations.

As I came into PTC, I was impressed by the employee energy for transformation. It was clear PTC had an inspired vision for the future, one where diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is infused into the culture of the organization. At PTC, that’s what we call the “power to create” – our company purpose is to create a more engaged and dynamic workforce, more innovative products and solutions, and a bigger investment in our communities. In that sense, we’re empowering our employees, customers, and partners by leveraging our expertise in digital innovation, bridging the physical and digital divide to keep everyone connected even when we’re far apart.

I love working for an organization where the employee passion for DEI work is tangible – especially from the number of DEI champions, globally, who have stepped up to influence our policies, practices, and programs. Together, we've pushed ourselves to think about the ways we can more formally establish a DEI foundation at PTC, and how we can help make a difference in the era of a pandemic.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways PTC is fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion today and into the future:

The Building Blocks of DEI

Sustaining employee energy around DEI work is the key to success. Over the past year, we've thought about the ways we could up our game around the work, taking it to the next level – and the only way for us to do that was to get a clear understanding of where we were on our DEI journey.

Working with a third-party partner, we conducted an assessment of PTC’s DEI policies, practices, and programs. This gave us insight into three core areas: 1) a baseline understanding of where PTC is in our DEI journey, 2) a best-in-class maturity model for where we could be in the future, and 3) a path for intelligently phasing out the work ahead of us into actionable, process-driven steps. This led to formal and informal listening tours across the organization, as we continued to drive the DEI work already in motion.

At PTC, we have a DEI champion network that sits globally, so one of the outputs of our assessment exercise was to help this team understand how we are defining DEI for all different regions of constituencies – i.e., what does it mean to stand up a sustainable DEI program in Romania, France, India, etc., where are there similarities and differences, and so on. Historically, DEI has been seen as a U.S. “export,” but it’s critically important to understand the nuances of each geography, so we can work with employees to elevate and amplify global voices while pulling together a cohesive DEI program.

PTC’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) program was well underway before I arrived at the organization, but we have spent the past year building a framework around it. We introduced the “4C assessment model” from Dr. Robert Rodriguez to better understand the current health, impact, and effectiveness of our ERG program across four categories:

  • Career: How are we impacting career progression and professional development for employees?
  • Culture: How are we looking at cultural moments that are important to our ecosystem (heritage months, important social justice moments, or underserved, underrepresented, or under-researched communities) and creating a space to explore these moments through the ERG program?
  • Community: In the places where we do business, where we have employees, where we work and we live, where do we see opportunities to volunteer and support everything from closing the skills gap in manufacturing to fostering STEM education?
  • Commerce: How can we use the perspectives, opinions, and experience of our ERG membership to help drive business outcomes? One of the most interesting things that has come out of this way of thinking is a new inclusive design community that was inspired by our SMART Neurodiversity ERG.

We’re in the early stages of fully realizing the 4C model, but it’s given us a way to organize our thoughts and focus on our intentions. In addition to this framework, we’ve been building programs in psychological safety, conscious inclusion, and inclusive leadership to help enable leaders, people managers, and independent contributors to feel like they have agency and accountability over DEI work – everyone at PTC can make a difference.

The Relationship Between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility

PTC’s “power to create” vision means bringing DEI, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) together. As a company, we’re striving to use our digital innovation to enable innovators, collaborators, and problem solvers to address society’s greatest long-term challenges, like public health, social injustice, and climate change, and we are working to ensure our ESG priorities are algined with PTC’s long-term strategy.

What I love about PTC is that we have dynamic, visionary, and action-oriented employees who want to make the world a better place. It’s through our people that we can make the biggest impact internally and externally, and that means we’re creating a culture of inclusivity, where we’re bringing diverse voices, perspectives, and backgrounds to the table to build a better world for our colleagues, customers, partners, and communities.

Working as a team, even at a distance, we’ve been able to accomplish amazing things over the past year. These times have demonstrated even more interconnectivity between CSR and our business, so one of our biggest accomplishments has been making DEI and CSR key business priorities, enabling our employees to become real change agents across the organization and within our communities. We’ve built awareness of pressing global concerns like sustainability – partnering with our Green@PTC employee resource group – and thought more strategically about how our digital technologies can enable customers to reduce their environmental footprint. 

Final Thoughts

As we continue to evolve throughout the pandemic and beyond, it’s important that we remember that we are stronger together, that we can accomplish so much more when we foster a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. At PTC, we’re doing just that as we apply our “power to create” philosophy across all areas of the business. Our talent is a shining example of how employee-led programs can transform an organization. We have a promising foundation, here at PTC, and I am quite optimistic about the journey ahead.

What PTC Stands For

At PTC, we don't just imagine a better world: We help create it. We call this the Power to Create.

Tags:
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Digital Transformation

About the Author

Kameelah Benjamin-Fuller

Kameelah Benjamin-Fuller (she/her) drives transformational change as an activist, champion of equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED+I), musician, and mom. As Chief Diversity Officer and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Leader at PTC, she is responsible for supporting the company’s full activation of opportunity in this space.

She brings over 20 years of experience in DEI and CSR initiatives across industries including entertainment, financial services, technology, and travel. Kameelah is passionate about empowering individuals, communities, and organizations to recognize their ability to create impactful change through strong brands, healthy environments, and clear purpose.

She’s worked with organizations including Gillette/P&G, Korn Ferry, youth programs, social justice organizations, and correctional facilities. Most recently, she co-founded and led ED+I at Tripadvisor, where she ignited a small program into its current global remit, extending efforts into the workplace and product experience.

As the founder of G-Rock Music, Kameelah has dedicated the past several years to elevating the voices of womxn in rock and womxn of color in music. The collective focuses on showcasing emerging, renowned, and legendary womxn in music by creating forums and platforms for artists to share their story and their craft.

Kameelah received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University, and her Master’s in African-New World Studies from Florida International University.

She has a penchant for karaoke, RVing, and classic rock.