Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

GoDaddy’s inclusive workplace culture


GoDaddy’s inclusive workplace culture
GoDaddy upholds a high standard of stewardship in areas where it can have the most impact and influence, such as creating a more inclusive workplace culture and engaging and empowering its customers regardless of age, race, gender, location, or socioeconomic background.

Desmond Sweet, Learning Program Manager at GoDaddy, is dedicated to the company's mission of empowering entrepreneurs everywhere and making opportunity more accessible to all. This includes spending his days welcoming new GoDaddy employees, developing leaders, and fostering more collaborative teams. Desmond is also the president of the GDBIT (GoDaddy Black in Tech) employee resource group, which is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and celebrating the Black in Technology community both within and outside of GoDaddy.

February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on the past while looking forward, especially to the role that everyone can play in creating equitable opportunities for all. This includes thinking about how people can empower not only their own lives, but also how to honor a community's collective lived experiences and create opportunities for success.

In honor of Black History Month, GDBIT hosted GoDaddy customer Malik Muhammad, founder of Malik Books, an African American bookstore specializing in books of cultural diversity, to talk about the power of education, knowledge, representation, resiliency, entrepreneurship, and empowerment. Desmond organized the event and shared his thoughts.

“What makes Malik Books different? Malik would tell you that one of his differentiators is the fact that he is a bookstore that only sells books by Black authors and with Black characters,” said Desmond. “But after talking with Malik the other day, what makes Malik different, in my opinion, is Malik. He is full of energy, excitement and anticipation of what a good book can do for someone in their future.”

Desmond knows firsthand how access to resources can change an entrepreneur's life when it comes to influencing someone's future. Desmond became one of the first employees to pilot You Empower, a 12-week, skills-based, full-time employee volunteer assignment where employees are paired with Empower by GoDaddy nonprofit and community partners, as a volunteer for Empower by GoDaddy, the company's signature social impact program that supports entrepreneurs in underserved communities. The pilot's goal was to provide enriching professional development opportunities for GoDaddy employees while also providing much-needed additional digital support and training to underserved Empower by GoDaddy microbusinesses.

During his rotation with You Empower, Desmond had an eye-opening experience while teaching a digital-skills workshop for Black women business owners. He recalls working with young entrepreneurs who were both excited and emotional about publishing their websites, which is a common barrier for many new microbusinesses.

“The empowerment they felt in taking a leap of faith in their businesses and control of their futures literally brought some of them to tears,” said Desmond.

Desmond is inspired by these interactions and emphasizes the importance of programs like Empower by GoDaddy and You Empower in humanizing the entrepreneurs he serves every day through GoDaddy and reminding employees of their role as part of the larger company mission.

“No longer is the job about picking up the phone to answer the fourth customer service call of the day,” he said. “No longer are you – if you are in my shoes – facilitating a class of engineers on how to effectively manage and coach direct reports. Now, you bring yourself into work and say, ‘When I provide effective coaching to the people that are on my team, I am helping them develop software and develop information that will help somebody who has potentially been in a dire situation, use a product that is easy to understand, that can get them online very quickly, so that they can begin to chase their dreams.’”

Desmond emphasizes that he will continue to seek opportunities to improve people's livelihoods and will do whatever it takes to advance technology in Black communities.

“I want to make sure that little brown boys and girls everywhere know that technology and the future of the workforce in this world is in their hands. And just because they didn’t grow up in the house of an engineer, or in a neighborhood that had coding programs within their elementary school, doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in this space. I am inviting them here, and I will prop open doors and leave them open, so that the people behind me can come pick up where I left off and continue to move this work forward.”