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Celebrating Diversity at Spin
April 22, 2021
April is Celebrate Diversity Month, which provides us an excellent opportunity to introduce you to our new D&I Director, Ryan Lathrum, as well as to members of our D&I Team. At Spin, diversity and inclusion are core to our values. We prioritize incorporating them into all aspects of our work — including advocacy, communications, workplace environment, business strategy, culture, and hiring.
Diversity is more than just a buzzword. It takes commitment and leadership to dismantle inequality and prejudice. To provide that leadership, we recently welcomed our new D&I Director, Ryan Lathrum, who has vast experience with anti-racism work, deconstructing implicit bias, and fostering organizational accountability.
“My passion for and commitment to DEI work is personal,” he explained. “I’m a cis-gender white gay man. While I recognize my identity carries a lot of privilege in certain spaces, my goal is to always use that privilege to uplift and bring others with me.”
Ryan will work closely with our VP of People, Jeff Alvarez, to ensure that we integrate a D&I approach throughout our company. Jeff has spent his career building cultures where everyone can thrive.
Events of the last year, which have become increasingly visible in the mainstream, are prompting a collective reckoning for our society. In the last twelve months, we’ve seen George Floyd’s murder in Minnesota, a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, and racially motivated mass shootings.
Part of the challenge of addressing these issues involves opening up a courageous and honest dialogue. “This past year has taught me patience,” Ryan said. “I’ve developed a deeper sense of empathy, along with a clear awareness of the importance of calling people into difficult conversations.”
Before Ryan’s arrival, our D&I Team was already working on having those difficult conversations and instituting a company culture that promotes accepting, respecting, and valuing differences.
Alex April, our Head of Government Partnerships, started the group in 2019 to increase awareness, create a comfortable space for everyone, and educate colleagues on how to be allies. “I wanted to create values and frameworks to ensure the absence of discrimination in our workplace,” she said.
There are twenty-eight members of the group, and each of them comes to work with a unique story and background. Lisa Ojeda-Brown, our People Operations Manager, for instance, joined the Team to support people to “gain skills and resources to understand experiences of others outside of their identity.” She grew up in a multicultural household and didn’t fit neatly into any one identity. As a result, she developed a desire to create bridges between different communities. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” she said. “Having conversations is the first step to creating a dialogue that can change how communities interact and connect with each other.”
Nima Rahimi, Counsel for Regulatory and Labor Affairs, and another member of our D&I Team put it this way, “To me, D&I means celebrating and incorporating the beautifully diverse mosaic we collectively represent into the fabric of our company culture.”
At Spin, we operate in 96 cities and campuses in four countries and serve riders from every background. We want our workplace to reflect the communities we serve. And we know that to achieve our mission, we need to continue establishing a values-driven culture that is truly inclusive — because we are at our best when we’re greater than the sum of our parts and strengthened by our diversity.