Employee Empowerment with Trevor Jenkins
“To be miseducated...it is not merely to be poorly educated, although that’s often a byproduct. Miseducation is a deeper evil, one that arises whenever an intrinsic trait, such as sexuality or ethnic heritage, is treated as a flaw to be overcome, rather than a gift to be developed. It is the process of teaching people to sand off pieces of themselves to fit into their society’s constraints, rather than teaching them how to shape that society for themselves” (Thompson).
Meet Trevor Jenkins, the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Program Manager at ActiveCampaign. Trevor defines ActiveCampaign as a “tech company that empowers small businesses to create a unique experience for their customers through marketing automation and our CRM platform.” Trevor took time out to explain his purpose in his current role and why it’s so important for him to help others in the space of diversity and inclusion.
Check out Trevor Jenkin’s interview below:
Congrats on your new role. Tell us about it. What's your job at ActiveCampaign?
My name is Trevor Jenkins, and I am the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Program Manager at an amazing company called ActiveCampaign. If you don't know about ActiveCampaign, we’re a tech company that empowers small businesses to create a unique experience for their customers through marketing automation and our CRM platform.
Our product empowers 75,000+ small business, with 50% of our customers from outside the US. In the same way, our company desires to understand our customers, as the DEI Program Manager, it is my desire to foster an environment where we continue to understand our employees and to see them thrive. My job is to enhance the company’s culture through learning and development. This is imperative because our business and our employees are both constantly growing and evolving.
You've got an interesting background for this type of work. Tell us a bit about your personal history and what brought you to this point?
Before I came to ActiveCampaign, I was a pastor for almost a decade. I also started a business recruiting staff for faith-based organizations and facilitating discussions around polarizing issues within the community. After a decade of cultivating diversity in churches, and building inclusive teams, I was longing for another challenge, and to learn in a new environment. A fifteen-minute screen call with our VP of People, Denise Bindelglass, impacted my life and ultimately changed my career path. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work at ActiveCampaign and to serve under Denise's leadership on the People Team at ActiveCampaign.
Which skills from your time in the clergy do you think will transfer themselves to your work in DEI?
My ability to cast vision, think strategically, connect with people quickly and create community are the skills that will transfer the most in my DEI work. Since I was a child, I’ve always had a deep passion to make people feel welcome and help them determine their next step. Essentially, pastoring is about meeting people where they are, and encouraging them as they navigate this journey called life. The same can be said about DEI in the workplace. DEI is about helping people understand who they are, the value they add, their limitations/bias, and their need for community within the organization. People are both gifted and limited, therefore we need each other.
Everyone seems to have a bit of a different definition of diversity, equity and inclusion. What's yours?
Fundamentally, diversity is about uniqueness. It can be defined as all the differences a person brings into the world, and therefore, to the world of work. Inclusion is active, intentional, ongoing engagement with diversity by learning how to appreciate and value each other’s uniqueness. Essentially, inclusion is not about fit, it’s about addition. At ActiveCampaign, we often look for culture adds, not just culture fits. Equity is about having access to the same information and opportunities. I truly believe talent is distributed equally in the world, while opportunities are not.
What attracted you to ActiveCampaign in the first place?
During the interview process, the majority of my interviews were led by women. There are a good amount of women in leadership roles at our company. Though there is still work to be done, it was good to see women in the driver’s seat. Secondly, one of ActiveCampaign's core values is humility. Since I’ve started working, I really do feel like our employees try to leave their egos at home, and bring a collaborative, customer-first mindset to work.
What do you do for fun?
Any time I’m learning something new, I feel like I’m having fun. I also love to spend time with my family and close friends.