Creating community and driving change through Autodesk Black Network

3 min read

Members of Autodesk Black Network at the 2022 ABN Summit in Denver, Colorado

I joined Autodesk in August 2022 as the Director of Technical Recruiting, where I lead a team of recruiters focused on inclusive hiring and bringing in the best talent for Autodesk Engineering across the United States, Canada, Latin America, and EMEA. I’m also a member of Autodesk Black Network (ABN), an employee resource group (ERG) that connects and builds a community for Black employees and their allies at Autodesk. We’re focused on: building a culture that fosters the inclusion of Autodesk’s Black employees; offering access to professional development opportunities, mentorship, and coaching; partnering with our Diversity & Belonging and Talent Acquisition teams to advance the recruitment of Black students and professionals; and building partnerships with local Black communities through external engagements.

While I’ve only been at Autodesk for a few months, I’ve enjoyed the transparent conversations I’ve had as a member of ABN and watching everyone show up as their authentic selves – it’s truly energetic, inspiring, and empowering.

Honoring the legacy of Black resistance

While Black history doesn’t have a timeline, Black History Month is a good reminder of the positive impact and significant imprint on our history. It’s also a time to reflect on what our ancestors went through for the rights that should have been allowed to every human. It’s motivational and a reminder to strive for excellence and greatness.

Black History Month is also a time to teach our children about the significant accomplishments of our ancestors, including achievements in education, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and music, as well as life-changing inventions like the traffic light, clothes dryer, lawn mower, and even the potato chip!

This year’s theme for Black History Month is Black Resistance, which, simply put, means resistance to racial injustice and oppression. The forms of Black resistance today include empowering our youth to see limitless opportunities in every aspect of their life; driving and engaging in significant workplace diversity and belonging efforts; advancing in educational, corporate, financial, and homeownership opportunities; and organizing our voices across multiple mediums and geographies. We are working to overcome individuals who are trying to quiet our voices that want, need, and have the right to be heard.

Black History Month is celebrated as a global event at Autodesk in partnership with Autodesk Black Network. This year, we hosted a variety of events throughout the month, including a Black leadership panel discussion with Trenton Arthur, Vice President of Digital Customer Lifecycle Product; Dara Treseder, Chief Marketing Officer; and Cassius Conliffe, Vice President of Total Rewards. We also hosted virtual events like trivia, yoga, a meet-and-greet with members of Techbridge Girls, and a tour of the current Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) exhibit, The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion.

“Exploring Black Leadership at Autodesk” panel discussion

The importance of allyship

Autodesk Black Network is open to all Autodeskers, regardless of whether they identify as part of the Black community. Having allies who are willing to listen, learn, and use their privilege and resources to support the Black community is crucial. I see the role of allies as a collective voice in helping open their eyes to understand their role in racism, oppression, racial aggression, and conscious and unconscious biases. Bringing others along on the journey of understanding and intentional change is an important first step.

I’m thrilled to work for an organization like Autodesk where I can show up authentically. Our culture is positive, collaborative, engaging, super energizing, and empowering. I encourage anyone who is interested in joining Autodesk Black Network to do so – you’ll get the chance to meet colleagues with whom you may not otherwise have the chance to engage, and you’ll experience a sense of belonging, engagement, allyship, and camaraderie.

Learn more about Autodesk’s employee resource groups here.

Tags and Categories

ABN ERG Diversity