Here at Shippo, we’re proud to have a team that’s diverse, inclusive, and passionate about engaging with our local community. Lately, we’ve been planting trees, sorting soup cans, volunteering at events, and, for the second year in a row, participating in San Francisco Pride month.
Our Shipping Rate Master Peter Schwartz is an active member of the San Francisco LGBT community. For Shippo, he happily spearheads company-wide initiatives around diversity. I sat down with him to discuss our experience in this year’s Pride celebration, its positive impact, and how it drives Shippo’s culture. Here’s the interview.
What Does Pride Mean to You?
PETER: Pride means so many things to so many people. The unique thing about LGBT pride, and pride month specifically, is how inclusive and inherently love-filled it can be; also, how much awareness it can bring to an already large and continually-growing global community.
While it’s absolutely a time of year for celebration, pride month is also a great reminder of the hard, revolutionary work that has been done by generations before us and how much there is still left to do. It shouldn’t matter what kind of socio-political climate we currently exist in. We owe it to ourselves, those before us, and after us to continue driving efforts forward toward true equality for all LGBT community members. The best part about being proud is that it doesn’t take away from the happiness or pride of any other group of people—and that’s pretty cool.
How Did Shippo Participate This Year?
PETER: We’re lucky to be HQ’d in San Francisco which embraces the spirit of Pride month very widely. For the second year in a row, Shippo assembled a group of team members, our friends, and family to march and be seen in the SF Pride Parade. What’s most exciting is being seen.
By participating in the parade, we are declaring as a company our continued dedication to diversity and that all are welcome to work alongside us—which couldn’t be more true! We’ve been so fortunate to continually build and employ an incredibly diverse workforce at Shippo: women, men, non-US citizens, parents, younger/older, and, of course, LGBT folks.
On top of this, the parade is an exciting and fulfilling experience! Being able to represent our brand and brand values in such a social and fun way makes it a great cause to get behind.
What is the Impact that Pride and Other Community Events Have on the Culture at Shippo?
PETER: TL,DR: Given the opportunity at your company, you should participate in community events because they’re great for your personal growth.
That aside, culture is so hard to pin down, but I’d have to say a pretty important aspect of any company’s culture is what they’re willing and able to give back to the community they are a part of. So for us, to be able to participate in this quintessential San Francisco tradition and bake that into our young company’s growing traditions, Pride events are super important.
When you as a team member can take a step back to focus on something else (aside from your computer screen), you can gain such great perspective about what’s going on around you and your impact on those around you. Hey, you might even make a new friend at work by participating or find a new hobby you want to do in your free time.
You’ve got nothing to lose!
Do You Think the Culture at Shippo is Unique? If so, how?
PETER: Yes and no. I’ll address the “no” first. We’re not trying to be revolutionary in any way with regard to our company culture. There’s nothing we’re doing here that would make your jaw drop.
But, that leads directly to the “yes”. Because we know what has worked at previous companies, with previous employees and managers, and what currently works culturally within our own team, we amplify that knowledge as much as we can.
The one aspect of our team culture you won’t find anywhere else is the people. That’s where I’d say we have a pretty heavy advantage.
Like Peter shared, we’re so proud of our team and the inclusive, supportive relationships we’ve built at Shippo. One of our key values is to be kind, which means we act from compassion—for our customers, the company, and each other. We show everyone we interact with respect, empathy, and kindness not only during Pride month but throughout the entire year.
We’re hiring! If you’re interested in contributing to our culture, diversity, and joining the team here at Shippo, check out our jobs page.