Profiles in Leadership: Diverse Voices

Ventera HR Generalist Laure Gravis

I moved to the US from France after college when I was about 23 years old. Prior to Ventera, I only worked for one other company during my time in the US and it was a French company, so this is my first experience with a truly diverse organization.

My experience with people on the professional side was different in France than it has been here. The French workplace feels more formal than the American workplace. In America it is commonplace to have a relationship with your colleagues that is similar to your relationship with your friends where you get lunch together or go out together after work. The French workplace is much more “leave your life at the door,” so I’m still getting a feel for what is appropriate here that may not have been in my prior experiences.

It’s been a learning curve and it’s taught me a lot about expanding my horizons when it comes to how different cultures handle different situations. I try to keep this in mind when I am talking to someone who is from a different background, which is very common at Ventera. Before I assume their intent or pass judgment, I try to educate myself on how things are done within their culture to gain a better understanding of where they are coming from.

I think it’s a lot of fun learning new things about different cultures. Anytime I come across a cultural celebration or tradition, I like to talk to the people of that heritage to get an authentic explanation of the why behind it.

We’ve taken some big strides in the past year or so in making this mindset more mainstream. I really like some of the initiatives Ventera has created, whether that be our new DRIVE Employee Resource Group or the company newsletter, to provide new platforms that amplify the voices of people from different cultures. 

We’re also expanding our horizons when it comes to recruiting by adding more traditionally diverse schools to our annual college recruiting tour. I think that’s excellent and I’m excited to continue pushing that forward and injecting more diversity into the future of Ventera.