At Uber, we believe that when we reflect the incredible diversity of the people who connect on our platform, we make better decisions that benefit the world. Diversity of ideas. Identity. Ethnicity. Experience. Education. Faith. Once here, our goal is to help all employees be their best selves by providing programs and resources that promote inclusion and growth.
No team knows this better than our Interfaith Employee Resource Group (ERG), whose mission is to empower those with religious or spiritual beliefs and cultures to be their authentic selves. It is focused on bringing together employees from across the globe of different faiths and cultural backgrounds to facilitate learning, build empathy and promote inclusion. We learned more from three employees of faith how this unique Uber ERG helps them have a positive impact and be authentic in their lives and careers.
Maysem Alsaidi, Salam
Senior Manager – Pricing, Uber Freight Sales
The Salam chapter was started by individuals that identify with Islam.
How does your faith influence your career?
“My faith and my culture both teach a high level of empathy, understanding, honesty and respect, and about bringing truth to all aspects of your life. Work makes up such a huge part of all of our lives, that it’s not possible for my faith and culture not to influence it. It’s important for me to be authentic and not shy away from that. Maybe some days I will be fasting, or some days I need to arrive at work later or leave earlier than usual because I’m observing holidays, and my colleagues learn about my faith and culture because we work together and I can be open about it and know they will honor those boundaries.”
How has your experience at Uber been unique?
“One thing that Uber does really well is that they encourage employees to talk about their differences, and they really invest in diversity. It’s part of the system of beliefs and the way of working here. It has helped us increase our diversity on the team and I also think it really motivates people to share their thoughts and opinions at work.”
Leah Davidson, Grace
Senior Associate, Strategy & Planning
The Grace chapter was started by individuals that identify with Christianity.
How do you encourage inclusion?
“We have a weekly prayer and bible study which is a really great community event. We’re always welcoming new people, and it’s really rewarding to support each other through both personal and work challenges. A lot of times people join in not necessarily because of a particular plan or curriculum we follow, but because it’s a chance to build and strengthen connections with others.”
How has your experience at Grace been unique to Uber?
“I never had the opportunity to be a part of a faith-based ERG until I came to Uber. This is a unique offering here, and I think it’s really wonderful that we are able to recognize this kind of diversity. We also want to encourage dialogue on how faith intersects with other parts of our identities, so we put on an event earlier this year about race and faith with a representative from ‘Stop AAPI Hate.’ We have been able to start a dialogue on these very relevant issues through a faith-based lens.”
Jessica Klinger, Shalom
Senior Paralegal, Delivery
The Shalom chapter was started by individuals that identify with Judaism.
How would you describe the Interfaith ERG to someone outside of Uber?
“It’s a group for employees to gather together that is faith-based but is also culture-based. While we do have distinct chapters for each faith, all are welcome and we are also very intertwined with one another. The way that I view faith can be summed up in a metaphor from a rabbi that views faith as a prism, and when the light shines through it creates all of the different colors of the rainbow, which can be interpreted as all of the many different religions.”
How does your experience of the Interfaith ERG tie into Uber’s commitment to diversity and inclusion?
“I grew up in North Dakota, in a small town without many Jews. Uber is the first organization I have been a part of in which communication was sent by leadership acknowledging the upcoming Jewish holidays and instructing other employees to not reach out to their colleagues during that time. It was an enormous help to both not have the pressure to work those days and to not have to explain my reasoning to managers or colleagues; Uber really honors that this is an important part of who I am.”
Considering opportunities at Uber? “Go for it,” shares Maysem. “I have worked with the smartest and most diverse group of people here at Uber. We influence each other to become better by staying open-minded and trying new things.”