With professional experience in human resources and career coaching, Ashley Bussell joined the Galvanize team nearly 2 years ago, originally as a member of our Career Services team. Recently, she’s moved into a new role as our Diversity Talent Partner, where she focuses on promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in all Galvanize hiring efforts, as well as in employee resources and engagement.
We recently caught up with Ashley to talk about her life and work, why she’s passionate about her new role, and how Galvanize is working toward greater inclusion in tech.
What’s your role at Galvanize and how would you describe it?
Currently, I am the Diversity Talent Partner at Galvanize. My role is maintaining DEI visibility in all hiring aspects of the company, as well as in employee resources and engagement. Basically, I am tying DEI into the employee experience from hiring and onboarding to performance and promotion.
As much as you’d like to share, we’d love to learn a little about you and your life outside of work.
I grew up in a super small southern town in Western Kentucky. I had a very rural childhood, as my grandparents had a tobacco farm when I was a child. I have a large family with tons of aunts, uncles, and cousins, and we have gatherings once a month. I am huge on family and love to socialize.
My own small family, which includes my husband and me, is also a priority to me. My husband has been self-employed as a black business owner and barber for the last decade, and I have a lot of admiration for the work he does and the person he is to my well-being.
I just live my life very humbled and centered around positivity. If there is a silver lining, I’ll find it. Not in a non-authentic way, but I’m truly a believer in finding the lesson and keepsake amongst all of life’s wins and challenges. I’m a black woman that believes in the power of work and rest. Both things have to exist to give the best version of me.
What drives you to do the work you do? What keeps you inspired?
Before now, I’ve always done DEI-oriented work as a volunteer. I was on committees, planning, executing events, etc. for years, but in that time, I never truly thought about serving in a DEI role professionally until last year when this role opened. I personally love the idea of championing marginalized people. There are so many things we gain from hearing the voices of everyone and making space to learn about other cultures.
I think what keeps me moving forward is knowing that I’m making a difference for those who may often be overlooked.
At Galvanize, how would you describe the focus on DEI right now?
Right now, DEI is in a place of execution. I’ve spent the last month aligning conversations and data behind areas where we can prioritize DEI. I am excited to be working on new programming and resources. The biggest area of focus is to be sure that all roles at Galvanize have DEI at the forefront as our team performs their jobs.
We are working on programming to give staff professional development tools as they navigate their roles and communication with students, staff, military, and consumers. I also am working on gaining more visibility for the diverse voices and stories on our team. There is always room for improvement and growth in DEI work. I am always open to and encourage honest feedback and dialogue.
DEI is important across all fields and industries, but is there anything that makes DEI in tech spaces different?
In the tech space, there are a lot of gaps in the representation of minority groups. A small percentage of software engineers make up any gender or ethnicity outside of white and male. This creates the need for Galvanize to make sure we are equipping our staff and students with the tools they need in this space.
Explore career opportunities at Galvanize, and learn more about our student-facing DEI efforts, including coding bootcamp scholarships, our work with Veterans and active duty military, Telegraph Track, and our work with Next Chapter.