We’re proud to announce the winner of our January Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Pineapple* GOAT Award, presented on a monthly basis to a Galvanize employee who exemplifies our company-wide commitment to DEI.
The purpose of this award is to celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of our team members working to advance our DEI goals, which include creating and improving our systems and processes for a sustainable, successful present and future for both our team and our students.
As voted on by the Galvanize team, our second-ever awardee is Cohort Lead Annah Patterson. Below, you’ll see two separate Q&A sections: one with Annah, and one with Program Lead Zabrian Oglesby, who nominated her.
*But first, a quick note on the pineapple 🍍: Why is the word pineapple in the award name, you might ask? Fair question! The pineapple has long been a symbol of hospitality, warmth, and welcoming. Here at Galvanize, we’ve adopted the symbol, incorporating its meaning into our values. We often refer to our team members as “pineapples” as we strive to embody the ideals of working together and openness and kindness toward all staff and students.
Q&A with Annah Patterson
What is your response to receiving the DEI GOAT award?
I’m honored to receive this recognition and am deeply thankful for the time and effort it takes to recognize these accomplishments. Galvanize continues to have truly fantastic DEI Programming from community outreach to thoughtful leadership from our DEI Team and colleagues that bring inclusion into our campus and workplace. So many amazing Galvanize folks make the work meaningful every day especially my pod partner Jess, Zabrian, Yu-Lin, Katie, Destiny, Sam K, Mylani, Shelecia, Jonathan, Mimi, Erico, Rob, Eric, Hailey, and our amazing SEIR team. I’m so grateful to all of you!
Why is DEI important to you?
DEI is important to me because the most productive teams I’ve worked on have shared power in the workplace so everyone is included. At Galvanize, encouraging software engineers in training to make sure they have a “seat at the table” in team decision-making creates a sense of ownership and empathy for others. The results are highly productive teams that build great software together.
One of the joys of teaching at Galvanize is helping students meet their goals while learning industry expectations around professionalism, accessibility, and the benefits of prioritizing DEI initiatives.
Why do you like working at Galvanize?
I like working at Galvanize because of the wonderful people I get to work alongside. Our Remote campus team has created a warm, positive environment for students to bring their authentic selves while working toward excellence in their work. Many team members contribute to creating content on inclusion as an industry standard, awareness of accessibility practices in software development, and guiding the students toward productive collaboration. It’s very rewarding work!
Q&A with Zabrian Oglesby
Why do you believe this person should be nominated as a Galvanize GOAT?
I believe that Annah should be nominated as a DEI GOAT for her work on supporting inclusive and equitable practices in our virtual classroom spaces. Annah has been instrumental in supporting student accommodations, giving extra time and attention to students who identify as ESL or non-native English speakers, and puts time into giving extra lectures to cohorts about how inclusion is not only a Galvanize value but an industry expectation.
How does she make Galvanize a better place?
Annah makes Galvanize a better place by being a strong thought pattern maker for our sibling SEI campuses and pushing against the status quo of what it means to elevate DEI in a classroom setting. Annah also shares her side projects and development opportunities that have a DEI focus with our organization through our DEI Slack channel. Annah will also post opportunities to support historically marginalized identities in tech.
On her local campus (remote full time), she leads the Women in Tech group for students who identify as female or non-binary to join and have a secondary support system. She also works hard to make direct and intentional referrals to the Telegraph track program so a greater network and support system can be built up within Galvanize.
How does Annah embody our company values?
She embodies all of our company values. I would like to draw special attention to the values of personal and group accountability and continuous personal growth.
Annah makes sure that her campus and the cross-campus projects she supports are approached with a lens of DEI. She does this through deep research into how each facet of a sprint or project will be executed and who or what is being considered. She puts in the extra time to cross-reference with other bootcamps and online sources to remove as many biases or barriers to success as possible from our EDU products.
In terms of personal growth, Annah is a lifelong learner to her core. She frequently uses her personal time to learn more about DEI topics in tech and promote spaces that support various pathways into STEM for historically marginalized communities. Annah brings this desire-to-learn mentality to her students and asks them to engage in their DEI journey with her as a supportive mentor.
What do you personally appreciate about this person the most?
This is a challenging question because I appreciate so much about Annah. A core tenant of her being that I deeply appreciate and admire is how selfless she is in all aspects of her life. She gives her time to others in her Hack Reactor, Galvanize, and local community. Her consistent goal is to foster spaces that push back against systemic oppression and elevate the talent and tenacity of others.
Check back next month to read about February award winner!