Introducing Humu Communities: Championing our culture champions

By
Helen-Alice Miranda
VP of people

At Humu, our mission is to make work better — and that starts with our own team. To celebrate diverse perspectives and foster inclusion at work, we’re committed to championing the unique identities of all Humuns (our term for Humu employees). 

That’s why we designed a new framework called Humu Communities: an evolution of our existing ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) that offers more formal support from Humu leadership.

Our communities—which include Women @ Humu, the Humuns of Color Alliance, and a Culture Community—help celebrate employees’ values and create belonging through fun and educational events, speaker series, volunteer opportunities, and more. 

The goal of each community is to foster our cultural values and create fun, inspiring moments of connection for everyone on our team.  Employees can nominate their peers or self-nominate themselves at any point to lead a personally meaningful community for six months. Community leaders will be chosen by a cross-functional panel and become culture ambassadors, sharing stories and events from their community with the larger company at All Hands meetings and on Slack.

Placing a dollar value on valuable contributions

Community work is crucial to the culture of an organization, especially when it comes to helping new hires feel included. In one study, a company onboarding process that focused on encouraging individuals to embrace their unique identities led to over 33% greater retention during the first six months. Employees who feel seen and supported by their peers are not only more satisfied with their jobs: they do better work, too.

But the behind-the-scenes work of community-building often goes uncompensated. We know that this kind of culture work, sometimes called “glue work”—the often unsung work that keeps a team together— is incredibly valuable, but it isn’t always valued. 

“Even when I was ‘strongly exceeding expectations’ at my old job, my mentorship and ERG efforts were framed as distracting extracurriculars,” explains Miriam Connor, an Engineering Manager at Humu. “At Humu, we’re very intentional about our culture and everyone takes responsibility for it.”

We’re excited to recognize Humu community leaders financially, too, with a bonus of $2,500 (or equivalent local currency) for each 6-month leadership term.

That’s why we’re excited to recognize Humu community leaders financially, too, with a bonus of $2,500 (or equivalent local currency) for each 6-month leadership term. If two co-leads opt to split the work, they’ll also split the bonus.

Financially compensating community leaders for their work solidifies Humu’s commitment to culture, while making sure leaders feel appreciated for their efforts. Humu also gives each community leader a separate budget for their group, which they can spend as they see fit to organize activities.

We don’t expect community leaders to do everything, but to pick a few impactful initiatives they can run in alignment with their work. Each community leader will organize events and share progress with their leadership team sponsor over their 6-month tenure, while also coordinating volunteers from across the company who want to get involved without a leadership commitment.

Katelyn Miner, Lifecycle Marketing Manager at Humu, was nominated to lead the Women @ Humu community earlier this year.

“All of the women at Humu are absolute powerhouses,” Katelyn says. “Being able to create a space where we can share our personal experiences and are free to get vulnerable with each other—especially virtually—has been a really special thing to get to contribute to. We have so much we can learn from one another and it's awesome that Humu is so supportive of bringing us together like this.” 

The Women @ Humu community sponsored several initiatives to celebrate Women's History Month this March, including Humun-led presentations spotlighting lesser-known but impactful women in history like Angela Davis, Molly Murphy MacGregor,, and Gerry Laybourne

They also hosted a special Women in History-themed Jeopardy! game during the company All Hands, with prizes supporting  local women-owned businesses, and led a “Science and Snacks” happy hour with Yale marketing professor Dr. Zoe Chance focused on negotiation strategies. 

And for extra fun, they curated a collaborative Spotify playlist called “Hu runs the world”—a Humu twist on Beyoncé’s “Who Runs the World? Girls!” feminist anthem—with pump-up songs from talented women in music.

“When it's not Women's History Month,” Katelyn explains, “Our community gets together a few times a quarter to informally talk about things that have shaped our experiences —women who really impacted us growing up, things we've wanted to accomplish but haven't tackled yet, family traditions led by the women around us, etc. We also host a content club that's open to the entire company and focuses on gender issues at work, like covering, likability bias, and the second shift.” 

“Being able to create a space where we can share our personal experiences and are free to get vulnerable with each other—especially virtually—has been a really special thing to get to contribute to.” - Katelyn Miner, Women @ Humu community leader

Members of the Women @ Humu community celebrate International Women’s Day with a pose representing #BreakTheBias, this year’s IWD theme for a gender-equal world. 

The Women @ Humu community is just one of several communities making Humu’s culture thrive. Communities are part of our commitment to building a workforce that reflects the entire working world — which means prioritizing not only diversity, but inclusion. As Reigan Combs, our VP of Marketing said in a recent panel discussion for Black History Month, “It’s one thing to open the door for someone, and another to keep the door open.” 

By championing Humu’s culture carriers and giving them resources they need to succeed —a bonus, a budget, and leadership support— we can create an intentional, inclusive culture for every member of the company. 

Ready to join a team that values you and your communities? We’re hiring! 

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