diversity, equity, inclusion

Acquia Culture in Action: Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Acquia believes that we are stronger together and by giving back to our community, we can create positive, meaningful change. We view technology as a powerful force for progress, accessible education and global innovation. Yet, people of color, women, and other groups are still underrepresented throughout the wider tech community. We all have a duty to stop the systematic racism and discrimination that has contributed to an opportunity gap in the tech workforce. Acquia is proud to share that we are embracing this responsibility and joining the Tech Compact for Social Justice led by MassTLC. 

Acquia stands alongside over 60 organizations in Massachusetts who have signed an agreement to propel further inclusion of Black, Latinx and Indigenous people within the local technology community through concrete action. MassTLC will work with Tech Compact signers over the coming months and years to track progress, spotlight leadership, share best practices, work to overcome roadblocks and develop initiatives in support of the Challenge objectives.

Acquia is honored to share in this effort with other leaders in the Boston tech community as we unite our collective resources to promote change on a greater scale. Actions and programs we’ve committed to as a part of this larger effort include:

Supporting STEM Education for Underrepresented Groups

We recognize the future of a diverse workforce is shaped long before graduation. We’re focused on inspiring and mentoring upcoming talent and providing students with the tools they need to thrive in a STEM career right from the start. Acquia is a proud sponsor of these youth-based education programs:

  • Technovation Girls Massachusetts: Acquia is a sponsor of Technovation Girls MA, the regional round of Technovation Girls run by the MassTLC Ed Foundation. The program offers girls the opportunity to learn skills needed to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Every year, Technovation Girls challenges teams of girls (ages 10-18) to build a business plan and mobile app to address a community problem. 
  • BUILD a Better You Challenge: 50 Acquians participated in BUILD.org’s BUILD a Better You Challenge where they completed daily fitness activities to raise proceeds for BUILD's youth entrepreneurship program serving Black and Latinx students in Boston Public Schools. 

Practice More Diverse Hiring

To expand our talent acquisition efforts and reach more diverse candidates, Acquia is taking a proactive stance to recognize and work to eliminate potential bias in our hiring efforts. We are committed to a process that is both fair and accessible and want to highlight our additional actions below. 

  • We’ve dedicated a Diversity Lead to spearhead our initiative to expand our talent sourcing and establish stronger community relationships within underserved populations. 
  • We've added new tools to our recruitment platforms, such as DiversityJobs, to boost awareness of our job postings among underrepresented groups and Textio to remove bias and improve messaging in our job descriptions and sourcing activity.
  • We partnered with Hack Diversity, an organization committed to tackling the underrepresentation of high-skilled Black and Latinx employees in Boston’s innovation economy. We’re excited to welcome five Hack Fellows to Acquia as part of our ongoing summer internship program. 
  • We’ll also be participating in virtual Career Fairs through our partnership with Professional Diversity Network (PDN): The recent Boston/New England Women in Business and Technology on August 18 and the upcoming National Urban League in September. 

Expanding Employee Education and Access to Resources

Acquia values a culture built on lifelong learning and empowers all of our employees through opportunities to expand their understanding of social justice issues. We are invested in making it possible to continue these discussions and giving a platform to a wide range of perspectives and voices. 

  • Our Learning and Development Team is launching an online Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resource Library within our Acquia Academy portal for Acquians to consume and share content for self-service education. Each month, we will promote content to keep learning at the forefront. Our goal is to offer opportunities to each Acquian to take a personal approach to what and how they want to learn. In September, we will launch a speaker series beginning with an overview of the Impact of DEI in the Workplace.
  • In Q4, we will require all hiring managers to engage in education around Unconscious Bias and in Q1 2021 we will offer this to all Acquians.
  • This month we launched Acquia’s new Employee Resource Group (ERG) Network, a collection of employee-led groups that build community and culture within the company and offer mutual support, understanding and resources for Acquians organized around shared identity or experiences. The ERG initiative is in addition to our long-standing Slack channels and message boards dedicated to women within Acquia, the LGTBQ+ community and other less visible populations in the technology industry.  

Our team at Acquia is proud of the steps we’ve taken so far and will continue to invest in our DEI initiatives to contribute to MassTLC’s mission of driving significant, visible social change in the technology sector by 2022. We believe that by partnering with our fellow technology leaders in this important cause, we will be better prepared to uncover opportunities for improvement and collaborate on making meaningful changes for everyone now and in the future. 

Find out more about how you can join Acquia and commit to the Tech Compact for Social Justice on the MassTLC website.

heather hartford

Heather Hartford

Chief People Officer Acquia, Inc.

Heather leads Acquia’s talent organization, composed of talent acquisition, human resources/retention and development. Providing key insight and expertise in building and sustaining Acquia’s fast-growing global team and culture. Ensuring that Acquia maintains a culture that enables every associate the opportunity to grow and enhance their skills.

Heather was previously chief people officer at Rue La La, where she led the online fashion innovator’s expansion from 100 to 700-plus employees over a five-year period and facilitated growth and diversity through hiring practices and retention/development programs. Heather’s mission at Rue La La was to create a culture that fostered a motivating, supportive, and diverse work environment.

Prior to Rue La La, she held several senior leadership positions at DigitasLBi during a 12-plus-year period. She was responsible for global recruiting, staffing and learning and development, as well as the implementation of processes, systems and tools to support the growth and development of an expanding international company.

Passionate about giving back to the community, Heather has served on both the Big Sister and Ad Club Boards in Boston.