May 27, 2022

Anne Bisagno: The Importance of DEI in Building a Prosperous 100 Person IT Services Company

Anne Bisagno: The Importance of DEI in Building a Prosperous 100 Person IT Services Company

In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Anne Bisagno, CEO at Xantrion, a managed cybersecurity and IT support firm tailored to mid-sized businesses based in the Bay Area.

Xantrion has been consistently named as one of the top managed cybersecurity service providers, and as one of the best places to work in the Bay Area.

Listen in as Anne speaks on her motivation behind developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion practice at Xantrion as she reflects on America’s long and ongoing path to greater representation in information technology and the workforce as a whole.

Anne shares how the aftermath of George Floyd’s death served as a major point of inspiration for Xantrion’s DEI strategy and push for a healthier culture, igniting a flurry of transparent conversations between everyone at the company that painted a clear picture of the right way forward.

Finally, Anne talks about the benefits of having a DEI program and the most important factors to consider when structuring one for your company.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

●      [03:18] Anne’s journey and the backstory behind the founding of Xantrion

●      [06:26] The path to greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce

●      [14:07] Creating a DEI strategy at Xantrion

●      [19:17] How the Black Lives Matter movement changed Xantrion’s company culture

●      [23:31] Putting a pause on hiring for two years and dealing with the fallout of the pandemic

●      [26:59] Being deliberate about your DEI strategy as your company scales

●      [29:41] Using data to manage your DEI program

●      [32:23] Attracting more minorities to the IT industry

●      [36:42] Optimizing your KPIs for performance and business management

●      [41:05] Training your recruiters to look for customer service experience

●      [43:54] The benefits of having a DEI program

Key quotes:

●      “Culture is an important thing for an organization like ours. It’s at the top of the list of who we are and how we operate. It’s our secret sauce.”

●      “One of the things we’re working hard on recognizing and managing is: Conversations around DEI can be difficult. They can make some people really uncomfortable.”

●      “As you get larger and larger, you have to get super deliberate with anything you do—whether it’s business goals, team priorities, performance management, or something like culture and DEI.”

●      “We’re not so worried about when and how and where you do your work, but where it gets done. KPIs really enable that kind of culture and management and performance process.”

●      “I can teach people technical skills. But what’s harder to teach is the desire to be helpful.”