Belonging matters. It’s a term that took on new life in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in May, 2020. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement that followed, Sightly employees and management felt a responsibility to not only support BLM but to take a stand with any group that is attacked because of its color, culture, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc.
We determined there were two areas where we could begin to make an impact:
- Emphasizing diversity in hiring and employee development practices and
- Developing relationships with programs/organizations that offer mentorship and internship opportunities for under-represented groups through youth education and engagement.
We felt this work was anti-racist and pro-inclusion, and it allowed for all members of our team to participate and share in the outcomes. This is how the Sightly United Outcomes (UO) program came to be—an organic program that arose in response to the BLM movement, with the encouragement of management.
Sightly is an outcome-obsessed company, and our focus on outcomes is central to our approach to diversity, equality, inclusion and positive change. We actively seek to uplift our community by creating opportunities for college students from under-represented groups in our industry through mentoring, internships, and sharing our experiences in speaking engagements and workshops. We look for ways to make an impact in the communities where we work—New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston.
This month, we celebrated our first year of the United Outcomes program. Here are some highlights from the past 365 days.
Summer Bridge with United Activities
Summer Bridge is an internship program that provides low-income NYC students with experience in the tech industry. Student interns participate in workplace challenge projects over the course of three weeks, culminating in a virtual final workplace presentation to a panel of Sightly clients and Sightly Leaders.
“The Summer Bridge internship program was an incredible opportunity to teach young students about the many career paths within the tech industry,” said Kristlyn Lyons, Sightly’s VP of Business Development & Partnerships. “I really enjoyed seeing the students’ interests and passions shine through their work. There was an abundance of creativity, strategic thinking and teamwork that manifested during our time together.”
This program is meant to insure, transform, and empower individuals of all ages. United Activities provides comprehensive social services, educational supports, enrichment activities, prevention services counseling and workforce development training to an underserved community.
Work, Learn and Grow Program
Over the past year Sightly has worked with Work, Learn, and Grow, a New York City Council-funded initiative designed to build off of the experiences gained in the Summer Youth Employment Program. Work, Learn, and Grow provides participants of the 2020 Summer Bridge Program with career
readiness training and paid employment opportunities. Students, who must be between the ages of 16-19, go through real interview processes to find the right program.
Alena Pilichowski, Co-Chair of United Outcomes, hired a technology/data science intern through this program and oversaw his day-to-day progress. Of the experience, Alena affirms, “Participating in the Work, Learn, and Grow program was an amazing experience that mutually benefited our student participant, Kenny, as well as Sightly as a whole.
Through the program, Kenny gained invaluable career experience inclusive of a real interview process, onboarding, projects, and weekly check-ins, while Sightly had the privilege of having an incredibly bright young employee providing meaningful work on behalf of the company.”
The Boyd Initiative
The Boyd Initiative is designed to help young Black professionals discover careers in advertising and media. It teaches the fundamentals of media and advertising to participants and connects them with key personnel at some of the most influential companies in the world.
Through Sightly’s UO Program, we partnered with The Boyd Initiative to sponsor a teaching session at which several of our employees spoke about our roles and responsibilities and the career paths we’ve taken.
From that experience, we hired an intern through the organization and provided practical experience in the industry. Our intern summed up her experience saying, “I wanted to work for a company that listens to the brand’s needs and goals and helps them grow with that intention in mind. I wanted to be impactful in a company, and I knew that my internship role would be important and valued.”
It’s through partnerships like the one with The Boyd Initiative that we hope to form meaningful connections that will lead to internship and full-time hire opportunities.
Project Morry empowers young people from under-resourced communities to envision and establish a positive future. Young people are given the tools to reach their full potential by access to improved opportunities and learning experiences through programs, such as the upcoming Career Day.
During the 90-minute Career Day session, Sightly members will discuss their backgrounds, roles, career journeys and any additional insights. It is meant to be entertaining for the students, while helping them to learn what part of the industry they might be the most interested in.
Morry’s Camp was designed as a branch to the entire Project Morry. It was born out of Morry’s dream that all children should experience the gift of camp.
The program works with students through their entire high school career, then helping them apply to college and internships.
VAB IMPACT Diversity Leadership Summit
The VAB (Video Advertising Bureau) is an insights-driven research company dedicated to helping marketers make fully informed media decisions that solve business challenges and drive overall growth. It also provides a stage for new voices, diversity of thought and fresh perspectives with the ultimate goal of driving lasting change and inclusivity within our industry.
At the VAB’s recent IMPACT Diversity Leadership Summit, Marissa Price, Sightly’s SVP of Client Services and colleague Edwina Morales, Horizon Media’s Director of Multicultural Business Solutions joined together to discuss how our organizations approach diversity, inclusion, equality and belonging for employees—and for customers, through multicultural marketing.
“We love working with partners, such as Sightly, who drive towards solving diversity and inclusion industry needs across the media landscape,” said Morales. “And most recently and proudly to say, we worked with Sightly on a successful QSR partnership in reaching the Hispanic community. And it was really through the successful partnership that we understood the importance of brand mentality, as we looked to give our brands more control without having to make sweeping adjustments in the marketplace.”
Kamehameha Schools Virtual Student Internships
This summer, Sightly is partnering with Hawaii’s Kamehameha Schools’ Career Pathway Unit Work-Based Learning program to provide virtual summer internships for
three college students interested in media/advertising industry careers through its Kāpili ‘Oihana Internship Program (KOIP).
Michele Ching, Sightly’s VP of West Coast Sales, is spearheading the project. Here’s how she describes our objectives: “Our greatest hope is that this internship experience gives Native Hawaiian students hands-on working experience that they can teach others—and grow to take a leadership role in sharing this with the rest of the industry in Hawaii.”
Keep an eye on the In the News section of our website for announcements and updates about our United Outcomes initiatives, like this recent one about the internship program through The Boyd Initiative.