Amanda Burr on driving change

Jan 7, 2019 · 2 min read

After a history of working for large corporations, I joined Stripe in 2015 because I felt it would allow me the opportunity to increase my impact, and to work on solving challenging problems to drive the company forward — while also contributing to my own personal growth. Working on the Education team, I am often in a position to help with product launches, new hire education, and ongoing training initiatives that undoubtedly help drive Stripe’s mission of growing the GDP of the internet. I ultimately found a different area of impact that needed a voice, too: our quickly growing parents community.

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In the early days of my time at Stripe, I knew of very few parents at the company, and how Stripe supported parents rarely crossed my mind. As Stripe scaled, so too did the number of parents and caregivers at Stripe (including me, when I brought my son into the world). After taking my parental leave, I came back to work to a whole new community of parents at Stripe, and a fresh perspective on how we could better support this group. I became a voice for parents at Stripe and immediately began advocating for changes to improve our parental leave and benefits. This is not to say that I worked on this alone. It takes a huge amount of effort from many people in order to actually drive change in an organization, but what I found was an organization that was receptive, even to someone whose typical work experience did not include administering benefits or driving inclusion efforts. We had a common goal — to help Stripe scale — and ensuring that parents and caregivers felt that they could contribute their talents to Stripe was critical to that effort.

The yields of our efforts have been great: the parental leave policy has since been greatly improved, our benefits are constantly evolving, and an active community of parents at Stripe is being cultivated. The reality is that driving change is not some 10-step process or organizational workflow; it’s showing up as an active participant in building the company you want to work for and being part of a company that expects and invites you to drive change. At Stripe, you’re hired to be a driver of change and a voice for making the company better — and sometimes that voice can be found in unexpected and surprising ways.

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