When Damien Hooper-Campbell joined eBay in 2016, he became the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer. With experience working in diversity and inclusion for other large tech companies like Google, Hooper-Campbell knew that creating inclusive cultures meant more than just a vocal commitment – it meant action.
Speaking with #movethedial, Hooper-Campbell gives insight into the work he’s doing at eBay, where he turns for inspiration and resources, and how he makes true change by going “all in” on individual impact.
In this series, #movethedial interviews speakers for its upcoming 2019 Global Summit to learn how these dynamic leaders go “ALL IN” on inclusion. Read on for more about how Damien Hooper-Campbell creates individual impact.
A human focus
Sometimes, said Hooper-Campbell, D&I programs mean well but get “so lost in numbers… so lost in policies alone, that we’re forgetting the human side of it.”
Studies regularly show diverse companies outperform homogenous companies on metrics like innovation and profitability, and Hooper-Campbell has seen companies making vocal commitments to creating more inclusive workplaces. But most of the time, the people in marginalized communities are left to do all the inclusion work, something Hooper-Campbell believes will never solve the true inclusion challenge of bringing everyone a bit closer together.
To address this challenge, Hooper-Campbell said that D&I champions need to make space for people to make mistakes – and to recognize that some people might not want to go “all in” at the start.
Instead, he advocates for spending “a little bit more time making it safe for people to screw up in a conversation – to use the wrong word, as long as their intent was good.”
He also believes that true progress requires “[making] it safe for people to say ‘I don’t necessarily jump right into D&I. And I don’t want to do it just because the company says so. Help me understand what it actually means to you.’”
When you create space for errors and allowing people to not be immediately on board, “we move the dial a lot more on real commitments… because they believe in it, not just because of a business case.”
The tools and resources to get the job done
Like all D&I practitioners, Hooper-Campbell wants to get as much done as soon as possible. But he also realizes that D&I is a long-game and there’s no such thing as “done.” So instead of rushing to get a list of accomplishments attached to his name, he focuses on solving individual challenges and making an impact for individuals across the company.
When he needs to learn more about D&I, he turns to the news, to other D&I practitioners, and to eBay employees sharing personal experiences. He recommends anyone wanting to learn more about D&I to focus on human experiences over reading studies; he meets new people through either his personal network or at D&I-focused conferences.
And when he wants to see if his work is impactful, he doesn’t focus on metrics.
In one experience, Hooper-Campbell was visiting Salt Lake City, where eBay has over 300 employees, to march in the local Pride parade. One employee came up to him and shared that eBay was the first company he worked for where he felt comfortable coming out at work. Hooper-Campbell travels the world to eBay’s offices and recounted similar stories happening globally.
That, for him, is the true accomplishment.
“The moments that fuel me and make me feel like we are accomplishing something are those very real human moments that I can’t quantify… or put into a chart.”
By Guest Writer: Stefan Palios
Damien Hooper-Campbell returns to the Global Summit to speak on a panel about diversity & inclusion practices: what we got wrong, and what we learned from it. For more info or to buy tickets, visit movethedial.com/summit