Celebrating Latinx Heritage at Tinder

Posted on:
October 7, 2022
If everyone on our app were the same, Tinder wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. The same goes for our workplace: our differences make us better, and stronger. This Latinx Heritage Month, we sat down with Shelina (Sr. Training Specialist) and Thelma (Product Designer), leaders of our Latinx@Tinder ERG, to talk about their experiences as employees and community leaders at Tinder.

How long have you been with Tinder and what inspires you to stay?

Thelma: I’ve worked at Tinder for about a year and a half. During my time here, there has been increasing interest in how people speak about social impact efforts. It’s been an excellent opportunity for me to participate in the conversation with a well-known brand. I’m continuing to build my career at Tinder due to our discussions in the social impact space, and the people I work with are having exciting and innovative conversations. 

Shelina: I've worked at Tinder for four years. I’ve worked in the tech industry for most of my career and knew I wanted to continue my journey in tech. When I found Tinder, I was seeking companies that resonated with people. I applied and interviewed, and everyone I met was very welcoming and warm. This stuck with me, and I wanted to move forward with Tinder. 

How did you become a leader of the Latinx ERG?

S: I’ve been doing this for three and a half years. When I joined Tinder, I naturally started taking on some Latinx initiatives. Our coworker, Esteban, was organizing this ERG, and I came in to support the goals. I’ve enjoyed contributing to the evolution of this ERG over the last several years, creating a safe space for members, volunteering, and giving back to the community! As an ERG, we have advocated for Tinder to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, and recognize our initiatives and cultures.

T: I joined the Latinx ERG earlier this year and have learned so much from Shelina, since she’s been here from the beginning! My interest in participating was sparked by seeing Shelina create space and foster inclusivity for our Latinx members. It has been amazing and empowering to see our membership grow, and to see all cultures be recognized within Tinder. 

Can you tell us about who you are, and how you’re able to bring your authentic self to work?

T: Working at Tinder has helped me find my voice in different spaces. A year ago, I would have been the quietest person in the room, not knowing how to express myself in the workspace. I’m queer and Latinx, so there are many layers to my existence. I have a space to foster my intersectionality within Tinder. 

Having a work-life balance has been very important to how I carry myself. I prioritize my mental health by running, having self-care moments, spending time with my family and community, going to the beach, and hanging out with my dog. 

S: Tinder is the first company I’ve worked for that has allowed me to be my authentic self. Over the years, I’ve had support from all of my managers. I’m a hardworking person, and at previous companies, my efforts were seen but not acknowledged. At Tinder, managers have pushed me to try new things and branch out of the traditional career path. My coworkers have also supported me from beginning to end in all aspects of my role. 

Outside of work, I’m very extroverted and don’t like being inside! I love hanging out with friends and family, traveling, and being by the beach. Tinder has supported my hobbies by providing unlimited PTO; I’ve felt that I have the space to disconnect from work and focus on my personal life.

The last few years have been difficult for marginalized communities; how has Tinder fostered an inclusive and supportive environment?

S: There are Latinx employees at different levels within Tinder, not just at the bottom. Seeing representation at different levels gives me confidence that there is a career path for someone from my culture. As an ERG, one of our goals is to increase Latinx representation at senior levels, and it's been great seeing our hard work pay off.

T: The Product Design team has been practicing check-ins before a meeting, and it has been great. Sometimes, within our community, it can feel 'off' to check in since it's not something we're used to. Making space for people to share their thoughts and experiences at their own pace in a safe environment has helped me understand others and myself. While it might seem like people are experiencing different things, there are a lot of similarities.

Has Tinder supported you in any other ways?

T: Coming from other companies, even if you had PTO, it was forbidden for you to take it. At Tinder, managers encourage their employees to take time off and disconnect. Tinder has one of the most generous benefits packages available that feels supported by the mental health and wellness events the company offers.

S: In other workplaces, it’s been challenging to take PTO. Even if you take the time, you feel like you're burdening your team or must ask someone else to pick up your work while you're gone. At Tinder, people are very supportive and will ask to support your workload while you're out of the office before you have to ask. It's not just your team that is helping you, but the whole company. Our HR encourages and actively reminds you to take time off, process whatever is going on, and disconnect. There is less pressure, and I don't feel guilty taking time off. 

Can you tell us about a moment when you felt happy or proud to work at Tinder?

T: Seeing initiatives around our social impact projects and conversations happening at a C-Suite level has been empowering. We’ve had brainstorming sessions with C-Suite regarding these efforts, asking what more we could do to foster an inclusive environment for our members on the platform. Tinder cares about the impact that we have and is backing it up.

S: Once upon a time, Tinder didn’t have an internal training team. Seeing the progression from no training team to a built-out department and a formalized training program for our internal employees has been phenomenal. Having a space where your ideas are taken seriously is invaluable; you can speak on something and collaborate with your team in a safe space.

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