“Adobe For All” Comes to Life

Katie Juran speaks on stage to kick off the Adobe For All Summit.
“Adobe For All” Comes to Life

Twelve hundred Adobe employees were in the room, and it felt like every single one was holding their breath. You could hear a pin drop. Betty Reid Soskin, turning 97 this week, quietly spoke about segregation, discrimination, democracy, and the power of each individual to shape the future. As she finished, the room loudly exploded into a standing ovation.

On September 6, our diversity and inclusion vision — we call it “Adobe For All” — came to life in a powerful, colorful and unforgettable day at the Adobe For All Summit. Held at the San Jose Convention Center, we had three goals for the day: empower attendees of all levels to own and drive their careers; inspire and equip — especially people managers — to help others be successful; and activate attendees as champions for the Adobe For All vision.

Adobe’s commitment to progress

Before we can ask any employee to give our diversity and inclusion efforts their full commitment, we need to show that we too are fully invested. At the Adobe For All Summit, we shared an update on our progress, including articulating a new fourth pillar of our diversity and inclusion strategy — industry:

  • Pipeline: Expanding access to technology education and real-world experience for underserved and underrepresented youth.
  • Candidates: Attracting and hiring candidates of all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
  • Employees: Empower everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow their careers.
  • Industry: Working with customers, suppliers, partners, and peers to move all workplaces and practices forward.

Helping our employees grow and develop is the most critical element of maintaining a strong and diverse workforce over time. As part of the Summit, we unveiled some exciting new programs for our employees:

  • A new Career Growth initiative, designed to help employees Learn, Stretch and Move in their career. “Learn” includes all the internal and external training and development programs we offer; “Stretch” covers all the ways employees can take on new challenges, including our Pro Bono community and Board Service programs, Employee Network leadership roles, and our Kickbox programs among many others; and “Move” is our Adobe Careers Program, designed to help employees find new internal roles when they’re ready for a new challenge.
  • A new Learning Fund program, offering new reimbursement benefits to all employees globally. We now offer $10,000 USD annually to use toward certifications and other tailored education programs, in addition to accredited degree programs. Additionally, employees have an extra $1,000 USD annually to use toward conferences, webinars, one-day courses, etc. for them to pursue their own developmental goals.
  • Expansion of our parental leave program, providing all eligible parents up to 16 weeks paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child. Previously, we had offered two levels of parental leave benefits depending on whether the parent was acting as a primary or secondary caregiver, but we have now removed that distinction making 16 weeks available to every new parent.  Birth mothers will continue to receive additional time for medical leave, meaning a total of 26 weeks of fully paid leave.

Bringing inspirational stories to life

For inclusion to move forward, everyone needs to feel empathy for what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. Our Adobe For All Summit helped amp that up through tremendous mainstage speakers and a powerful video featuring our employees.

In addition to Betty Reid Soskin’s priceless commentary, we had Dr. Vivienne Ming, a theoretical neuroscientist, who asserted that “everyone is amazing” while highlighting the significant barriers that under-represented groups can face. We also had company founders Shan-Lyn Ma of Zola, Ramona Ortega of My Money, My Future, and Nick Taranto of Plated, who inspired listeners to take risks and trust their ideas, even if others don’t immediately understand your vision. Finally, we capped off the day with Tan France, star of Emmy award-winning Netflix show “Queer Eye,” about the importance of trusting and being who you are.

Tan France (left) chats with Donna Morris, Adobe's EVP of Customer & Employee Experience (right)

Putting Adobe For All into action

Activating our leaders and employees in one incredible day was exciting. But what matters is really driving change over time, whether any individual employee was part of the event or not.  We closed the day with five ways that everyone can make Adobe a more diverse and inclusive place to work — including how to appreciate and enhance diversity on teams while strengthening communication and inclusion.  Stay tuned for an upcoming blog series where I will outline those actions that any workplace can take.

To our speakers, executives, employees and support team who made the Adobe For All Summit possible:  Thank you.  This is a giant milestone on a long and exciting journey to make #AdobeForAll everything it can be.

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