Whether you’re interested in joining our growing team or simply want to know more about the people behind the platform, this article series is for you.
Having already sat down with Gemma, Chris and Carl, we’ve now nabbed 10 minutes with our head of experience Vimla Appadoo. We ask Vim about her role and career journey, the Culture Shift team, the impact our software is making and her sources of inspiration.
Hi Vim. Can you tell us a little bit about the role of head of experience and what it involves?
My job is to make sure that all of our experiences are seamless and happy across the product and for the Culture Shift team. I work with the product team to develop new parts of the platform, as well as continuously iterating on existing features and workflows. The rest of my time is spent supporting the culture at Culture Shift and working with the team to ensure everyone is happy and healthy.
That’s not a role you find in many companies of this size. What has been your journey to get to this point?
I've got a background with tech-for-good start-ups, having run a tech-for-good start-up accelerator early in my career. I then transitioned into service design and culture design working across the public and private sector and have run a couple of businesses at the same time. I do a lot of public speaking and I'm incredibly passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and how we can foster positive cultures to help people flourish, and I've even been on TV a couple of times too.
I've picked up a few accolades along the way, and taking my mum to an award show wearing saris is absolutely one of my career highlights - and not only because I managed to scoop an award (Rising Star Award for the Public Sector).
What do you enjoy most about being part of Culture Shift?
Above and beyond, my favourite thing is the culture. The team is incredible and I feel like I work with the best people in the sector. We all work well together, look after each other and deliver amazing work. I couldn't really ask for much more.
How would you describe that culture to someone who doesn’t work here?
Welcoming, honest and progressive. We all do our best to have open and honest conversations, no matter how uncomfortable they might be.
What advice would you give someone starting there tomorrow?
Take your time and enjoy it. No one will expect you to know everything at once and we've set up our onboarding journey to try and help you feel at home. Always ask and don't be afraid to have an opinion.
What excites you most about the work Culture Shift does?
The tangible impact that we have on making a difference to people's lives. In my role, I get to speak to a lot of people and hear their experiences of workplace bullying and harassment. It's absolutely humbling to hear the difference that our platform could have made to their lives.
Okay, let’s look at where you go for inspiration. Are there any books, blogs, podcasts, etc. that you’ve been spending time on recently?
I'm reading Hood Feminism: The stories that white women forgot. It's about intersectional feminism and how to design a feminism for the future that brings true equality for all. Alongside that, I'm also making my way through Maya Angelou's autobiographies and it's left me completely in awe and inspired. Other than that, I listen to I Weigh and Hip Hop Saved My Life religiously.
Who or what inspires you?
My mum and aunties inspire me the most in my life. I'm lucky to have a life filled with strong female role models, who have consistently juggled working full-time, having a family and embedding the most wonderful family values in me. I wouldn't be where I am without my family and the deep and rich culture that's shaped the person I am.
What are your passions and interests outside of work?
I'm a powerlifter, and have competed and can't wait to compete again. I love pushing myself at the weight machines. I'm also big into fermenting - things like kombucha and kefir and I'm writing a book on Culture Design at the moment too. I also have a rabbit, Eddie, who makes me laugh all the time.
And finally, what technologies, apps or platforms would you struggle to live without?
I wouldn't be able to live without WhatsApp, it's how I stay in touch with all my friends and family - me and my cousins have a massive WhatsApp group of all 40 of us around the world, and we chat all the time! I couldn't be without it.