Welcome to the New Year!
While we didn’t have a Solarian Spotlight in January, we knew our February one would be a real joy. This month we are directing the spotlight on Tiffani Muckelroy.
Tiffani has been with SolarWinds for almost a year and currently leads our People of Color community group. As a global company, it would be easy to say we are naturally diverse and accepting of others. However, we know simply having a global team does not necessarily promote tolerance and understanding.
E in our CARE values is Empathy, “Solarians demonstrate curiosity, always seeking to learn and understand. We appreciate each other and embrace our mission, values, and people-first culture.” By supporting and growing our DEI groups, such as POC, we are ensuring that all Solarians feel like they have a community and are respected for who they are, regardless of who that may be.
So, in recognition of all the awesome Tiffani has done with the POC community and in honor of Black History Month, we spoke with Tiffani to hear what she has to say and why she feels so strongly about leading the SolarWinds POC community.
Tell us about your journey to SolarWinds and how you learned about the People of Color community.
I first discovered SolarWinds during my time at one of the VARs SolarWinds partnered with. When researching my next move, I was specifically looking for a company with an intentional focus on diversity and supporting diverse communities. I also wanted to ensure our communities were reflected in the leadership team.
I was lucky to be recruited at SolarWinds and was sure to ask about DEI practices within the organization. One of the first items I wanted to complete within my first 90 days was to get involved in our People of Color community. This is how I discovered our group, and with my passion for DEI, I translated that passion into leadership within this community.
What is the mission of the POC community at SolarWinds? Who can join?
Our mission is to embrace our identity as People of Color at SolarWinds and drive awareness of all the diverse communities that make up our broader Solarian community. We provide a voice for Solarians with diverse backgrounds and embrace the unique qualities we all bring to SolarWinds. Anyone is welcome to join, whether as a POC or as an ally.
We are able to support this mission by focusing on three key objectives:
- Drive awareness to Solarians of the diverse communities within SolarWinds
- Educate Solarians on inadvertent forms of racism and inequalities in the workplace
- Provide a voice for Solarians of Color and embrace the value we bring to SolarWinds
How did you become a leader of the POC community, and what does that entail?
I became a leader simply by raising my hand and getting involved. I believe you must truly have a passion for this sort of leadership.
DEI initiatives are blooming today, but this is a recent phenomenon. Because it is in its infancy, leading a successful group requires sweat equity to shape and mold a community such as this. It requires many volunteer hours outside of working hours and a true commitment to further your community. We work hand in hand with our People Leaders to ensure the community is supported and set up for success. I absolutely love it, and it is very rewarding – but it’s also hard work!
You’ve chosen to lead the POC community outside of your job responsibilities. What has drawn you to this responsibility?
I lead because I truly have a passion for our community.
At a prior company, I was the first black female leader, which was not an easy feat. We are at a pivotal time right now when it comes to representation, especially within the tech industry. I often do not see people who look like me in leadership roles or represented in the C-Suite. This has to change, and that change starts with leading communities such as the People of Color Community at SolarWinds.
Unfortunately, despite the progress we’ve seen, POC, especially women, are often paid much less than their white male counterparts and are often not able to achieve promotions as quickly. And while I identify specifically with black women, our POC community recognizes men are also facing lower pay compared to their white male counterparts.
The following equal pay statistics from 2021 are often quoted:
- Black women are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid 75 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- Native women are paid 51 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- Latinas are paid 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
This is a key driver to the why behind my leadership. I want to spread these facts so they become common knowledge, ensuring POC have a voice – only then do we have a chance of eliciting change within our organizations.
How is the POC community highlighting Black History Month globally?
We will highlight Black Solarians across the organization and celebrate black culture and historical figures throughout the month.
Learn more about SolarWinds
At SolarWinds, we CARE. Our core values are Collaborative, Accountable, Ready, and Empathetic. Each of us at SolarWinds prides ourselves on striving to embody these values when working with customers, shareholders, partners, other employees, and the communities in which we live. We’re thankful for Solarians like Tiffani, who demonstrate these characteristics in her everyday role and in her dedication to the POC community.
SolarWinds continues to grow across all sites and departments (engineering, IT, marketing, and sales), constantly adding new positions. Our Global Internship Program partners with students early in their careers in collaborative research and development work, work-study opportunities, and specialized learning activities. If you’re interested in working for an industry leader and joining a culture focused on learning and collaboration, check out our career opportunities