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We inspire inclusion at Appier

How does an AI scientist start a company and run it successfully for more than a decade? This is a question our CEO and co-founder, Chih-han Yu, receives a lot in interviews. At the founding of the company, the answer was to invite someone from a different field to join. Someone by the name of Wan-ling (Winnie) Lee who joined as the company’s COO and co-founder who could put concepts and ideas into actions and help find the best way to align the technology with the market’s needs. 

Since our inception, the act of including diverse perspectives and making room for different opinions has been at the root of our company. As we have grown from one office in Taipei to 17 offices around the world, from a 4-person team to a publicly-listed company with over 700 employees, we are committed to inspire inclusion both in the company and in our industry. We know that by including more people from all walks of life, we can build a company that caters to everyone around the world. 

This year, to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD)  and the campaign theme of “Inspire Inclusion,” we have interviewed a number of our Appiers, the official term for Appier employees, to include their voices in shaping the discussion and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Here is what they had to say.

What does DEI in the workplace mean to you? Why is it important?

“To me, DEI is about making everyone feel equal, respected, and supported. Its importance lies in making employees happier and more willing to stay with the company. Moreover, in the workplace, if there are more people with different backgrounds and perspectives, there can be more perspectives in discussions that lead to the company making better decisions,” — Yi-Ting Lee, Senior Scientist 

“Promoting DEI in the workplace is important because it allows employees to feel safe and be productive, as it reduces discrimination and prejudice while promoting the exchange of different cultures.” — Eva Chen, Director of Sales

“DEI entails creating an environment where all employees can have their unique experiences and backgrounds respected and acknowledged. This holds significant implications from an HR perspective. Research shows that companies with inclusive cultures foster creativity and innovation, leading to positive effects on organizational performance and efficiency. Furthermore, it enables the retention of top talent, enhances engagement, and can drive organizational culture innovation.” — Ellie Lee, HR Manager 

"DEI in the workplace isn't just about policies or procedures—it's about creating a culture where every person feels seen, heard, and valued. It's about recognizing that each of us brings a unique perspective, shaped by our background, experiences, and upbringing. DEI isn't just a buzzword; it's a commitment to empathy, understanding, and unity. It's about creating a space where everyone feels like they belong, where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated. That's why DEI means so much to me—it's about creating a workplace that feels like home." — Bo Sasiphan, Growth Advisor

There is an overwhelming sense from the multiple submissions we received that DEI is beneficial not only for employees on the professional and personal level but also for our company on the business level. Many of Appier’s managers keep inclusion in mind when managing their teams, making sure to include everyone and their perspectives in meetings and projects. 

How do you inspire inclusion at work? 

“As a manager, I try to be transparent about what we need to do, but I am also curious and open to different ways of achieving it. I aim to create a work environment where everybody is able to thrive, speak up and feel included by acknowledging that everybody is different and being interested and respectful of everybody's perspective.” — Bob Hollanders, Head of Sales and Account Management, US & EMEA

“I encourage active participation from everyone in meetings. By encouraging people to speak up and listen to different voices and perspectives, we can achieve effective understanding and communication, thus aiding in team collaboration and consensus-building.” — Eric Lai, Group Engineering Manager 

“Empathy is key. It is important for understanding others more. Whether we are at work or in life, if we want to be more inclusive, we must think more from other people’s perspectives. When the perspective changes, our understanding of the other person's thinking also changes. You get more information, and as a result, you become more inclusive and understanding of others.” — Lifang Qian, Head of Sales, Mainland China and Hong Kong

One of our core values at Appier is direct communication. We believe in being direct and outspoken, and as an organization, we have many avenues for our employees to give us feedback. For this IWD campaign, we asked our Appiers how we as a company can further promote inclusion. These are some of the great ideas we received: 

“I have heard of companies working with cultural and arts organizations to place artwork from or highlighting the cultures of black people, ethnic minorities, and female entrepreneurs in their offices. This is a subtle but effective way of including different people and their cultures in their employees’ everyday lives.” — Chiaole Liao, Legal Manager

“Short-term rotation of colleagues across different offices. This not only facilitates cross-country cultural exchange but also helps our colleagues view things from different perspectives.” — Jeffrey Liu, Senior Director of Product Management

"Use inclusive language in company materials, and provide unconscious bias training. Host events to introduce different cultures and celebrate special occasions such as International Women’s Day, LGBTQ Pride Day, etc.” — Amber Hou, Finance Manager 

“Although there are many female employees in the AM [Account Management] and CM [Campaign Management] departments, there are fewer female employees in the R&D department, especially the proportion of female supervisors. I hope to see more female engineers and supervisors in the company in the future.” — Judy Wu, Senior Software Engineer

As we celebrate International Women’s Day and inspire inclusion all month long, it is important to highlight why AI companies like Appier should be committed to inclusion. AI will transform life as we know it, but AI reflects the ideas, opinions, and biases of the people and information that train it. To make AI serve society better, we must have more diverse, equitable and inclusive teams training the technology that will shape our world. To this end, we at Appier pledge to inspire inclusion. 

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