Thrilled to be speaking with Heather Jin, Global Head of Social Impact at Medallia, on our seventh episode of Changemakers from Within. For the full episode, listen here or where you get your podcasts:
Heather joined Medallia on the Professional Services team. Soon enough, three years flew by at the company and her passion for social impact continually came to the forefront of her career development goals. At the same time, Heather shares that she did not exactly know what Corporate Social Responsibility looked like at an organization like Medallia. All she knew was that she was passionate about giving back. From there, her side hustle at Medallia began.
Heather started with small volunteer events for their team, and when the pace began picking up she reached out to executives at the company and other folks at technology companies. Determined to make positive change, Heather ultimately founded and scaled Medallia’s social impact arm, Medallia.org.
To the Top
Heather saw a desire at Medallia to support their communities and amplify the impact of those already doing so. Heather knew she had to be strategic in order to make concrete changes at the company. So, besides organizing newsletters and planning volunteering events, she started meeting with CSR officials at other tech companies. Here, she learned that in order to implement CSR at Medallia, she would have to highlight and hone in on what the company’s strengths already are. “This could be branding, hiring, product expansion and innovation, or increases in your sales pipeline”, she shares.
Heather advises other individuals interested in CSR to “go straight to the top.” Heather tells us that she was knocking on doors of the VP levels, but saw concrete changes after asking CHRO and CEO’s.
Now how exactly did Heather formalize Medallia.org? She lays this process out in two simple steps. First, she advises to show momentum in the movement- that is, find a way to show that employees care about CSR. Next, have an executive sponsor as a leader and soundboard throughout the process.
Finding Your Superpower
“Find what your superpower is and hone in on that, and then find how that intersects with social impact.” This quote is a sentiment that Heather says she tells everyone. She even lays out clear examples of this for us. “If your company exceeds in finance, then funding and granting may be how your organization implements CSR. If your superpower is HR, then it may be volunteerism, and if it’s marketing, then it may be content management.” The list goes on and on.
We finish our conversation with Heather by discussing what’s next for social impact programming at Medallia.org. She was thrilled to share upcoming plans to connect the people on the product side at Medallia. “So many medallians are passionate about customer experience, and have skills that are transferable to non profit orgs.” Next, Heather is excited about the idea of some type of pro bono skill based volunteering. Lastly, Heather wants to keep focusing on three main areas and maintain flexibility for what is needed at Medallians.
“My north star is thinking about what the community needs, what employees need, and what our business wants to achieve, and then hopefully finding a marriage between those three.”