Veterans Day is particularly important here at Dataminr because our employee population has a significant number of former and active members of the military. For us, these employees are a source of pride.
They are also vital to helping us continually foster a culture that is rich in diversity and inclusion—and in giving agency to retired and active service members both in and outside of Dataminr. I sat down with Joe Levy, Dataminr Senior Director of Enterprise Sales and Global Lead of the Service@Dataminr employee resource group (ERG) to explore what that looks like and how non-military affiliated employees can help.
Check out what Joe had to say.
It has certainly evolved over the years. I used to feel like my service in the Reserves was somehow less than those that served full time. But I think very differently about that now. I separated from the Army in 2007, so it's been a while. Now, I have a bit more perspective and realize that service is service either way.
I usually celebrate by covering my house in an obnoxious amount of American flags, and by thanking the people with whom I served. I also make it a point to connect with at least one person who's still serving. Whether I know the individual personally or through someone else, I want to make sure they know that they are appreciated.
I served as a drill sergeant for a few years, and one of the most important things I learned was the impact of paying attention to details. It has been incredibly valuable throughout my career and has helped me to excel in whatever job I’ve had, more effectively work with customers and successfully coach and mentor my teams.
It also was imprinted on me that people are the most important asset, so I make it a priority to understand my teams’ needs and what is required to help each person thrive. At a high level I’m guided by the servant leadership philosophy and its principles, which are taught and highly regarded in the military. I fully embrace both because they help ensure our joint missions, that of me and my teams, are successful.
The military also taught me how to relate to and make meaningful connections with customers and prospects, especially those who spent time in the public sector at some point in their careers. There is a special bond that immediately becomes apparent.
Let our veterans know that you appreciate their service. A simple thank you goes a really long way. It’s also important to learn the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. On Veterans Day, we acknowledge people for their military service, whereas Memorial Day is about remembering those that gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.
I think many people often look at these holidays as just a day off from work. So while I believe we should enjoy the time off, we should also use it as an opportunity to show our veterans just how much we appreciate them and their service. One way the general public can help, at any time, is to guide veterans transitioning out of military service and help them understand how their experiences translate into the civilian workplace.
While a large number of those providing assistance are veterans, you don’t have to be a veteran to help a veteran. Civilian experience and expertise are wanted and needed—from helping to write resumes that effectively incorporate military skills, to sharing insights on the realities and expectations of a civilian career.
It starts with awareness and training in the hiring process. Many recruiters don't know how to look at a military resume and translate the skills and experience they see to civilian job opportunities. As all organizations can benefit greatly from hiring veterans, training talent acquisition teams on the right way to read a military resume should be a priority. This not only makes it easier for recruiters to identify strong veteran candidates, but widens and diversifies companies’ overall talent pools.
And then there is the need for companies to provide mental health support and resources, especially for recently transitioned service members. One of the most common workplace challenges facing the veterans I know is feeling very alone and unable to connect with colleagues. Some are simply unprepared to enter the civilian workforce. This of course can be addressed by a specific veteran or service-oriented ERG, like we have at Dataminr. A sense of community is hugely important.
I’m proud of the work Dataminr has done to recruit and hire veterans as well as those currently serving. They are some of the most talented people in the company and are able to be successful because their skills and experiences are appropriately leveraged and matched to the right roles. I believe this is one of the reasons we have a lot of former service members in leadership positions.
Equally important is the strong community and support system that our Service@Dataminr employee resource group (ERG) has created—for our veterans, active service members and others who have “served” in some other capacity. We provide safe spaces for discussions, resources and learning sessions. We also serve as advocates for our ERG members to ensure they have what they need to flourish.
I’d like to think we celebrate our veterans every day as the holiday is a mere 24 hours. This year we’ve decided to use social media to spotlight our amazing and talented vets. They’ll share what Veterans Day means to them and what they’re doing to celebrate it.
Our ERG will also continue to partner with, and lend our skills to, organizations that support transitioning veterans and those thinking about transitioning. It's fulfilling for both our ERG members and the veterans we help.
For me, what we do is an extension of my service. I wouldn't be where I am in my career today without my time in the military so I am thankful to have the opportunity to give back.
Interested in joining our team? Check out our open roles.
Robin Strup is Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Dataminr. She has over 25 years of experience in DEI strategies and communication across multiple organizations and industries. Robin is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Executive Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management leadership program with a passion and expertise in leveraging behavioral science interventions to improve business outcomes.