nCino’s affinity groups are organic and employee-led, with a focus on building connection and belonging among employees and providing resources to the broader nCino community. Recruiting diverse talent, professional and leadership development, mentoring and community outreach are also core purposes of the groups. Each affinity group includes executive sponsorship and a connection to the Diversity and Inclusion Council.
In this series, we’re excited to offer a deeper dive into the members and goals of each affinity group. In celebration of Pride Month, we’re highlighting nPride.
nPride kicks off Pride Month celebrations with a beach cleanup.
nPride was founded in 2019, first as an informal Slack channel for employees to connect with fellow LGBTQ2IA+ identifying colleagues. Later in 2021, the group became an official nCino affinity group, with the goals of providing support to LGBTQ2IA+ identifying employees and educating allies on the importance of living these identities openly and how that freedom can contribute to nCino’s success. The group creates avenues for employees across the company who might not otherwise interact with one another to form friendships with shared identity as a starting point. The group is led by Katie Jones, Matt Lukens, Emily Shull, Cass Stroehmer, Clifton Williams, Jess Jansen, Marina Pastoriza, Julie Dermati and Rob Martin.
“I applied to work for nCino because of a LinkedIn post about nCino’s inclusiveness and diversity,” says Jess Jansen, Associate Scrum Master. “I can be openly nonbinary, and people respect it. Trans and gender-nonconforming folks are not looked down upon or treated like there’s something wrong with us. Being part of this group has also allowed me to participate in events for the other affinity groups as an ally, allowing me to learn more about other people’s experiences and how to support them.”
For Pride Month, nPride held a series of events and opportunities to learn, connect and celebrate. First up was a beach cleanup at Wrightsville Beach, followed by a casual meet up at Bitty & Beau’s in nCino’s headquarters for morning coffee.
Last week, nPride hosted a drive-in movie night in the headquarters parking lot featuring a showing of The Imitation Game, a film based on the true story of Alan Turning, a British cryptographer during World War II. Turing is remembered for the Turing machine and is renowned as the father of theoretical computer science. Prosecuted for his sexuality in 1952, he was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.
To end the month, the group is hosting a panel discussion featuring nCino employees across the LGBTQ2IA+ identity spectrum, focused on intersectionality. Through this discussion, the nPride group aims to bring understanding to the ways in which various aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create modes of discrimination and privilege.
“nPride provides me opportunities to interact with a broader intersection of the LGBTQIA2S+ community than I might otherwise in my personal life,” says Matt Lukens, Architect. “I have come to better understand a wider array of individuals and their perspectives, which in turn helps me more deeply empathize with and better support my colleagues, friends, and loved ones.”
nPride events that to support and educate employees go beyond Pride Month. Earlier this year, in partnership with Women nTech, nPride supported a fireside chat with Dory Weiss, nCino’s Head of Sustainability and ESG, and Cassidy Lamb, Engineering Enablement Program Manager. Their discussion centered around Dory and Cassidy’s intersecting career paths, the ways women can empower each other in the workplace, and how that practice has shaped both of their careers. Last year’s Pride panel, called “Together nPride: These Are Our Stories” featured several nCino employees (Dean Cooper, CR DeVries, Trey Howard, Emily Kaplan, Emily Shull, Matt Southards and Dory Weiss) sharing their diverse experiences, moderated by nPride leader Katie Jones.
nPride also aims to give back to the community and looks for ways to support LGBTQ2IA+ community members. A favorite volunteer spot for the Wilmington chapter of nPride is at the Wilmington Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, sorting and organizing food donations.
Wilmington nPride members sort corn and potatoes at the Food Bank
Last summer, members of nPride gathered with a large group at the Board of Education hearing to offer support to trans and other marginalized youth as the school board voted on whether or not to allow middle school students to participate on the sports team corresponding with their gender identity. The group also advocated for an intersectional curriculum and opportunities for all students to see their stories reflected in what they study. nPride hopes to use nCino’s presence in our global communities to support LGBTQ2IA+ communities through words, actions and time.
“This group has been instrumental in me “coming out” – not as just a member of the LGBTQ2IA+ community, but as a whole, realized person,” says Emily Shull, Software Engineer. “I have been in environments where it felt like part of my identity was irrelevant or inappropriate to discuss, as if it did not carry a large bearing of my total self. This group has an amazing energy of acceptance and welcomed me with such open arms; it made me want to be who I wanted to be, completely and proudly, everywhere and every day of my life.”