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Meet Coupang Ads DE&I affinity group

minute read

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Coupang Ads hosted an event on March 8th to celebrate International Women’s Day, where the entire organization came together for diversity, equity, and inclusivity.   

Coupang Ads aims to deliver one of the most valuable advertising solutions in the world. Comprised of teams in Sales, Marketing, Operations, Business Development, Sales Enablement, and more, Coupang fosters an environment where diverse experiences, genders, and ages coexist. This year, the DE&I affinity group within the SMB team catering to small to medium-sized advertisers, has broadened its scope to encompass the entire organization following its demonstrated success.   

This was disseminated to all members of the organization during the event, accompanied by a range of programs designed to deepen understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.   

Read more for insights, plans, and interviews with the affinity group from this day.    

 

What is DE&I? 

The event began by defining DE&I, given the lack of understanding on a universal level and awareness regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our current society. The concept of diversity was explained to encompass not just simple understanding based on gender or race, such as women or Asian. Instead, it was articulated to encompass a spectrum of traits, inclinations, and life experiences, such as immigrants, dual-income household, extroversion and more, enriching perspectives with a diverse array of personal attributes, preferences, and backgrounds. Coupang Ads previously conducted a survey with internal members, assessing their current awareness levels and identifying barriers to DE&I expansion, acceptance, and communication culture. Through this comprehensive examination, practical solutions for all employees were developed, steering away from just abstract ideals. Enhancing various positive metrics was established as the objective for 2024. 

 

Additionally, Coupang Ads introduced enacted policies within the organization for DE&I, including customized onboarding programs for new hires with diverse backgrounds, and taking into account external factors that were uncontrollable for account executives during evaluation and more. Current employee composition and organizational status, including gender ratio, turnover rate, were reviewed from diverse angles to introspect on the personal impact to each individual and necessity of DE&I, aligning with action plan and 2024 responsibilities.   

Various ideas were shared within the organization, including programs aimed at increasing understanding of diverse tasks at Coupang Ads, idea competitions to foster more participation and a sense of belonging for the development of work and organizational culture, a system enabling swift communication between leadership and team members for addressing team members’ difficulties and suggestions, and newsletters containing stories and more.   

Women who changed my life  

In the second part of the event, four speakers, including Caleb (Vice President of Coupang Ads), gave speeches on the theme of ‘Women who changed my life.’ Along with the talks about ‘person who I aspire to be,’ and ‘first love & mom,’ a female leader Clara shared her personal experiences as a working mother. Her story about the support she received from women around her and how her changed attitude towards various aspects after childbirth evoked empathy from the audience.  

Caleb not only introduced great women who influenced his life but also delivered a speech on how DE&I positively impacts the business, particularly in the advertising industry by sharing real success cases from other global companies. He also outlined personal goals aimed at fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace — encouraging active engagement among all discussion participants, considering diversity in hiring, facilitating equitable communications through regular round tables with individual contributors to hear more voices and more.    

DE&I champions 

The journey toward achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion is a complex and ongoing process that requires continuous commitment. Recognizing this, Coupang Ads has taken spontaneous steps to further develop the existing affinity group and appointed eleven dedicated champions from 2024 to spearhead a range of initiatives and to promote DE&I within the organization. These champions will play a crucial role in driving meaningful change and fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion.   

We have sat down with three of these champions, Jaye, Jenny, and Donmin to learn more about their perspectives and plans.    

How was the affinity group initiated?  

With the rapid growth of the Coupang Ads, various initiatives began to aim to ensure seamless integration for all members, including many women. Last December, DE&I champions were appointed to expand activities from SMB team to organization-wide. Not to mention, there was significant support and enthusiasm from Caleb, who leads the organization. 

 

It would require extra efforts. Was there a specific reason for joining the affinity group?  

Jenny: I have moved teams from Retail to Coupang Ads, and I wanted to assist new members in assimilating much like myself. I believe that a resilient organization stems from its empowered members. This belief sparked my interest in these initiatives and I am committed to exploring how we can contribute to positive changes.   

 

Are there current group members from various teams or backgrounds?  

There are various teams in the group. For instance, some are from the advertising sales team, while others focus on onboarding new advertisers. It is also interesting that we can benefit from diverse backgrounds even in this group. For instance, Jenny’s experience from a research company led us to analyze the organization’s diversity from a demographic standpoint. We also have an L&D expert, who facilitated surveys and members with a business development background, guided in PowerPoint presentation development. This diversity was also a great contribution to our successful event preparation.   

 

Then what criteria guided the selection of DE&I champions?  

As the concept of DE&I still remains unfamiliar to many. We sought candidates who can positively influence others, translate abstract concepts into tangible strategies and actions that drive measurable results, while we also ensure gender balance in the group.   

 

Have you observed personal changes since becoming a DE&I champion?  

Donmin: While preparing for this event, I discussed DE&I with my wife for the first time. The conversation made me reflect back my perspective and I received advice from her on how to approach DE&I.  

 

Have you encountered any challenges so far?  

We sought insights from experienced individuals from other affinity groups, focusing on overcoming challenges and making changes for our collective goals. Rather than making drastic changes from the beginning, we are trying to focus on sustainability and gradually foster small but consistent values.   

 

Lastly, what kind of group do you envision creating in the future?  

I hope to become a good exemplary benchmark. Recognizing the depth of each group member’s insights during our meetings, we are exploring various avenues to enhance understanding and participation, fostering continued engagement within the affinity group and the entire organization.   

 

 

Coupang is fostering an inclusive working environment through the convergence of spontaneous efforts, cultivating a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected. Explore more about Coupang’s DE&I on Coupang.jobs.