Today, Eric Richard, HubSpot’s SVP of Engineering, was recognized as a Great Leader For All by Great Place to Work®. This award recognizes much more than just his achievements in his SVP role, though.
Eric’s the Co-Executive Sponsor of our Women@HubSpot Employee Resource Group, and a loving father and husband. He’s also an advocate and ally for diversity, inclusion, and belonging at HubSpot and in our community. And, he’s one of the most humble and empathetic leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for. Here are a few reasons why:
Always Be Growing, Always Be Listening
Before my first day at HubSpot, Eric was committed to helping me succeed. During the three months between accepting my offer and my first day, he spent the time onboarding me via email. Days, nights, weekends, he tirelessly answered all of my questions.
We talked about the company, the product, and team strategies. No question was stupid or out of bounds. I would ask a simple question, and he would answer with a paragraph. I was floored by how he was investing in someone who hadn’t even started yet. That level of support from a leader was absolutely incredible. In my mind, I hadn’t even shown my value, and here he was, answering my questions and encouraging me.
Eric has always made me feel empowered to do my best work by including me in every conversation, so that I always have the information I need to solve complex challenges within our product for our customers. He leads by listening, creating a space of psychological safety that allows his team to feel confident speaking up, sharing ideas, and giving him feedback so he continues to grow right alongside us all.
Baking Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging into Our Team Culture
As a leader on the Product and Engineering team, Eric’s very vocal about the importance of emphasizing diversity both within our teams and during the hiring process. And I’ve seen how this commitment has paid off.
Eric was brought into HubSpot six years ago with a mission to scale the size of the Engineering team and the breadth of the products we build. In addition to shepherding impressive growth, Eric has never let the focus on diversity fall to the wayside. (You can learn more about how we’re moving the needle on representation in Product and Engineering in HubSpot’s 2020 Diversity Report.) Of course there’s still a long road ahead, but Eric’s work has made traveling that path even smoother.
One thing he instills in every leader, manager, and individual contributor is the understanding that creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels as though they belong isn’t just something to talk about: it’s part of our job. To this end, we’ve written diversity and inclusion into HubSpot’s Engineering Leadership values under Eric’s guidance, including bullets on fostering a sense of team and mission through “strong, inclusive team-building” and the importance of “representing our mission, culture, and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging to candidates.”
In this spirit, our team has taken the opportunity to clearly communicate all of the ways current HubSpot Engineering employees can be allies. The latest on our internal Wiki, “No More Excuses: Actionable Ways You Can Impact Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Today,” includes everything from attending employee resource group meetings and volunteering for events put on by HubSpot’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging team to asking how you can help the recruiting team with sourcing and hiring diverse candidates. One thing I especially admire about Eric’s mission as SVP is to lead by example—he knows it’s not just about what he does, but also about how he helps the employees he leads to become better people, both at work and in their own lives.
Amplifying Other’s Voices
In my first one-on-one with Eric, he said, “I want you to question the status quo. I want you to come in with your own ideas and feel like you can challenge me.” The idea that a leader would say that to a new hire on their very first day stuck with me. Anyone who gets to know Eric, though, knows that making a space for others’ voices to be heard is just a part of who he is.
Whether he’s interviewing female engineering leaders through HubSpot’s Name Dropping Q&A series, or encouraging all employees to take part in discussions for our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Book Club series, he epitomizes HubSpot’s values of HEART found in our Culture Code and reminds us all of something that can be too easy to forget: when it comes to fighting inequality, there should be a shared responsibility for everybody to participate.
Congratulations again to Eric for being recognized as a Great Leader for All by Great Place to Work! All of us at HubSpot are so lucky to learn from such a humble and empathetic leader who cares so deeply about creating a workplace where everyone feels welcome.
I’ll leave you with Eric, in his own words, talking about what this year’s International Women’s Day theme, “Each for Equal” means to him.