Groupon scores 100% on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index 2017

Groupon scores 100% on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index 2017

INCLUSION & DIVERSITY

9 November 2017

A perfect score for Groupon in the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index for 2017

Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.

In the 2018 CEI report, 609 major businesses — spanning nearly every industry and geography — earned a top score of 100 percent and the distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”

Read the full report on HRC.

Natalie Vas – Business Development Representative

Natalie Vas – Business Development Representative

NATALIE “CaptaiNat” VAS

Business Development Representative – Things To Do
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2015

As aspiring guitarist CaptaiNat approaches her 3-year anniversary, she takes us on her Groupon voyage from the early days of our Phoenix office to now.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite memory is probably our grand opening party for the new Phoenix office. We had a photo booth where everyone had a blast dressing up for pictures, and a surprising amount of people in our office have killer karaoke skills. (Just not me!)

Who inspires you?

My DSM Grace inspires me! Anytime I’m frustrated or upset, she reminds me to stay positive, keep my head up, and believe in myself no matter what.

What’s your biggest accomplishment here?

The thing I’m most proud of about my time here at Groupon is how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown since first joining. I came from a customer service job (which I didn’t particularly enjoy), and when I first started at Groupon I didn’t necessarily have concrete sales experience. I was around before Groupon’s Sales training program was built out, so we only spent one week training before I made my first call. The training at that time was “trial by fire,” but it worked out for the best because that’s how I learned to be more confident on the phone! I was the prime example of “fail forward.” Our manager always encouraged us to “just do it” anytime we were afraid to call a merchant.

It can be really hard when people tell you “no” all day, but all of those “no’s” have helped me learn how to be more confident both on the phone and in real life, too! Fast forward to today: I’m coming up on my third-year anniversary, and I’m so proud I’ve been around to see this office grow from using iPhones to where we’re at today.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I love being on the TTD (Things To Do)  team because we are getting people to check Groupon first for really awesome and unique things like brewery tastings and festivals…..or even pole-dancing classes!

 

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I was in the third hiring class in Phoenix, so when I first started, we were all in this tiny room making calls on iPhones. My first impression was, “oh man, what did I get myself into!” But, I was blown away by how great everyone was, and how committed we were to building out the Phoenix office into what it is today!

What differentiates Groupon from other companies with Sales teams?

A bunch of my friends work at other companies doing very similar jobs, but at the end of the day, they don’t have the office culture we do! What makes Groupon so special is a little bit of everything. It’s not just the people, but all the crazy contests and spirit days we’re always doing! Cold calling businesses and sales, in general, is not always the easiest job, but playing Catchphrase, having our weekly Wednesday Breakfast Club, team outings, and all of my coworkers keep me sane during the harder days. Plus, our Halloween costume contest was pretty amazing.

What do your parents think you do?

A direct quote from mom: “you sell stuff to people, like on that show ‘The Office’ right?” – close mom, close.

Are you involved in any of Groupon’s ERGs?

Yes! I’m a member of PRIDE@Groupon.

Why do you participate in PRIDE@Groupon?

I joined PRIDE@Groupon because it’s a cause that’s close to my heart. I want to be a part of anything we can do to create more awareness and support!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

My personal goal for Q4 is to learn how to play one song on the guitar. I’m already halfway there!

Give us a glimpse of your workspace:

Natalie’s desk aka “organized chaos”

 

If you could do another job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would be a unicorn trainer, because who wouldn’t want to hang out with unicorns all day?

Pride@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Stephen – Project Manager, Recruiting Operations

Stephen – Project Manager, Recruiting Operations

STEPHEN GARVEY

Project Manager, Recruiting Operations
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011 & 2014

Stephen is one of Groupon’s “boomerang employees” who left and returned shortly thereafter due to missing the people and culture. However, he could’ve come back more quickly if he had been on that hoverboard…

Who inspires you?

My wife is an ICU nurse, so she literally deals with life and death situations every day. It amazes me that she’s able to continuously head in and deal with that. It’s really helpful to have that reminder that while our jobs at Groupon are challenging and can be stressful, it’s not life and death. We’re just trying to help make life fun for our customers.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I thought that the office was really big. At the end of my first day, I got a little lost and ended up taking a staircase that let me out in the custodial area. I had to walk around in there for a while before I found someone who could let me out.

How does your role impact Groupon’s mission of becoming the daily habit in local commerce?

My role is to work on systems and processes that are used by our recruiting team. I’m helping make their jobs easier so they can go out and find the best talent to add to Groupon.

So why did you leave Groupon then come back?

I received an offer from another large company that seemed like a logical next step in my career, and I felt that it was too good to pass up. However, I was definitely reluctant to leave Groupon. I ended up staying in the office until 7 pm on my last day because it was so hard to say goodbye. In the end, the things that I missed the most about Groupon were the people and the energy of the office. There’s definitely a sense of team and community that just doesn’t exist everywhere. I was back within three months of leaving.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Groupon, Love Local – –
Just making life less boring – –
A great place to work!

What’s your proudest accomplishment while working at Groupon?

I recently worked on a project that was tasked with onboarding our entire global recruiting function onto one unified Applicant Tracking System. It was a completely new challenge for me and I learned a lot. It has been really exciting to see some of the wins that have come from that project.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would love to spend a day as the New York Mets mascot, Mr. Met. Everyone loves him, and it seems like he has a wonderful giant baseball-headed family. It’s a real fairy tale.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

My first job out of college was as a production assistant on the set of a very classy reality show called “I Want to be a Hilton,” starring Paris’ mom, Kathy.

Nominate a teammate (or two) for a superlative!

Groupon World Headquarters

Wendell – Business Development Representative

Wendell – Business Development Representative

WENDELL WALKER

Business Development Representative – Health, Beauty, Wellness
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

Teammate Superlatives!

When he’s not busy closing merchants for one of Groupon’s biggest vertical, he’s busy creating music videos in his head. But really, we just want to know where he got that amazing coffee mug.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I would have to say, my favorite Groupon memory was the day I graduated from the GroupOnboarding program. My boss gave me a pretty cool shoutout, letting everyone know I kept him up to date on all the hip lingo the kids were saying these days.

Who or what inspires you?

I would definitely have to say my mother is my biggest inspiration. Growing up, she always stressed the importance of setting goals and working hard to achieve whatever it was that you wanted. She pushed me to become involved, whether it was with sports, volunteer efforts, or mentor opportunities, and she stressed the importance of never giving up. She’s quite the go-getter actually, she puts me to shame!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Upon walking in, I couldn’t get over how diverse and laid back the atmosphere was. I saw people enjoying coffee together, coming in and out of conference rooms for meetings–it all seemed so natural to me.

Most importantly, what’s your favorite conference room name?

Tell us about your involvement with Pride@Groupon.

I joined Pride@Groupon because I think it is a fantastic opportunity to network with people from all different aspects of the company. I also think it’s great to have a sense of support when you work in such a large company. I recently moved here from out of state, so it’s nice to be able to connect with people who share similar interests to you. The Pride Parade is coming up and I cannot wait to walk with Pride@Groupon!

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be?

If I could do another job for a day, I would definitely be a creative director for music videos. A really weird fact about me is I’m constantly creating imagery for every song that I listen to, and I listen to music a lot. I always share my ideas with my friends and then I’ll have them listen to the song again right after I tell them, and 9 times out of 10, they are like, “WHOA that was spot on!” Other times they’re like, “You’re really weird Wendell.” I’ll take the 90% though!

“I believe what makes my job here at Groupon different from other companies with sales positions is that people here truly believe in the product we’re selling. You can hear the passion in the tone of the people surrounding you.”

What makes selling Groupon unique?

So many people come from completely different backgrounds, and everyone’s selling style is different, but it’s almost like a melting pot. I am able to pick up various nuggets of knowledge and strategies from people on my team, the sales trainers, and my manager. I truly love that about this company.

What does your mom think you do?

When I told my mother I got an offer to work for Groupon she said, “Ah, so you’ll work at a giant coupon factory!”

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

The dial tone starts

A sweat bead forms on my brow

Sigh, straight to voicemail

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I spent 3 months traveling alone in Europe, with no phone, and I didn’t lose any luggage or get anything stolen! I also got to spend Bastille Day in Paris, which was one of the coolest experiences I think I’ll ever have.

Pride@Groupon

Groupon World Headquarters

Pride@Groupon’s double-decker presence in 2017’s Chicago Pride Parade

Pride@Groupon’s double-decker presence in 2017’s Chicago Pride Parade

Groupon takes pride in fostering an inclusive work environment. All year long, Pride@Groupon—our LGBTQIA-focused Employee Resource Group—strategizes and executes on initiatives that benefit both LGBTQIA-identifying employees and merchants alike. June, aka Pride Month, is obviously an exciting time of the year for Pride, as each year Groupon participates in Pride parades across the globe. This year, in Chicago, Groupon employees marched through Boystown in a psychedelic-inspired double-decker bus, which boasted a mural illustrated by one of Groupon’s own designers, Bert Fanslow.

Nathan Bean, Pride’s current Communications Chair, helped to organize and execute Groupon’s presence in the parade. “I love working at a company that is all about inclusion and diversity. Being in the Pride Parade was a great way to show that to millions of people.” The most memorable part of the day, though? “The first turn the bus made as we entered the parade was amazing. As we made it, the crowd lit up with excitement. It was a wall of noise that brought a giant smile to my face. Looking at all the people who were having a blast just being around people they loved was astonishing.” Visit Aaron Bean Cinema to view more photos from Groupon’s parade presence.

While Pride month and the accompanying parades are definitely some of the biggest events of the year for Pride@Groupon, there are myriad other projects and events they have throughout the year. Below are some upcoming events for the Chicago chapter of Pride@Groupon:

September 22: WERQ Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair

October 1:  AIDS walk

Q3: Volunteering event serving dinner to LGBT and homeless youth at the Center on Halsted

Click here to learn more about the Employee Resource Groups at Groupon and how they’re positively impacting their local communities or follow us on Instagram @GrouponCareers to see more photos and boomerangs from Pride celebrations across the globe!

Abby & Jinting: Michigan seniors on the Application Security Team

Abby & Jinting: Michigan seniors on the Application Security Team

The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2016! We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad telling you about their experience tackling challenging problems and working with our teams.

Who are you?

Abby: Hi! My name is Abby Grobbel and I am interning with Groupon this summer! I will be a senior at the University of Michigan. I am studying computer science engineering with a minor in German language.

Jinting: Hey! My name is Jinting Hayter.  I am also a senior Computer Science student at the University of Michigan. This summer, Abby and I are on the Application Security (AppSec) team in Chicago.

Tell us about your team!

Abby: The AppSec team focuses on reviewing code and conducting tests on Groupon’s site to ensure secure implementation, as well as handling security threats and researching better ways to implement security. AppSec communicates with the rest of the engineering teams throughout development.

Jinting: I couldn’t have said it better myself. You might not typically hear that much about the security teams within Groupon, but we’re here and we’re important! There’s also this thing called ‘Red Team,’ which is where the security team does penetration testing and tries to exploit security flaws in Groupon’s website. Abby and I have been familiarizing ourselves with some hacking techniques over the past couple weeks in preparation for that.

What are you working on this summer?

Abby: I’ve been involved in building a web application to manage the security status of all of Groupon’s internal applications. Rather than manually sorting through over 500 applications, it gathers data from Groupon’s central repository and presents the team the most crucial applications that need security audits. Each application can be ‘grabbed’ by a member of the application security team and when the security check is done, marked as secure. Not only does this streamline the workflow for performing security audits within Groupon, it also allows the team to better visualize the scope of all vulnerable applications within Groupon and the team’s progress over time. It integrates a few different tools the team currently relies on, primarily a tool called Codeburner, which runs each application through a pipeline of tools to reveal security risks. Beyond just this project, discussing ways to remediate vulnerabilities and being included in the team’s discussions of new ways to improve security has been a great learning experience.

Jinting: I’ve also been working on the project Abby described in detail above. My role has been primarily integrating Codeburner into the dashboard, receiving burn data for a given service and sending it to get scanned for vulnerabilities by the Codeburner application. Another really cool project I’m starting to get  involved with is the Groupon Online Defense dashboard. Very simply, Groupon Online Defense manages web traffic to identify abusive actors by IP address. The dashboard is actually only one of three parts that make up the system – the other two parts being Behavioral Modeling and Repsheet. AppSec is mainly responsible for maintaining the dashboard, the UI component of the system, which allows users to view the status of the system in addition to manually submitting actions. It’s a very sophisticated and complex piece of software and I’m super excited that I have been given the opportunity to work on it!

What is it like working at Groupon?

Abby: So far everyone at Groupon has been extremely welcoming and willing to offer help and guidance when I need it. The quirky atmosphere makes coming to work everyday exciting and all the different events for engineers throughout the week definitely encourage a learning environment. It’s amazing being able to work for a company which consistently invests in the development of its employees.

Jinting: Ditto to what Abby said. Working at Groupon has been really awesome so far! Everyone has such a great attitude all the time and treats the interns like they would treat anyone else who works at Groupon, nothing less. I really enjoy working with my team as well. We all have great chemistry and help each other out when we see each other struggling, all while making sure we’re still having fun and not taking things too seriously!

Any highlights this summer?

Abby: For me, my summer highlights have been our architectural boat cruise of downtown chicago, attending the Pride Parade with Groupon’s float, and enjoying the many amazing places to eat in the city with the Groupon Chicago tech interns.

Jinting: So many! Getting to know the other interns and goofing around in the city has been really fun. Just a couple days ago, a bunch of us went to Taste of Chicago, and a couple weeks ago, we marched in the Pride Parade. P.S. 10/10, highly recommend. It was truly an amazing experience.

I recently started a program with the mission of getting the engineers in the Chicago office to get to know one another a bit more, in a casual setting. Essentially, teams are paired each week and are encouraged to grab lunch together, have interesting conversation, and maybe even learn a thing or two about how the other team operates. I was given the opportunity to pitch my idea to all the engineers at one of the weekly ‘Hello, Chicago!’ tech all hands meetings, and I got an overwhelmingly positive response. Over 24 teams have signed up so far! It began as a little idea, but with the help of my manager, I was able to reach out to the right people and the rest is history. My advice for future interns is just to be loud with your ideas and visions. You never know, it could really take off!

A Very Special Volunteer Spotlight: Christopher Heath-Morgan

A Very Special Volunteer Spotlight: Christopher Heath-Morgan

Groupon employees have some of the biggest hearts around, and Outside Senior Account Executive, Christopher Heath-Morgan, is no exception. In the wake of the tragic events in Orlando, Chris has sprung into action, doing what he can to support the community that he loves.

Name: Christopher Heath-Morgan
Department & Title: Sales, Outside Senior Account Executive
Office Location: Orlando

How long have you worked at Groupon?

4 and ½ years

What organization and/or cause fuels your passion?

While I have several causes I care about, the tragic events in Orlando this past Sunday have given me a singular focus — get as much help to the families of the victims as possible and help raise awareness for the LGBT community. This horrible crime has affected many close to me, and I have always had a strong stance on equality since I was raised by an openly gay Grandma.

What is your favorite volunteer memory while at Groupon?

My wife and I took time on Sunday to bring juice and snacks to a couple of the local blood banks to help them accommodate the huge turn out for blood donors (Yay Orlando!!). In the coming days, I will be working with several local restaurant groups to brainstorm and put together events and community gatherings to spread awareness and raise much needed funds. I know we can do some amazing things, so I am looking forward to following this up with some great successes!

What could you do with one hour?

This weekend’s tragedy reminds me that one hour has the power to change lives and it has inspired me to use that power to make a positive impact on my local community. I encourage my fellow Grouponers to get involved.

If anyone would like to help support the affected families in Orlando, local restaurant groups — TMG, Bento Group and VGroup — are collecting donations here: https://www.gofundme.com/ForOurCityOrlando.
For more information please visit www.PrayForOrlando.info.

Getaways, #LoveWins, and Groupon Seattle

Getaways, #LoveWins, and Groupon Seattle

The #GrouponU Blog is back for 2015! We’ll regularly feature a Groupon intern or recent college grad who will share their experiences tackling challenging problems and getting to know our teams. Today’s entry is from Maria, a Software Development Engineering Intern in Seattle.

Name: Maria
School: Harvard, ’17

At Groupon, Diversity is part of the Deal

When I walked in to orientation my first day, diversity was mentioned a lot during the welcoming presentation. However, it wasn’t until my internship started that I really experienced what was meant by “diversity is part of the deal.” Even though I spoke with Groupon employees at the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computer Science and knew they valued a diverse work environment, I didn’t realize how involved they were in actively promoting diversity.

Looking around the office, I saw that everyone decorated their laptops with stickers that promoted various diversity groups within Groupon. On one of my first days, I was handed a “Women at Groupon” tumbler cup from an Engineering director who wanted me to feel welcome in my new role. My floor at work has people from many different countries, so I often hear coworkers speaking other languages all around me. Throughout my time here, I’ve met nothing but open-minded individuals who really push for everyone’s input. I have never once felt that my opinions were not taken seriously due to my gender, the fact that I’m an intern, or anything of that nature. I love my coworkers and the work environment I have here at Groupon. Nothing is better than feeling a sense of belonging and acceptance no matter who you are.

Monumental Supreme Court Case decision, and how that affected my experience at the parade

On June 26th, just two days before the Seattle Pride Parade, I woke up to the news of the Supreme Court decision for the constitutional right for same-sex marriage. I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness that this right was finally being granted to so many Americans for whom marriage was not an option. Though I had signed up to attend the parade before this ruling, I was all the more excited to be walking in it with my fellow coworkers and interns.

I have never been in an event like the parade, so I was so excited when we were told the Groupon Seattle office would be participating. The turnout was amazing! We had about 25 people attending for Groupon and the crowd was so welcoming and happy. We handed out fans, stickers, and of course banana bunkers! I volunteered to dress as a banana just for this occasion. Though I know this was mostly because I was dressed as a bright big yellow banana, I was given so many hugs from strangers and I was able to put smiles on kids’ faces. I will never forget this experience and how it made me feel to see our office come together to support the LGBTQ community.

My project and my internship experience at Groupon thus far

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first tech internship. On my first day, I was nervous and excited to learn about my project and finally put my skills from school to the test. Currently, I am working on the Getaways Search team to implement a new badging feature in order to make hotels stand out in the search results. I am still discovering what interests me the most, but my managers took this into account when defining my project so I will be working with both the front-end and back-end teams.

I love my team and especially Getaways! The people around me are always there to answer the millions of questions I have and they never get tired of explaining things to me.

I also have a great relationship with my manager; we schedule weekly meetings so I can get any questions answered. Additionally, all interns get assigned to a mentor outside of their team to learn more about Groupon and other teams within the organization. My mentor and I go out out to lunch or talk at least once a week. There has been a tremendous amount of support for me during my time at Groupon.  I’ve learned so much and I feel so welcomed! This has become a great opportunity to find out what I love most about computer science and gain some real-world experience while also having a ton of fun.

Thanks for reading the Groupon Intern Blog–A blog about interns at Groupon. Learn more about our University Relations program here, and please let us know what you think in the comments below!