On September 6, we were proud to host our first ever Adobe For All Summit at the San Jose Convention Center in California. This Summit, dedicated entirely to diversity and inclusion, saw 1,200 Adobe employees from across the world engage in a day of inspiration and learning. With guest speakers and breakout sessions sprinkled throughout the day, there was a lot to take in from the event. Here are the top takeaways!
Connection is everywhere
When you meet someone new for the first time, it can be difficult to begin a conversation. What do you talk about? Breaking the ice can be daunting for some, but one of the first things that the Adobe For All Summit made clear was that connection can be found anywhere! This came to life in the badging process, where employees were asked to write down their personal hobby or passion in a section on their badge that said “Ask me about…” Walking through the sea of attendees, answers included: “being a twice,” “living abroad,” “folk dancing,” “learning Spanish,” and more. Through this simple exercise, there was a constant air of genuine curiosity to learn more about our fellow colleagues. Making connections never felt so easy.
Don’t be afraid to go off script
One of the first lessons that guest speaker Dr. Vivienne Ming shared was to not be afraid to go off script. Dr. Ming, who made it clear early on that she was going to speak to the audience candidly, showed us with confidence that a good story doesn’t always have to have structure. Aside from moving away from her prepared presentation, Dr. Ming also showed us that going off script also including the way one navigates their career. This was evident when she shared how she was the first woman to develop a predictive model of diabetes for her son, when she realized that nothing had been done in the field yet.
Reinvention has no age limit
Betty Reid Soskin is the perfect example of someone who embodies the theme of reinvention. At 96 years old, Betty is currently an author, activist and park ranger—a feat that many people half her age have yet to accomplish. Throughout her long career, Betty taught us all that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. When asked what the secret to her youth and activity were, Betty’s answer was candid: “I’m still having first time experiences.”
The last half of the day featured entrepreneurs Shan-Lyn Ma of Zola, Ramona Ortega of My Money, My Future, Nick Taranto of Plated and Tan France from the Emmy award-winning Netflix show “Queer Eye.” Although their careers differed greatly from each other, there was a common thread that connected them—the intuition to trust in their vision. When faced with challenges, all of these entrepreneurs took risks and relied on their intuition to see their vision come to life.
We’re extraordinary together
Of all the lessons that the Adobe For All Summit taught attendees, this one was the clearest. Although the Summit was only comprised of 1,200 employees, we all ended the day with a very clear call to action, to spread the Adobe For All vision so that all 19,000+ employees from around the world can benefit from it and thrive in a diverse and inclusive workplace. As said by Donna Morris, Adobe’s Executive Vice President of Customer and Employee Experience, “People are our greatest asset.” It takes a collective effort from all of us to drive meaningful change and make positive impact, and through these actions, we are extraordinary together.
Learn more about what Adobe For All means to us and visit our diversity and inclusion site.