Since its launch as a satellite radio company in the early 2000s, SiriusXM has grown to become the largest audio entertainment company in North America today, reaching 150 million listeners with brands that include SiriusXM, Pandora, Stitcher and others. As their audience has grown, so has their hiring, and SiriusXM is focused on diversifying its recruiting process and attracting technical women in key executive leadership roles.
Rita Gordon, SiriusXM’s Director of Technical Recruiting, shares her approach. “When attracting talent, I intentionally develop a robust talent pool of women and underrepresented talent making waves in the tech community which I have researched, pipelined and networked with.” Today, more than half the Product Development leadership team is women. It’s no surprise that the company was voted “Best Companies for Women” by Fairygodboss. We recently caught up with four women in leadership roles at the company, who shared stories from their career journeys and why they’re excited about the future of the company.
When a SiriusXM recruiter contacted Eva Woo Slavitt about joining the Product Development team as VP, she was elated. After all, she had been a loyal Pandora customer for more than 15 years. Slavitt recalls the transparency the recruiter showed during their call, an initiative that is extremely important to the company’s diversity efforts. “I decided to join because I wanted to be a part of developing the next generation of audio entertainment powered together by two of the biggest iconic brands. Plus, it’s an honor to be a part of the technology team that delivers joy in people’s lives through audio experiences during these trying times.” says Slavitt.
This sentiment of making a difference in people’s lives can certainly be echoed throughout the organization. For recent joiner Jyoti Shukla, SVP, Product & Design, who grew up in an immigrant family where radio and music was the way they learned the “language of this country,” working at the company means she is able to combine her passion for music and podcasts while influencing future generations. “I felt that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a time when true transformation was happening within the organization.”
SiriusXM makes it a priority to support their people. It offers employees Summer Friday Hours, where employees are encouraged to end their day early to spend time with their loved ones; mental health resources; weekly virtual yoga classes; and Covid-19 peer resources that encourage employees to connect with each other in a virtual world. And, for new parents, the company offers generous parental leave.
The company also offers its employees continued support through exceptional leadership and mentorship programs. Christa Petros, VP, Product Development has been with the company for 15 years and credits the organization’s dedication to its employees for her long career there. “I have had invaluable support from my management team through the years, and as a result, my personal achievements have exceeded what I could have ever imagined or hoped,” says Petros. But the leadership is not the only thing that’s kept her there. “The people that I work with every day motivate me to do my best and be my best. I could not emphasize enough how fortunate I am to work here and I know I am not alone. I hear from various members of my team frequently that this is the best job they have had, and there are quite a few of them that have decades of experience.” This culture of openness is found across the organization. Shukla added “starting as a new leader virtually, I am impressed at how welcoming the organization has been. I have had leaders across the company as well as teams pinging me regularly to say hello.”
Chris Phillips, EVP, Chief Product & Technology Officer adds “We are proud of our progress in hiring executive womxn-in-technology leaders in our product development organization. These accomplished leaders drive complex technology solutions and role-model our progress and delivery of a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.”
Ingrained in the company’s culture is the employees’ shared passion for their company and its products. Employees at SiriusXM will tell you that what they value the most is what they represent, being a part of an organization that is passionate about transformational change, innovation and bringing a diverse slate of content to so many. Megan Gaudet, SVP Product Analytics & Insights says “I wanted to deliver impact at scale, be part of an enterprise that values analytics and insights, and to work with colleagues who are passionate about the products they deliver.”
SiriusXM’s diversity and inclusion efforts don’t stop with hiring. Slavitt uses her leadership position by being actively involved in their Womxn in Technology organization and to participate as the membership chair of their Disability-National-Committee.
We expect to continue to see great things from SiriusXM this year and beyond