Spotlight on Jaspreet Cheema, Head of People (Commercial, Product & G&A)

March 30, 2022

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Privitar is shining the spotlight on some of our amazing women PriviStars. This month, we are featuring interviews with team members across the company, demonstrating the talent, passion, and commitment they bring to their day jobs at Privitar and advancing women in the broader technology landscape. Read on to learn more about Jaspreet Cheema, Head of People (Commercial, Product & G&A) at Privitar.


Describe your role at Privitar 

I work within the people team as the Head of People, partnering with the commercial, product, and G&A areas of the business. It’s the “people” part that’s key and working for a company like Privitar where we are committed to building (and sustaining) a connected and collaborative company culture. An integral part of my role is to strengthen relationships across the company.  

I align closely with leaders and employees, providing both strategic and tactical support and programs to ensure we’re heading in the right direction. I provide leaders with coaching on how to lead successful teams, as well as act as a strategic thought partner to drive commercially focused outcomes and solutions. 

I am also involved in wider people operations projects, such as expansion to new territories, and creating and realigning our policies and rewards programs. Much of our work is focused on creating unique employee experiences.  

 

What is the most exciting part of your job?

First, I’d say I’m naturally inquisitive. I love learning new things! There are so many interesting people at Privitar, with such wide-ranging experience and backgrounds. It’s great learning about what they do and all the exciting things they’re working on.  

I equally enjoy the problem-solving aspects of my role. Finding solutions to challenges can be so rewarding—whether it’s supporting individuals and making a difference to their work environment/relationships or helping the broader company to meet its goals.

 

What most inspires you about working in the space? 

On the people front, the last two years have been challenging. The pandemic has forced individuals and employers to reassess how they do business, how they work, where they work, and more specifically, what’s important to them. It’s essential for businesses and leaders to demonstrate compassion and empathy, especially under these difficult circumstances. I believe that businesses have been propelled to explore and execute a more people-focused agenda. With “people” being at the center, we’ve seen people teams playing an increasingly significant role in rethinking and reimagining how businesses operate including how to foster talent and how to build an inclusive and equitable culture.  

Being part of a tech company in an environment that is always changing pushes us to be progressive thinkers who are striving to be the best! Working in this space is exciting as we’re always thinking about what we could be doing better and coming up with new ideas. As a team, it’s always fun putting our heads together and being creative.  

 

What can the data industry be doing to increase inclusion and diversity?

Establishing a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce requires looking at the entire lifecycle to understand what is needed to develop individuals and then giving them the opportunities to progress and transition into leadership roles.  

This starts with education, building interest in STEM subjects by engaging university students through mentorship and internship opportunities. In the workplace, at the earliest step of the employee lifecycle (that is, recruitment), eliminating unconscious bias through education programs is essential to ensure that hiring is fair and equitable. This should assist with constructing, nurturing, and advancing the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) workforce by means of policies, practices, and training/mentorship programs.

Different companies have their own unique sets of values and cultures. I don’t believe there is one set of solutions that will work for all.  However, as programs and changes are put in place, they should be consistent with how the company operates so change is meaningful and authentic.  

 

What trends are you seeing in the space? How can organizations leverage those trends as opportunities?

We’re seeing trends across a number of fronts: 

  1. Language: We’ve seen a shift in conversations about diversity and inclusion to also include a more holistic focus on equity. It’s not just about “diversity” (that is, the presence of differences within an organization) and “inclusion” (that is, feeling a sense of belonging). It’s also about “equity” in ensuring that processes and programs are impartial and fair and also provide equal possible outcomes for every individual. Some organizations may only be focusing on one or two of these areas, but for meaningful change, all these need to be addressed holistically.
  2. Hybrid Offices: With many firms shifting to hybrid working, there are opportunities (and challenges) in how organizations might enhance or reduce equity at work with remote working. We have seen that during the pandemic, remote working has given historically marginalized groups greater flexibility, such as parents or those with disabilities, offering opportunities to people that may not have existed to the same degree in the past. However, there is still work to do to ensure they create and maintain a fair and equitable workplace for all employees, regardless of location. There’s an opportunity as we move into “hybrid-working” on a scale we have never seen before where leaders will need to reimagine how the post-pandemic business landscape will operate for their organization and ensure this is broadly communicated across all their teams.
  3. Data-driven HR and people analytics: People teams are increasingly adopting a data-driven mindset to assess activities such as employee engagement, retention, and diversity in the workplace. There is an opportunity for organizations to use data analytics to establish how their DE&I programs are performing and evaluate them over time. It’s important to note that (as my Privitar colleagues will call out!) privacy is key, so any data analytics needs to be safe. Also, any data evaluation shouldn’t just focus on diversity stats, but extend to equity in how historically marginalized groups within the company perform against their peers with their rewards and opportunities for progression.

Any final thoughts or fun facts that you’d like to share?

People often find it surprising that I trained in Shotokan karate for six years. It provided me with some very useful and transferable skills for my career in HR…!

Learn more about life at Privitar by checking out our Careers page.

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