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Circles at Grammarly: How We Foster an Inclusive Culture

Updated on May 21, 2023Company

There’s only one shape whose every point is equally spaced from its center. Circles are special, and it’s no surprise humanity has adopted them as symbols of unity and wholeness. At Grammarly, Circles are employee resource groups (ERG) dedicated to promoting workplace community and inclusivity. Our Circles include Women at Grammarly, Pride, Parents, Black Ink, Mi Gente Latina, Jewish, and Asian Pacific Islander. The program is one of the many ways we work to create an environment that enables people to bring their full selves to Grammarly.

How do Circles work?

The mission of Circles is to celebrate our company’s diversity and foster a sense of belonging for team members of all identities. Since Grammarly team members come from a variety of backgrounds, including many that have been historically underrepresented in the broader tech industry, Circles provide a forum for community members to support each other and share experiences.

Circles regularly host events, like just-for-fun coffee tastings, workshops focused on financial literacy, and serious discussions about community issues. Often, a Circle event will be open to everyone at Grammarly who’s interested, serving as a way for other team members to engage more deeply with a community and learn something new. Circles occasionally organize events that cater to people who identify with the Circle’s focus, providing them with a secure community space.

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The program plays a significant role in our remote-first hybrid model. Circles present engagement opportunities both in our physical hubs and in virtual spaces. We believe Circles foster a sense of connection that complements remote-first work by re-creating the feelings of valuable hallway conversations and lunchtime exchanges among communities with shared values.

Circles enrich our company culture, placing employee well-being front and center. This translates into a workplace where team members feel empowered to share diverse perspectives that make our organization stronger. And as we continue to grow our team, Circles are an important touchpoint for new hires at Grammarly.

Circles from the perspective of the Grammarly team

Grammarly has a variety of Circles spanning both the North American and European branches of the company. Here’s what leaders from several Circles had to say about their experiences.

“Participating in discussions that were held for the AAPI community and its allies has allowed me to feel acknowledged in a world where I felt ignored. Consequently, these discussions have led to genuine conversations and friendships that have empowered me and others to make a difference. I’m also highly thankful to the Parents Circle, which has been a great place for me to ask questions and feel a sense of camaraderie as a working parent who also strives to be fully involved in my child’s life.”
Jason Chen
Asian Pacific Islander (API) and Parents Circle

“There was a time last spring when I particularly felt much isolation and loneliness being far away from home where full-scale war had just started. Having informal Circle meetings with people I feel comfortable with, knowing they are supportive and open-minded, really helped me boost my spirits. We were sipping drinks and having snacks, chatting about things we felt like sharing. I am very grateful for this opportunity and hope our Circle will continue to be a homely place for everybody who needs it.”
Nastya Robakidze
Pride Circle

“I’m encouraged by the opportunity to build community and provide a safe space for fellow Latin and Hispanic Grammarlians who share common cultural experiences in life. I want to help us build a sense of belonging and connection among each other so that we can develop new support systems and make new connections with people whom we don’t get to work with every day.”
Michelle Arechiga
Mi Gente Latina

“It is very important that everyone feels safe in the Women Circle and can be themselves. Our principles are confidentiality, mutual respect, humor, inclusivity, and non-prejudice. I love our ‘About You’ section, where each week we introduce a member and they write briefly and frankly about themselves, which helps us become closer and inspire one another.”
Olesya Pryymak
Women Circle

Growing Circles

Our work toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at Grammarly is never done, and we’re continuously investing in Circles. Grammarly provides each Circle with dedicated funding in addition to a collective budget for the program at large to support collaborative events that emphasize intersectionality across Circles.

We encourage everyone at Grammarly, including allies, to join Circles as soon as they join the company. It’s also never too late to join; team members have consistent access to the program via our internal wiki and regular town hall meetings. Circles run on the hard work of volunteers, and this doesn’t go unnoticed—contributions to the program are considered in annual performance reviews.

We are also supportive of new Circles: All team members are welcome to initiate a Circle and build a new community. Indeed, as we continue to build a more diverse organization through hiring, we expect new Circles to emerge and make their mark on our culture. Do you see yourself as part of the next Circle at Grammarly? Check out our open roles to learn more.

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