A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence
By the age of 10, Tracy Lawrence had been bullied so much in school that she regularly ate lunch alone in the bathroom. She was naturally drawn to the new students, especially ones from other countries and different backgrounds. The ‘in’ girls were merciless in their torment. For years, Tracy tried to bury the pain of bullying and isolation. In a recent article in Forbes, she recalled, “As I grew older, I told myself that I had to move on. That remembering it wasn’t helpful. But the opposite of ‘remembering’ isn’t ‘forgetting’–it’s ‘dismembering.’ I took an important part of me, my past, and I tried to throw it out of my identity. As if I could actually do that.”
While an undergrad at the University of Southern California, Tracy moonlighted in event planning. An officer manager begged her for something healthier than fast food for her team of 30 for an all-hands meeting. That was the metanoia moment that gave Tracy the opportunity to turn her painful past into a future of healing – by gathering people together around food and making sure no one eats alone.
$34 million in funds raised and offices in four cities later, San Francisco-based Chewse practices a culture of inclusiveness. Over 50% of the company’s leadership roles are held by women. Every position includes a clear career path, and compensation is 100% transparent. All management positions come with an equity interest in the company. Even pets are welcome.
Every Thursday evening, a different team member is in charge of hosting a meal. These weekly dinners allow colleagues to socialize, celebrate wins, and build community. Kudos to Chewse for modeling a culture of welcoming everyone to the table. To learn more about Chewse’s culture, click here.