Last week, Sidebench was invited to attend the Los Angeles Tech in Motion TIMMY awards.?The goal of the TIMMY’s is to recognize and celebrate the companies and individuals striving to create better places for tech professionals to work in their local communities. Here we were recognized as the first runners-up in the Best Tech Workplace for Diversity category while our Director of Product Delivery, RJ Stidd, was recognized as the first runner-up in the Best Tech Manager category. With over 105 nominees in the Los Angeles area alone, we were thrilled to receive recognition next to our fellow tech companies.
As a Certified Minority Owned business, Sidebench has always been dedicated to diversity. We are proud to say that more than half of the team is comprised of female employees, and many of our team members hail from different cultures, backgrounds, and countries around the world. This mix of people has given Sidebench a completely unique identity that adds to our collective genius and overall methodologies. As RJ Stidd pointed out upon accepting the award:
“The best results in software design and development (and the world) are achieved with diverse perspectives. At Sidebench, everything we do strives to harness the collective genius of our diverse team to co-invent the future.”
In addition to cultural diversity and gender equality, Sidebench heavily values the diverse perspectives presented by some of our youngest employees and focuses on developing their talent from within. In May 2016, former Chief-of-Staff Nate Schier created a new program for the company called “Apprenticeships.” Apprentices at Sidebench engage in a paid, full-time internship for a 6-month period. During that period, they have a dedicated mentor that helps them learn and grow within a specific track. So far, Sidebench has converted 100% of its Apprentices into long-term employees across the UX/UI, Product, Marketing and Business Development tracks.
The unique mix of perspective, experience, and diversity is what truly makes Sidebench what it is today: a unique place to grow for employees and a thoughtful, world-class partner for our clients.
While every member of the Sidebench team brings their unique perspective to the table, we couldn’t be more proud to see our Director of Product Delivery, RJ Stidd, named to the Best Tech Manager category. With over 10 years of B2B and B2C custom software experience, RJ has developed noteworthy expertise in tech. Her impressive background working with esteemed companies such as Google, AB InBev, and DuPont, coupled with her unique management style make her a compassionate mentor, a fiercely efficient manager, and an incredible female role model.
With employee development top of mind, RJ takes the time to mold junior employees — taking them under her wing to help them recognize their strengths and become the best versions of themselves.?RJ promotes career growth by promoting a culture of hands-on learning that places individuals in decision-making roles immediately. Spencer, a PM Apprentice, spoke to RJ’s tireless pursuit of growth culture by saying:
“My personal development after just 3 months at Sidebench has surpassed my own expectations and I believe this is due in large part to the culture that RJ has played a pivotal role in shaping.”
RJ constantly provides balanced feedback at every opportunity to encourage a collaborative work environment. Under RJ’s leadership, the product team is inspired to keep a pulse on new trends in technology and think of bold new product directions. In addition to her daily check-ins, RJ schedules regular PM “Think Ins” to help the team think about product-related problems and how to overcome them.
Lastly, she sets a high bar for Sidebench and represents the heartbeat of the company on a day to day basis. ?She leads by example and expects her peers to produce work of the highest quality. As she accepted her award, RJ explained that:
“knowing I contribute to product growth, company growth and employee growth is truly fulfilling. Honestly, that is why being in tech is so meaningful to me. In our industry, there is always room for thoughtful innovation to achieve and enjoy better results. So tonight, I thank the incredible people at Sidebench who make this possible.”
Overall, RJ is an inspiring female leader and a compassionate peer, and an incredible Tech Manager.
Congratulations to our Sidebench team and to RJ for this recognition and thank you to Tech in Motion for having us!