As part of our ongoing Leadership Connect Series with Teranet’s thought leaders, this month we feature Dawn Sancho, Senior Human Resources Business Partner. We spoke with Dawn about her career path, focus for 2023 and her role as the chair of Teranet’s BIPOC committee.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career and how it brought you to your current role?
Having worked in Human Resources (HR) for the last 22 years, my role in the past has always been that of a generalist; it gave me experience in various disciplines of HR. I was attracted to working with Teranet because this job gives me the opportunity to have my feet on the ground to make the ideas work in practice.
It has allowed me to hone my risk mitigation skills and create policies that work for all employees, vendors, and the company. I was also excited to work with unions, which is something new to me and allowed me to understand the various types of relationships between employer and employee better.
As the chair of the BIPOC committee, can you tell us about what motivated you to take on this role and why this is such an important part of employee culture at Teranet?
I have a master’s degree in Sociology and have been deeply passionate about equality-related issues. I was on maternity leave when the incidents that heightened the Black Lives Matter movement deeply moved the whole world. Though the movement sparked the conversation about racial injustice, people are still figuring out how to talk and act about these racial issues, both in their day-to-day lives and the workplace. As the chair of the BIPOC committee, encouraging these conversations and working towards a more inclusive culture is something that I am passionate about being a part of.
Being in HR also means being aware of the sociology of the workplace. I am interested in working to ensure employees can bring their whole identity to work. Do they feel safe at work and how can we make sure that the concept of societal structures doesn’t get replicated in the workplace? It is a challenging responsibility to lead the BIPOC committee alongside a full-time job, but it is an important responsibility as marginalized people of all differences (both invisible and visible) continue to face issues in the workforce. Teranet is a workplace that prides itself on encouraging people to show up as their “whole self,” and I am proud to be a part of the driving force behind this mission through both my role in HR and as the chair of the BIPOC committee, so that we can continue to do great work and live up to our motto “Come as yourself, we like you that way.”
What are you focused on for 2023 and most excited about?
In 2023, a big focus of mine is on spearheading internal foundational projects from an HR perspective that are key to Teranet’s growth. My goal is to streamline the HR solutions, help to bridge any gaps for the IT team that I support, and implement various project milestones while making sure the people management continues to be our main focus. With these key changes, we expect both seen and unseen challenges, and it is my objective to ensure those are mitigated as much as possible.
What do you love most about working at Teranet?
What I love most about working at Teranet is the diversity of the individuals and groups that I get the opportunity to work with. From an HR perspective, nuances are often apparent in the way that people work and engage with our team – we work with contractors, employees at various locations across the world, unions, etc. and these various dynamics keep things interesting and exciting. Having various nuances in a culture brings forth a lot of challenges but it makes space for people to get comfortable and be able to be their true selves. That is the best part about Teranet’s corporate culture – you do not have to be a certain way to fit in, there is a place for everyone here.