Feb 06 2023

Belonging is more than just a buzzword, and here’s why

By Meta Careers
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"It may sound cliché, but stepping onto the Meta campus for the first time felt magical," Ashley S., executive administrative partner, remembers.

"At the time, I was evaluating the next step in my career and considering three other companies. But when I walked through the doors, my first thought was, 'This is where I'm meant to be.' That was quickly followed by 'I'm petrified,' which showed me how much I cared about the opportunity.”
Listening to her gut led Ashley to join Meta, though she initially grappled with feelings of imposter syndrome while pushing herself out of her comfort zone. “Early on, I felt like at any moment, someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘We made a mistake,’” she explains. “Everything was new to me, I didn’t even know how to send a work chat yet! But once I accepted that I deserve to be here, I realized I hadn’t just joined a company — I also found an amazing new community. Since then, I’ve grown so much personally and professionally.”

A vibrant, empowering community

Ashley has built her career around bringing different people and ideas together, even supporting communications for presidential campaigns before joining Meta. She credits the “think tank” energy at Meta for encouraging everyone to draw on their unique strengths. “People here come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and everyone appreciates different perspectives. The collaborative nature of our culture not only leads to building exceptional products, but it has given me many opportunities to learn.”
Ashley emphasizes this isn’t a one-way street — her teammates are equally eager to hear from her. Whether planning a large event, coordinating international travel or finding that one magic time slot for a meeting to bring executives together, she plays a pivotal role. “From the start, I’ve been part of important conversations where my opinions were valued,” she says. “I feel confident using my voice because I know it will be heard.”
When talking with Ashley, it’s clear that having encouragement has deeply shaped how she approaches her role and building community. “I now define impact as doing great things together,” she shares. “The natural give and take that comes with having a vibrant, collaborative community is our special sauce. When my peers come to me for my expertise, I know I’m adding value. That feels really good.”

Authenticity and the power of connection

If community is the special sauce, then according to Ashley, authenticity is the roux. “Every day, I’m encouraged to bring my authentic self to work,” she says. “My team knows I’m an avid shopper, so we have a running joke that I can quickly crunch the numbers for any event we plan. Turning a shopping habit into a skill set for work? Chef’s kiss!”
From anticipating executives’ needs to balancing projects, authenticity is an asset on Ashley’s team. “To thrive in my role, I partner closely with my exec, which means getting to know them outside of work,” she says. “Our relationship is so strong because I feel empowered to show up as my true self.”
And Ashley is well aware that being authentic is a work in progress. “Authenticity and openness are skills I’ve developed since joining Meta,” she explains. “Simply being who we are plays a big part in showing our teammates we care. For me, there’s no better way to say ‘I’m listening’ than to send a bouquet of flowers or grab coffee with someone when they’ve had a hard week.”

“Belonging” is more than a buzzword

Reflecting on her growth, Ashley remembers how belonging and inclusivity felt like buzzwords before she joined Meta. Getting involved with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) changed her mind. “ERGs have been a place to build community and new skills, from learning how to onboard people to figuring out which permits we need for an event,” she says. “I love bringing what I learn to new situations and sharing knowledge with others.”
Ashley is part of several Meta resource groups, like Black@Bay Area and Black@Admin, where she continues to foster her sense of belonging while helping others across the company do the same. “Any time someone second guesses themselves, needs a gut check or wants a safe space, I want to make sure they have someone to turn to,” she says.
Now at Meta for four years, Ashley believes the sky's the limit when you feel empowered and have a community behind you. “At Meta, your career is in your hands,” she beams. “It’s almost like being a kid again because you get to dream big. You may be hired to do a job, but if you discover a new passion, there will always be a way for you to explore it. It’s like, ‘You belong here. Here’s your blank canvas, now decide what to paint.’”

Stay connected.

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