When talking about appearing on the list of “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area,” it always sounds trite to say “It is an honor to be recognized….” or “It is humbling to be recognized.”
While it is flattering and definitely humbling, I want to focus on a different feeling: I was freaking stoked! And my excitement was for everyone at Panther because every member of our team works hard to live our values of Create Customer Love, Be An Owner, and Take Care of the Team every day, in ways both big and small to create a company where everyone feels included and empowered to do their best work. To identify the winners, Fortune is looking for companies that create a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie.
I like to think that the way we genuinely respect each other and have fun together at work shows up externally. I mean, there is no way that anyone who doesn’t work here would know that we call each other “Pantherinos” (a name selected via a poll our CEO conducted that also included the options “Pantherers,” “Pantherians,” and “Pantheronis”). If you don’t work here, you would not have seen (or participated in) an impassioned centi-thread about which is the best sparkling water (cough Topo Chico cough*).
That respect and trust matters is not when you feel like you are flying high and firing on all cylinders, but when you confront a challenging tech environment where your current and future customers are watching every dollar (much like ours). That is when genuine caring and a commitment to show up for each other really matters. And what Panther has, what sets us apart, is that we care about each other when it isn’t easy, when we are all feeling tired and stretched thin. Our drive to embody our values means that you always know that your teammates and your leaders are acting in the company’s best interest and that they always have your back.
Right now, it is Pride month, and one way we are trying to make sure we are taking care of the team is by listening to the members of Panther Pride, our LGBTQIA+ ERG. We heard from many team members that they are feeling a range of emotions about the surge in anti-trans legislation and hateful rhetoric, including frustration, anger, fear, sadness, and disappointment. Our Pride ERG asked that, instead of hosted trivia or another session for Pride, we donate to The Okra Project, a Black trans-led mutual aid collective. We also invited our employees to make donations to this worthy cause that Panther will match to amplify their impact. Last month, we invited an external expert to join some of our employees in a panel about Raising Neurodistinct Youth. Taking Care of the Team means seeing and valuing our Pantherinos as whole people: if it matters to the team, it matters to Panther.
Earning this recognition is a great start for us, but a big part of living our values is being an owner, and that means always raising the bar. We know that pushing ourselves to improve and finding new ways to invest in our employees’ growth and development is the best way to continue to be the company that all our Pantherinos deserve.
So, thanks for the nod for 2023 – we appreciate it (in fact, I believe I may have mentioned being STOKED!), and we look forward to continuing to do great things for our customers and our teams!
Looking for a Great Place to Work? Explore career opportunities with Panther here.
*Views expressed about sparkling water by the author do not necessarily represent the view of all Pantherinos.