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October 6-8, 2024 • San Diego, CA

Juneteenth Reflections: Instacart’s Path to DEB Excellence 

An Interview with Jennifer Sutton, Head of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging at Instacart  

We were thrilled to catch up with Jennifer Sutton, Head of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging at Instacart recently. In this exclusive interview, she shares her professional journey, passion, and what attendees can look forward to in her session focusing on Juneteenth Programming at Instacart.  

Q: What initially sparked your passion for the HR/Culture/People domain, and how has it evolved throughout your career? 

A: Over the last 17 years, I’ve had the honor of bringing diversity, equity, racial equity, and belonging experience across the tech and finance industries. Currently, I lead the Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (DEB) function at Instacart. 

As a business rep in my financial services days, I was tasked with campus recruiting to engage and attract talent for internships and full-time opportunities. From career fairs to information sessions, I thoroughly enjoyed those recruitment activities as I’ve always been passionate about forming and building relationships. Connecting with candidates at these events was key in helping to promote the company culture, thus attracting top talent into the industry. And that same passion and drive remain today. 

I believe that the true differentiating factor from one company to another is the people and its culture. In short, anyone can use their transferable skills to work at any company. But what keeps them bought in is the culture. How do they feel when they interact with one another? That keeps me motivated to evolve the conversation and promote the best company culture at every turn. 

Q: Can you recount the most valuable piece of work or culture-related advice you’ve received in your journey? 

A: Build your squad. Form a community of leaders and peers that will give you the good, bad, and ugly, and will support you on the hardest days while cheering you on during your best days. It’s important that your community is comprised of all walks of life. I believe that various lived experiences will keep me informed as the conversation around inclusion will evolve. 

Q: We would like to delve into the session you’ll be presenting at this year’s Culture Summit. What motivated you to choose this particular topic? 

A: Since 2021, Instacart has commemorated Juneteenth. It’s a significant date for us to reflect on, and I’m proud to share how we, as a company, have been recognizing Juneteenth throughout the entire month of June with programming and initiatives. 

Q: If you had to highlight one compelling reason why attendees shouldn’t miss your session, what would it be? 

A: If you’re looking for an honest reflection of what it means to support an evolving company culture, with real-life learnings, you don’t want to miss this session. I’m excited to share the work we’ve done to build our diversity, equity, and belonging function from the ground up, including the wins and powerful learnings along the way. 

Q: Finally, what aspects of the Culture Summit in San Diego 2024 are you personally looking forward to the most? 

A: The People! Any chance to meet and network with others who are just as passionate about their culture as I am is such a rare gem. There is no right way to support and champion culture. One can find out so much about what makes sense for their company culture by building on the learnings of others. Can’t wait! 

Don’t miss A Spotlight on Instacart’s Juneteenth Programming at Culture Summit 2024 this fall to learn more from Jenn Sutton. Learn more 

best practices, company culture, How We Culture, interview