Day in the Life: Meet Abby Maldonado of Pinterest

This series is a part of the Jopwell/Black Enterprise partnership aimed at featuring talented millennials in exciting jobs

(Image: Abby Maldonado)
(Image: Abby Maldonado)

This article originally appeared on The Well, Jopwell’s editorial hub. 

Abby Maldonado
Diversity Programs Specialist, Pinterest
San Francisco, CA
Twitter: @abbymalds

6:00am: Time to get up. I typically wake up between 6:30am and 7:00am, depending on how many times I hit snooze. I recently read that the most productive people don’t check their email first thing in the morning, so I try not to look at mine before I’ve been up for at least an hour. I go to a spin class. I always have more energy throughout the day when I work out in the morning.

[Related: Day in the Life: Meet Carlos Ray of Magic Johnson Enterprises]

8:00am: Since I live in Palo Alto, outside of San Francisco, I take the Caltrain about 40 minutes up to the city (the reverse commute of a lot of the tech community). I’ve grown to almost look forward to my commute. It’s a great opportunity to get some morning work done without distractions – or to just relax and catch up on some reading or a podcast. I listen to NPR One and respond to a few emails that came in overnight. I have a Google Alert set for any news related to diversity in tech – it pops up in my inbox each morning so I can stay on top of the latest headlines. I read a great piece about ways to attract more women to STEM.

9:00am: After a quick walk from the Caltrain, I arrive at the office and grab some coffee before settling at my desk. I love our office’s open floor plan. I sit in a pod of desks with the diversity team, and we’re within the broader people team area. I say a few quick hellos before tackling my inbox. I use a multiple inbox system in Gmail that categorizes my email into four categories, which makes it really easy for me to come in and get down to inbox zero. I create a to-do list and decide on three key things I need to get done by Friday. My team focuses on designing and implementing strategies for embedding diversity and inclusion into our organization. This week, I’m working on a presentation for our team to share with new hires every other week.

10:00am: I check in with my manager, Candice. We talk through our running list of what we’re working on as a team and set priorities for the week. Our team hosts a series called PinTalks, which involves bringing in speakers to celebrate cultural events. With both Asian Pacific History Month and Pride Month coming up, we brainstorm who to invite to speak and how to structure the talk. We also discuss the focus groups we’ll be hosting this month to help better understand feelings of inclusion and belonging across different groups at Pinterest.

11:00am: I grab a cup of tea, knock out some emails, and draft a series of diversity-related talking points for our leadership team.

12:00pm: I head downstairs for lunch. I’m fortunate that Pinterest provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner for employees and always has delicious veg options (I’m a vegan). Today’s menu: pineapple teriyaki tempeh with chopped salad and jerk-spiced cashews. I try my best to actually break for lunch and not just bring it back to my desk. The lunch room is bustling, and I grab a seat with a few teammates on the People and Recruiting teams. I check Facebook and Twitter and browse The New York Times before getting back to work.

1:00pm: Afternoon meeting time. We work with an amazing strategy firm called Paradigm to identify and address barriers to diversity and inclusion. We have a unique partnership with them called Inclusion Labs, through which we’re conducting workforce research to better understand these barriers and test intervention strategies. My team gets together for our weekly check-in. We chat about our most recent research project, The Belonging Study, and brainstorm a few future projects.

3:00pm: Pinterest is an urban campus spread across two main buildings that are a six-minute walk from each other. I like to schedule some of my meetings in the other building so I can stay active throughout the day. I head there for a meeting with the leads of our LGBTQIA employee group, the Pinwheels. This is an open group at Pinterest focused on making sure all employees are represented in the Pinterest brand, product, and company culture. We chat through the group’s organizational structure, focus areas for 2016, and the early stages of planning for Pinterest’s presence at the SF Pride celebration in June.

5:00pm: I hop on the train to head home. I live on Stanford University’s campus, where my boyfriend, Shane, studies at the law school. I’m all about taking advantage of the awesome talks and speakers the university brings in. Tonight, we attend a really cool panel on diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome is one of the speakers.

8:00pm: Shane and I love to cook together, so we make a quick dinner and watch election updates on my laptop while we eat. Tonight’s dinner: vegan quinoa mac and cheese with spinach. Once we’re done, I check my work email one last time to see if anything new has come up, and then I review my calendar for the next day and pack my gym clothes for the morning.

10:00pm: Time to unwind and read from bed. I’m currently enjoying What Works: Gender Equality by Design by Iris Bohnet. The book offers some amazing takeaways for mitigating bias when interviewing and selecting candidates, as well as some useful strategies for the work we’re doing at Pinterest.

11:00pm-ish: Lights out.

Pinterest is a partner company of Jopwell.

Jopwell helps America’s leading companies connect with and recruit Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American professionals and students at scale. Sign up to find your dream job.