“The most important lesson I learned was the ability to show yourself.”
Safiya Walker reflects on her time on the running track at Brown University and the sense of responsibility she felt towards her teammates, coaches and the family, friends and fellow students who supported her throughout her athletic journey.
“Even if you got up all night studying for a final exam,” she says, “you owe it to yourself and everyone else to show up for training the next morning and give it your all.” I took this attitude with me into my professional career. “
Safiya has been a member of Ripple’s business development team since 2019 and has given her all in both her roles as a business development associate and an advocate for enterprise-wide inclusion. In June 2020, she helped found the Ripple Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in response to the unrest in the United States. She later founded Black at Ripple, an Employee Resource Group (ERG) based on a shared identity to provide members with an additional source of support and encouragement.
“At Ripple, ERGs are structured communities of people who share a certain part of their identity, be it black, LatinX, women or LGBTQ,” explains Safiya. “One of the things we do is provide a safe space for these difficult conversations about what’s going on in the world. For the Black Community, this can be the murder of George Floyd and the protests against racial equality that followed, or like it is being black in a global company. “
Black at Ripple and the other ERGs are helping create an inclusive culture at Ripple to nurture and support a diverse workforce that better represents the company’s true community. Safiya believes that Ripple’s employees should holistically reflect what humanity is like around the world.
“What I love about working at Ripple is that I can work with people all over the world,” she says. “I see the effects of payments and finances in different places. The problems different countries or cultures have when it comes to getting money into the hands of family and friends.”
This sense of everyday excitement is important to Safiya. As a college senior looking for career advice, she was advised to “do what you love most,” an idea that she also applies outside of work. Safiya replaced her on-track workouts with intensive Yoga Sculpt classes, both as a student and an instructor, while she also enjoys cooking.
“I like to eat more than I actually like to cook,” she laughs. “One of my favorite dishes is Blueberry Scone, which can be a semi-healthy breakfast item or a dessert if you want. It reminds me of home and blueberry picking as a kid with my grandmother. “
Although she hasn’t had the chance to share her blueberry scones with her Ripple colleagues lately, Safiya still shows up. Whether it’s a virtual happy hour, a networking event, or a leadership role in inclusion, she’s there with enthusiasm and inspiration.
“I show up because you just never know where it will take you,” she concludes. “You will also be amazed with your own sense of resilience and ability to get the job done once you’re actually there to do it.”
Would you like to join the diverse team at Ripple? Take a look at our vacancies.