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Meet DeepL: how we create inclusive workplaces and experiences at DeepL

In the workplace, inclusivity is a key factor in fostering a sense of belonging and community. We recently had the chance to sit down and chat with Ryan Cantal, who is part of the driving force behind DeepL's commitment to creating spaces where everyone feels valued and empowered.

His journey began with a leap of faith from Vancouver to Berlin, driven by a simple yet powerful belief: that every individual deserves a workplace where they can truly belong. 

Can you please tell us more about yourself and your role at DeepL?

Yes, with much pleasure! I'm Ryan, and I've just relocated to Berlin from Vancouver. Originally hailing from Baguio City in the Philippines, I am responsible for Workspace Experience, stepping into a role that's new to the company.

With a background in this domain, I'm thrilled about the opportunity to weave the principles of Workspace Experience into the fabric of DeepL, fostering an inclusive atmosphere that grows alongside us.

Why is ensuring accessibility a top priority for DeepL, and how does it align with the company's values and mission?

As a company that aims to break down language barriers, making everything accessible is a huge part of that mission. It's all about creating a space where everyone can feel safe, bring their true selves to work, and be super productive. That's the target we’re aiming for.

Could you share DeepL's journey in fostering accessibility within its workplace environment over the years?

Over the years, DeepL has been dedicated to fostering an office environment that is not only welcoming and accessible to all, but also neurodiverse friendly. We address everyday challenges by incorporating features such as accessibility ramps, height-adjustable desks, ergonomic chairs, and washroom facilities designed for inclusivity. 

Our offices offer a variety of seating options to accommodate different working styles and comfort preferences, including standing desks, traditional desks, and areas with soft furnishings for relaxed seating. We also prioritize making all areas of the office accessible, such as quiet zones, breakout areas, and meeting rooms. And, in some spaces, a dedicated kitchen area to ensure they support the needs of neurodiverse employees and promote a productive and inclusive workplace.

This commitment extends beyond our physical spaces, with support for employees to customize their home offices, ensuring that everyone has the tools they need to succeed in a flexible environment. While we are proud of our progress, we recognize that the journey to full accessibility is not complete. We're actively working to make further improvements. 

What specific initiatives or strategies do you plan to implement to enhance inclusivity within DeepL's workspace over the coming years?

I'm actively involved in DeepL's Belonging, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, known within DeepL as BEDI. In line with DeepL's core mission, our commitment extends to dismantling barriers of inequality and bias as well. 

We are committed to diversity and representation, cultivating an environment where the voices of all are not only heard, but are an integral part of our culture. Our collective goal is to drive meaningful change and ensure that our actions resonate throughout the company. The BEDI initiative is more than a committee—it’s a cornerstone of our daily operations and a shared experience, ingraining DeepL's values into every aspect of our communal ethos.

On a personal level, I am focused on transforming our office environments. I'm working to ensure that they are not only physically accessible, but also equipped with the right technology and culturally welcoming. It's about creating spaces where everyone feels truly supported, where our people can collaborate and learn together, and where they are free to be their authentic selves. This holistic approach helps us build not just a workplace, but a caring community.

How do DeepL's future goals and vision regarding accessibility in the workplace align with broader company objectives and values?

We're dedicated to creating workplaces where our employees can thrive. Currently, my efforts are channeled into reimagining our global office spaces. This involves making them not just physically accessible but also technologically advanced and culturally welcoming.

These initiatives we're implementing aren't just temporary fixes; they're designed to grow with us and remain effective over the long term. I'm also focused on ensuring that our actions are timely and appropriate. Furthermore, DeepL's diverse community continuously enhances my ability to devise inclusive solutions that benefit everyone, reinforcing our collective efforts to work seamlessly together as a cohesive “One Team”.

As Workplace Experience Manager, how do you ensure that feedback from employees regarding accessibility concerns or suggestions is effectively addressed and implemented over time?

My recipe for success is simple: empathy, transparency, and prompt action. At DeepL, we prioritize creating a culture where everyone feels heard and valued. For example, we recently launched an employee engagement survey to gain critical insight into the feelings and experiences of our employees.

This initiative helps us to better understand their needs and to tailor our initiatives to effectively improve their job satisfaction. By actively listening to feedback and rapidly implementing solutions, we foster a workspace where meaningful change isn't just possible—it's a constant reality.

Ryan's work beautifully demonstrates how dedication and empathy can inspire change and lead the way to a more inclusive future. His commitment, shared by many at DeepL, helps us move steadily toward a world where everyone feels included.

Interested in our approach? Visit our culture page to learn more about what makes DeepL a great place to be.