Spotlight: Rocketeers Graduate from Aurora

Tracey Leahy

October 19, 2021

For Rocket to succeed and better serve customers, we need to invest in our greatest asset – our employees. This means encouraging every Rocketeer to show up as their whole self and amplifying diverse voices across the organization to reflect our core values of empathy, humanity, trust and love. That’s why we’re so proud of our most recent Aurora graduates, a program by reacHIRE that partners with the Rocket Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (RIDE) initiative. RIDE is a business imperative and goes beyond having the conversations about diversity and operationalizes what it means to be an inclusive, diverse and equitable organization where all Rocketeers can thrive regardless of who you are, what you look like, where you are from or who you love. Aurora by reacHIRE is a key part of the RIDE program focused on building the next generation of women leaders at Rocket. Aurora is a community-based platform that fosters peer connections, builds leadership skills, and helps women thrive and rise on their career journeys. Rooted in real-world experiences with support and coaching from executive Aurora guides, Aurora is a turnkey solution for companies that has had a proven impact on increasing engagement and sense of belonging even in remote work environments. With access to tools and resources including the Ask the Community feature to get advice, Real Leaders, Real Stories video vault and weekly guided meditation, Aurora creates the space where participants can be their authentic self and learn together with a team of peers.

Investing in our Women Leaders

During the pandemic, women, especially mothers, have had to juggle even more than ever. A U.S. Census study found that in January 2021, more than 18.5 million mothers were actively working and living with their school-age children, many of whom were learning at home with school fully remote. While so many mothers have found ways to balance work, childcare and virtual schooling, the report also found that 1.6 million mothers with school-age children had left the workforce since the previous year. It is imperative that organizations are doing everything they can to accommodate women and mothers so that they can remain in their jobs, thrive and advance their careers. Otherwise, the workforce will suffer from an exodus of women now dubbed the “she-cession” who are pushed out by the lack of support and burnout.  According to the recent Women in the Workplace report released by McKinsey & Company and Lean In, right now 1 in 3 women are looking to leave or downshift their jobs. Fourty-two percent of women feel burned out, up ten percent since last year. At Rocket, we take this very seriously as we know we are a better company when we have diverse teams solving our customers’ complex problems. The Aurora program provides leadership skills training, a network of support, concrete advice for navigating the professional world as a woman and so much more. As Rocket co-founder and CEO, Andy Youniss, told the graduates, “What you’ve learned in this program is important for Rocket and important to you on your career journey.” These graduates are now better prepared for the responsibilities of their roles, and they are equipped to provide mentorship and guidance to the next generation of Rocketeers. This strengthens the organization as a whole and elevates the culture of high performance and psychological safety Rocket strives for. When employees feel safe to show up fully confident in their abilities, they can produce legendary outcomes – from the smallest moments of collaboration to large-scale projects.

“We all know the impact that the pandemic has had, especially on working women. It is so energizing and inspiring that Rocket leadership has prioritized investing in each of you...They saw all the potential each of you has and created the opportunity to take yourselves to the next level so that you can make an even bigger impact in the Rocket community.”

- Addie Swartz, CEO of reacHIRE

 “[The graduates] have learned to be resilient in the face of uncertainty, have insightful interactions between different cultures, enable their direct reports to thrive in change, understand how to be bolder in their thinking and increase their influence...Most importantly, they are creating future opportunities and they are leading.”

-Sarah MacConduibh, Aurora Guide

Gratitude and Growth

Marguerite Kerr, Principal HR Business Partner, spent endless hours supporting the women in Aurora and ensuring that the partnership with Rocket was a success. All of that dedication culminated in the Aurora graduation day being a poignant moment for everyone in attendance as participants shared their personal journeys, challenges and successes as women in a male-dominated industry. Women in the program had the chance to develop relationships with Rocketeers outside of their day-to-day teams, and through those relationships, hear stories that echoed their own. This type of community building helps women feel less alone in the struggles they experience, and provides a community of support to cheer on their victories. The opportunity to participate in Aurora through RIDE offered tremendous growth to the women involved. Participants noted the confidence, resilience, empathy, creativity and perseverance they gained as a result of this amazing resource. They expressed gratitude for the community they found in this program and their mentor who provided one-on-one support. Many of the graduates spoke about how this program represented an investment in themselves that they will carry into the future and pay forward to their team members and organization as a whole. Aurora and RIDE helped them to be a better version of themselves, and bring the best out in others.

“My delegate has grown in her leadership, looking for ways to expand her role and her influence. She dealt with employee situations with confidence and care. She has taken on new roles and exemplifies many of the values I’ve heard. I feel honored to be here and hearing these stories.”

-Tim, Rocket Hiring Manager

“I am impressed hearing all of the delegates of the Aurora platform today. There is growth and clarity in my delegates and in their leadership style. I would not accomplish as much without them, they have my commitment and my support. Inspiring to hear your stories and hear your impact.”

-Patricia, Rocket Hiring Manager

Learn More About RIDE

Every day, Rocket is expanding our RIDE initiative to provide more education, resources and support to Rocketeers, customers and our community as a whole. Rocket is committed to creating a culture where everyone feels like they belong and can contribute their unique perspectives and skill sets to something bigger. This is more than simply a mission statement; it is an ethos we live by and act on. Our Aurora graduates are representative of that commitment, and we are so proud of their achievements! Learn more about the RIDE initiative and Rocket’s investment in our employees here.