Diane Solinger the Manager of GooglersGive at Google
Diane Solinger has what many would say is one of the coolest job ever (us included). Working at Google in social impact, Diane holds one of the most envious job titles managing the GooglersGive program. Leveraging her experience from the nonprofit sector, Diane and her team help the 60,000 Googlers make an impact on themselves and the world. Diane shares with us her career story and tips for finding meaningful work. Read on to know more about Diane and what she does at Google.
What does your job entail including what a typical day might be like?
The team I manage, GooglersGive, is on a mission to inspire and enable Googlers (our employees) to make an extraordinary impact on themselves and the world through philanthropic actions such as charitable giving and volunteering.
With almost 60,000 employees around the world, we need to ensure that all employees have the same opportunities to support organizations of their choice, so our team focuses on global solutions. Also, since we work in People Operations (Google’s human resources department), we also try to address ways to enhance Google’s culture, to develop our employees and to create stronger connections between employees and teams.
I don’t have a typical day (who does?) but I see my role as helping our team set and execute a strategy which may entail supporting a team member in their day-to-day work, developing my team into leaders, engaging executives and influencers within Google to ensure our work garners attention and meets business goals and to, at the end of the day, make our end-user, the Googlers, happy so that whenever they are inspired to give or volunteer, they can.
Can you briefly describe your career path and how you got your current job?
I spent over 25 years in the nonprofit sector ranging in roles from fundraising/development, community development and executive director roles. In my last position I was not only leading the organization but also consulting to a variety of high-profile companies, like Google, on the design and implementation of the philanthropy programs. My consulting relationship with Google coupled with my content expertise and managerial experience afforded me this opportunity to come to Google.
What’s the coolest part about your job and what’s the biggest challenge?
The coolest part of my job is that Googlers are incredibly generous and want to give and volunteer. This is also sometimes the biggest challenge as we need to develop systems to empower Googlers to self organize since my team can’t execute all the great ideas Googlers have!
What advice would you give to a job seeker looking for meaningful work?
I think all jobs have the opportunity to be meaningful. Most people don’t have careers in philanthropy or community involvement. But everyone should have an opportunity to have meaning in their work. It’s a mindset. I believe in the concepts outlined in Aaron Hurst’s book “The Purpose Economy” and coach people internally at Google to find ways to bring social impact into their day to day work. For instance, if you’re in sales, and helping small businesses build an online presence, you’re not just selling. You’re helping build an economy of a community, you’re helping people gain employment, you’re enabling these workers’ families to send their children to school or university. That’s impactful.
What can you identify as the biggest opportunity in your sector right now?
One of the biggest opportunities is collaboration among companies. Through collaboration, employees of different companies can work side by side to share their expertise and accelerate solving social issues. Google is a founding member of Impact 2030 which is an initiative to leverage employee talent to solve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I imagine a world where we can, in many cases, put aside our competitiveness for the greater good. I’m excited to see this starting to happen in a concerted way.
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