Q&A: Beth Murray
Get to know Beth Murray (Global Lead, Nonprofit Programs at Meta) and find out how she chose her career path and what her secret talent is.
What do you do at Workplace?
I lead Workplace for Good, our social impact program. I also co-run London Social Good, rallying colleagues to support the causes they’re passionate about.
How would you describe what Workplace for Good does?
We donate our Workplace product, support and educational resources to nonprofits around the world, helping to make them stronger and deliver on their important missions. Charities use Workplace to communicate with their employees, engage their volunteers and manage their operational delivery.
What’s been your proudest moment with Workplace for Good?
Publishing last December’s Social Impact Review was a real highlight. We announced that we now donate the equivalent of US$80M of our software annually by providing Workplace free to nonprofits, and we were able to tell the brilliant stories of some of the charities we’re lucky enough to work with.
What’s the best part of your job?
I always tell my colleagues that I have the best job at Workplace - and that’s because I do! My favorite part by far is talking with our nonprofit customers about the brilliant and often really innovative ways that they use Workplace - from teams of volunteers using it to track seals, through to coordinating refugee housing efforts. It’s so inspiring.
Which Workplace feature do you use most often?
I must send thousands of chat messages a day. From coordinating complex projects through to asking my work pals what they’re having for lunch!
What piece of tech can you not live without?
I love the illustration program Procreate on my iPad - it’s incredible for digital painting and drawing. That or Canva (who also do a fantastic donation program for nonprofits.)
Where did you work before Workplace and how did you choose your career path?
I’ve worn a lot of hats! I started out in corporate PR, where I was fascinated by the industry challengers, those who were shaking up the sector for the good of others. I’ve always sat on the board of charities, and in 2014 I moved full-time into the charity sector where I worked on causes including education, justice and youth violence. A key focus of my work and research was employee experience - how do you engage, motivate and inspire colleagues on a shoestring? That led me to become one of the first nonprofits launching Workplace - which ultimately brought me here.
What’s the best piece of advice you've ever got?
A former client once said to me: “You don’t need to have a ‘next step’ career plan, you just need to do an outstanding job, and people will notice.” That’s served me well - many of my career moves have been through colleagues I’ve worked with previously, and have taken me into fascinating new areas I would never have considered.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you...
I don’t want to overawe you, but you are talking to the former UK Under-10 Handwriting Champion.
What would we find you doing on the weekend?
I have a two-year-old, so other than dancing to Encanto in the kitchen, there’s a lot of (very slow) forest walks, hastily-eaten lunches and playdough!
What would be the coolest thing to experience in the metaverse?
I am so excited about the potential for the metaverse to build empathy for and with others. We will for the first time be able to see, hear and feel what it is like to be someone else - a huge opportunity to tackle division in society, and for charities to raise money and awareness of pressing issues. A great example of this is Goliath from our friends at VR for Good - an experience exploring inside the mind of a man with schizophrenia.
What are your thoughts on CSR in 2022, including its impact on organizations and society?
Corporate social responsibility is no longer a nice-to-have, a PR stunt of a giant check with money raised from a cake sale. For businesses to survive - and thrive - they need to show their employees and customers that they are responsible citizens, with purpose and sustainability built into their operating DNA.
Can you share any exciting plans for Workplace for Good in 2022?
We’ll be leaning into supporting nonprofits to think about the future of work in the metaverse. There are so many opportunities – from fundraising and large scale event management through to operational delivery. We’re working on ways to help educate and inspire nonprofits as they come on the journey with us.
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