LatinX at Ripple Co-Lead Ajshia Najafian on Authenticity in Identity
There’s a reason Ajshia Najafian is one of the first faces new employees see when they start at Ripple. Warmth and a willingness to help are essential in her role, but Ajshia takes it a step further by showing up every day as her most authentic self and creating a space for others to do the same.
“Authenticity is everything. This is a place where you can be your true self and ask questions and learn from incredibly intelligent and passionate people.”
In her three years at Ripple, Ajshia has crafted instrumental Learning and Development initiatives as the department’s Program Manager. She continues to refine employee programs that invest in internal education and professional advancement, and just recently partnered with the engineering team to launch a new hire boot camp to get them up to speed in an engaging way.
“I quickly discovered my passion for creating experiences for employees to explore new skills that really help them along their career journey.”
It’s no surprise that Ajshia comes from a long line of educators. Like every good teacher, she is keen to meet others where they’re at and help guide and encourage their development—a quality she’s carried over into her work as a co-lead for the LatinX Employee Resource Group (ERG).
“Growing up half Mexican and half Iranian, I’d always sort of been at battle with my identity, not really feeling like I was enough one way or the other,” says Ajshia. But in examining her multiculturalism over the years, she’s learned to embrace her heritage and support others in the LatinX community who may have had similar experiences.
Ripple’s LatinX ERG has made it a priority to amplify career opportunities for members and allies as a vital first step toward breaking down barriers to entry. As diversity and inclusion initiatives shift closer to the forefront of tech company values, discussions around accessibility, transparency and accountability have become increasingly commonplace.
That’s why Ajshia is vocal about seeing more LatinX women in leadership roles, diversity in hiring and having tough conversations around how to make lasting progress. She wants others to tell their own stories of success or struggle in order to provide guidance and tools for LatinX professionals. It is only through the experiences and perspectives of our diverse community that we make Ripple an even stronger company.
“[Ripple’s] culture is one of enjoying what’s in front of us while building really innovative products in partnership with incredible people…knowing that we’re creating experiences that help real people and remembering that we are trying to build something that’s so much bigger than us, that’s a really powerful motivation.”
And Ajshia is building something big both at Ripple and in the LatinX community.
If you’re interested in joining her, check out our careers page.