Community Spotlight: Bleeker
Q&A with Cam Snaith, Co-Founder & Principal at Bleeker
Cam Snaith is the co-founder of Bleeker, a company that partners with individuals committed to doing amazing work, including leaders and teams at Apple, BlackRock, Google, Nike, Bolthouse Farms, and Warner Music Group. In Bleeker’s early years, Cam moonlighted as a Research Affiliate with the MIT Media Lab’s Social Computing group. He was born in Bermuda, received his MS in Strategic Communication from Columbia University and an AB in English from Princeton University.
As its co-founder, what inspired you to start Bleeker, what is Bleeker’s mission and what do you hope to accomplish via this platform?
In 2012, my co-founder and I were working for big, multinational corporations. We were frustrated by the number of extraordinary people who we encountered toiling away at ordinary jobs (ourselves included).
We believed there was a better way to maintain a meaningful career and that it was possible to create workplaces that unlocked greatness in people. We came up with a new type of platform that would be the key to catalyzing these beliefs, and that’s when we started Bleeker.
Bleeker’s mission is to unlock your extraordinary life’s work. We believe that for the most talented people, their “extraordinary” consists of launching and sustaining important initiatives in a way that fills them with pride.
We are fulfilling this mission by identifying some of the most talented people in the world — CEOs, Founders, Grammy Award winners, professional athletes — and surrounding them with essential resources required to unlock sustained greatness.
This month, Bleeker is relaunching its Fellowship program exclusively in support of Black and Latinx professionals. Can you provide background on the Fellowship’s program and the ways in which it fosters career growth for its Fellows?
When professionals have strong and diverse personal support systems (e.g. mentors, peers, advisors, sponsors), it helps them thrive at work. Business and team leaders can’t see these personal support systems; they only see the results of the support: confidence, competence, and cultural fit. Black and Latinx employees are far less likely to benefit from these personal support structures than their White peers. With unequal access to these invisible webs of support, Black and Latinx employees are at a performance, promotion, and leadership disadvantage. This almost always plays a hidden role in burnout, performance gaps, and retention rates.
This is why we launched our Fellowship program.
The Bleeker Fellowship surrounds Black and Latinx professionals (managerial level and above) with a personal support system that is designed to help them grow. Over nine months, Fellows work with coaches one-on-one to enhance capacity, foster interdependence, and resolve challenges. They’ll participate in group learning forums with other Fellows, and they’ll be connected with a diverse cross-section of allies who will support them with advice, mentorship, and sponsorship.
Why is it important for Bleeker to reintroduce this program at this specific moment in time?
At a time when employers are seeking ways to make more equitable the professional experiences of their historically marginalized employees, when White allies are seeking ways to share their valuable experiences, and when Black and Latinx professionals are faced with a multiplicity of challenges stemming from institutionalized racism and an uncertain economic future, this Fellowship program addresses all three needs.
How can interested professionals and/or corporates get involved with the Bleeker Fellowship program?
Corporates interested in learning more and offering Fellowship support to their Black and Latinx employees can complete this form here.
For professionals interested in serving as a strong ally to Black and Latinx professionals, this is an opportunity to make a tangible impact. Whether you can volunteer 30 minutes per quarter or an hour per month, we can match you with a Fellow whose goals and opportunities for growth match your strengths and areas of expertise. To learn more and be considered an ally (e.g. advisor, mentor, or sponsor), you can complete this form here.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about Bleeker and its newly launched fellowship initiative?
We have spent the last seven years working with business leaders to create better workplaces for all people. Workplaces that are more collaborative, innovative, and inclusive. But it’s via the support of our diverse community of 1,200+ professionals that we’ve come to understand the limitations of traditional corporate learning and development solutions that ignore external influences.
CEOs can no longer afford to ignore the whole person who shows up for work every Monday morning. That person has personal passions, values, and struggles that have nothing to do with their job, but everything to do with their life. These inputs don’t fall away on Sunday night and re-emerge on Friday evening. They’re always there and they greatly influence the work experience.
The smart CEO embraces this reality and meets their people where they are. Our Fellowship initiative is one way in which CEOs can do this.