Priya Dubey: Inclusive Workplaces Create Inclusive Communities
Meet Priya, a Senior Program Manager at Vinted’s Shipping department. She told us about her origins, career path, sustainability practices, and why diversity is so important in a workplace.
What’s your name and job at Vinted?
My name is Priya Dubey, and I work as a Senior Program Manager in the Shipping department here at Vinted.
When and how did you join? Why? (Be honest!)
After working for 3 years as a Software Consultant I was looking for a change, so I decided to pursue an MBA in France and change my industry, job function, and location. Then I saw a job ad on Linkedin for the Program Manager position at Vinted. I had heard about the company before, but didn’t know a great deal about it. After doing some research, I found it extremely interesting and very close to what I was looking for. To be honest, I didn't think there was much hope in me getting a response, as I had no background in this field. But I did! And I joined Vinted in December 2020.
How is Vinted’s mission important for you?
In India, my home country, there are a lot of stereotypes attached to the concept of second-hand clothing. It’s usually thought that people go for second-hand because they cannot afford “new” clothes. So I wasn’t against it as a concept, but never really thought about it as a viable business option. When I saw that people in Europe had come a long way concerning fashion, I was amazed. People here value sustainability tremendously. Vinted caters to this very need, and that’s what makes it special.
Tell us about your typical workday. Do you have a morning ritual?
My mornings start with a cup of hot tea and checking some of the entertaining company Slack channels (#readthis is an amazing one), followed by emails. I usually have quite a few meetings, given the nature of my job, so when I have to get down to work I try to avoid all distractions and block a few hours to do just that. I also make sure I talk to all my team members at least once a day, to see how they are doing. And then I end the day with my cup of tea, as an Indian should.
What makes you excited to wake up and go to work each morning?
My teammates – we really support and empower each other. For me, this is the most important aspect of a workplace.
What do you find meaningful in your job?
In the past I’ve struggled, because I couldn’t see how my day-to-day tasks added value, and it took me away from realising how 8 hours of my day could result in a tangible output. That has changed at Vinted. Here it’s easy for me to visualise how my tasks contribute to the success of the company and the platform’s experience as a whole, and that keeps me going.
Vinted is becoming more and more international and diverse. How does it benefit you, in your life?
I was the first or second non-European to join Vinted in Vilnius. But in just a few months, I have observed a big change. Now my team is probably the most diverse. We are mostly women, all from different countries, including Switzerland, Canada, Italy, India, and Columbia. It is fascinating to me how different yet similar we all are – it’s a beautiful thing to realise.
Why do you think this is important?
It’s about the fact that one-third of our lives is spent at the workplace. The nature of our work and the people we work with shape not just our professional accomplishments, but a large part of our personalities. Most of us want to be a part of something that works towards the betterment of communities, and making workplaces inclusive leads to making communities inclusive. It leads to us becoming better people. I believe this is what makes it so important.
How do you like Vilnius? Have you found a new favorite spot?
I like the quietness of Vilnius. The Old Town is breathtaking. My favorite spot is the Cathedral Square, I like the life around that place.
How is Vinted different from the last places you’ve worked at?
Vinted has a very decentralised structure – and not just theoretically. It took me a while at first to adjust to this new way of working. You have freedom to take the initiative, and most decisions are made from the bottom up. It's extremely different from my other work experiences.
What are the key things you learned so far during your time at Vinted?
People skills are extremely important, something which also means being an empathetic listener and having a positive attitude. My work involves talking to many people, and I am slowly learning to be more cognisant of others' needs before approaching them. I believe this can be a tremendous help with the relationships you build.
Tell us more about yourself. Where do you come from, and where have you lived?
I was born in a small town in Northeast India, very close to Nepal. It’s a village-like place that is still somewhat untouched by the hustle and bustle of modern life. However, my favorite place in India is Bangalore, which, despite being a more developed city, is surrounded by lots of nature. I moved there after finishing my bachelor’s degree. Later, in 2018, I moved to Paris, France, for further studies. I have also lived in Nice and Berlin for short periods.
How do you seek improvement for yourself?
Primarily through feedback. I actively ask for feedback from people, and try to see if there is a pattern. Secondly, through retrospection – I ask myself what could I have done better in a certain scenario. However, I usually throw myself into the field, trudge through, and learn through practice.
What extra efforts do you make to live sustainably in your life outside of work?
I believe in conscious consumerism – you’d find my wardrobe very modest. I try to buy things I can use for a long time, and after using them, I usually donate them. Moreover, I believe that a little effort goes a long way. I often hear people talking about how oil companies, retail fashion, and other industries pollute our environment, and how our efforts are futile. I humbly disagree with such a statement. As a believer in the theory of social contract, I think we also must do our part.
One fun fact about you?
I love dancing, especially to Bollywood music. I also write poetry, and dream about publishing a book someday. You can read my poems here.
Pick one piece of media to recommend: a movie, a tv show, a podcast, a YouTube channel, a band… Why do you think it deserves someone’s attention, and what role does it play in your life?
Movie: The Pursuit of Happyness. Any time I’m feeling extremely unmotivated in life, I watch this movie. It gives me a new perspective.