This article is part of our series "Employee Spotlight," where we speak to and highlight some of the wonderful people who make up the exceptional teams at Wayfair.
Kaiya DiPippo joined Wayfair’s Category Management team in 2016, managing a portfolio of suppliers in the upholstery category. Earlier this year she transitioned teams to work on Social Impact, leading Wayfair’s employee volunteerism, activation, and engagement efforts. We interviewed Kaiya about her career path at Wayfair and what she’s learned along the way.
What brought you to Wayfair?
"I came to Wayfair straight out of college! I grew up in Rhode Island, knew I wanted to work in the Boston area, and especially wanted to work for a fast-growing company like Wayfair. I also loved the idea of having an entry-level job that still gave me a lot of ownership and responsibility. I joined Wayfair on the Category Management team in 2016 and managed a portfolio of suppliers in the upholstery category. This role pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowed me to take full ownership and responsibility of my work, and taught me how important being flexible is to any role."
Tell us more about your role. What is your day-to-day like?
"After about four and a half years on the Category Management team, I moved over to work on the Corporate Responsibility team, which we break down into Corporate Social Impact and Corporate Sustainability. I sit on the Social Impact side and oversee our employee volunteerism, activation, and engagement efforts. I work alongside many different cross-functional teams to coordinate and facilitate employee volunteer opportunities, and develop programs that allow our employees to feel connected, invested, and give back to their communities. For example, I help oversee our Employee Match Program and Paid Day of Service volunteer benefits, which empower employees to give back to causes that are important to them. My team recently organized a large-scale volunteer effort – both virtual and in person – where employees had the opportunity to learn about chronic homelessness and give back to individuals who have been impacted by homelessness."
How would you describe the culture at Wayfair?
“I find the culture at Wayfair to be invigorating. It’s a culture where you are constantly learning, taking risks, and building new programs. I work with some of the most passionate, innovative, kind and smart people. I would say at Wayfair, it’s truly reinforced that there’s no such thing as a bad idea. I remember in my first six months at Wayfair, I pitched an idea to my manager at the time and was so scared that I was speaking out of turn, but she was so encouraging and excited that I had spoken up and shared the idea with her.”
What is your favorite part about working at Wayfair?
“My favorite parts about working at Wayfair are the people and cross-functional aspect, and the ownership opportunities. Working on the Corporate Responsibility team, my work overlaps with several other teams who are all doing work that’s so different from mine. I love that I get to do the work I’m passionate about, while also learning from extremely smart people with such varying backgrounds. I felt this in my old role on the Category Management team too, and I loved working in a role where I wasn’t just focused on one tiny silo of the business, but had visibility into all different aspects of the business through the cross-functional partnerships I built. I also think there’s still so much room for growth at Wayfair, both as a company and professionally. I love that I can have an idea and pitch it to my boss and have him say ‘okay go run with it and let’s see what we can do’ and whether or not that idea works, I’m gaining such amazing professional development experience.”
If you were speaking with a candidate on why they should join Wayfair and your team, what would you say?
“You’re given a lot of ownership over your work at Wayfair, which isn’t always the case, and especially not in every entry-level position. Having this ownership and responsibility over my own portfolio in my first job really helped me advance in my career and feel proud about the work that I’m doing. Now having switched teams to an entirely different function, I see that the ownership piece is true across most Wayfair teams. I also think Wayfair is positioned as a really interesting company in the market – we’re a furniture company, a tech company, and a company that is set out to make a difference across the world. All of those different pieces mean that there are so many diverse people working at Wayfair. I’ve always been of the mindset that you want to be surrounded by people who are smarter than you so that you can continue to learn and that is certainly the case at Wayfair. Even after more than five years here, I feel like I’m learning every day and building on my own professional repertoire of skills.”
You’ve worked across different teams and departments over your last several years here. Reflecting on your experience, what are you most proud of?
“I’m really proud to work at a company like Wayfair that prioritizes the work my team does. I do think corporations have a strong responsibility to make sure that they’re giving back to their communities and making them a better place, and it’s been such a wonderful time working on the Social Impact team. Having been at Wayfair for over five years, I’m really excited with where my career path has taken me. I learned so many important skills from my time on the Category Management team but knew in my heart that I wanted to work on a team in the Social Impact space. In my experience, Wayfair is a place where if you’re interested in a totally different area of work, you’re encouraged and motivated to seek it out! Talk to people and learn about how they got there and how you might be able to someday get there. Wayfair is filled with people from all different backgrounds who, in my experience, have been so willing to help and talk to me as I’ve been navigating my next step in my career. My goal now is to be that same person for someone else who is looking deeper into what they want to do next at Wayfair.”
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