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Our Buyers, Sellers and Communities

Bringing the Festival of Lights to eBay North America

In 2017, the Merchandising Diversity & Inclusion Committee at eBay wanted to highlight a wider range of holidays in North America. Their first? Diwali — the Festival of Lights celebrated by millions throughout India, South Asia and abroad.

Cindy Aknin, Manager of Site Merchandising, sees eBay as a powerful tool of inclusion and says, “eBay is a global community, and we can reflect those diverse histories and lives in our marketplace.” The Diwali Planning Team partnered with the North America Merchandising Team to launch eBay’s first landing page for the holiday, filled with curated gifts, clothing, accessories and decorations. In addition to merchandise, the Diwali page contained educational highlights about its history and religious significance. The page attracted over three million visitors in 30 days. This year, the team is building on that success to include holidays like Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month and Hanukkah.

Ripple Saraiya, Senior Manager of the Cross-Vertical team, sees broad value in the effort: “I know first-hand how it makes people feel to be included in mainstream channels. And more than being good for business, it’s exciting to delight people that way.”

Gearing Up in Rainbow Laces to Support the LGBTQ Sports Community

Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign recruits national teams, leading clubs, top athletes and fans gearing up for games to wear rainbow laces in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) equality and inclusivity. When Chris Gardner, who helps lead eBay UK’s volunteer Diversity & Inclusion committee, first heard about the campaign, he immediately recognized its significance for eBay: “Sports and fitness is a big category on eBay. We have millions of people buying sports equipment each year, and I thought we were uniquely positioned to become partners.” 


In November of 2017, eBay became the official platform to buy rainbow laces. Working with official partners like Adidas and Manchester United, the the D&I committee auctioned signed Premier League football shirts and other Pride-related merchandise with all the proceeds going to Stonewall, one of the UK’s oldest and most prominent LGBTQ rights organizations. According to Stonewall’s statistics, the 2017 Rainbow Laces campaign was its most successful yet.

“Sometimes people are cynical about corporate involvement in things like Rainbow Laces. I think companies have a great role in improving the world,” says Chris. “And being frank, we have the resources to do things. We are a big organization, and with that comes responsibility.”

Dominique Hollins & Leylha Ahuile

Seller Diversity Program Manager & Multicultural Marketing Manager | B2C Seller Operations & Marketing | San Jose, CA

Whatever you do, whoever you are, eBay is empowering you to be on this mission with us.

Leylha Ahuile and Dominique Hollins feel a deep sense of purpose in driving diversity and inclusion at eBay. For Leylha, it’s what sets eBay apart. “In addition to accounting for D&I in hiring, eBay is equally focused on diversifying the way it includes buyers and sellers,” she says.

Leylha was born in Chile and came to the United States with her family as a political refugee. Dominique grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a family that put a premium on education. Both are pioneering newly-created positions at eBay designed to drive D&I within eBay’s marketplace.

Together, they’re bringing a diverse community of  buyer and seller communities together through eBay’s platforms. Recently, they connected a local Hispanic chamber of commerce with a millennial running a Hispanic fashion blog. And soon, eBay will be launching its first bilingual Spanish-English advertising campaign in an effort to better serve Spanish-speaking markets.

To Leylha, making these links are natural. “It's like putting together the pieces of the puzzle,” she says. Dominique agrees, and adds,“eBay is passionate about giving all communities equal access to entrepreneurial opportunities. Whatever you do, whoever you are, we’re empowering you to be on this mission with us.”

Chris Gardner

Head of Home & Garden | Business Development | London, United Kingdom

People only trust a company if its actions back up its words. It's not enough to say diversity and inclusion is important. Show people something real.

“Having experienced what it means to grow up gay, it means a lot to me that people can express themselves as themselves in life,” Chris says. So when he joined eBay, he wanted to help eBay UK have a bigger presence at London’s Pride Parade. “People only trust a company if its actions back up its words. It's not enough to say diversity and inclusion is important. Show people something real.”

Chris garnered senior leader support, and galvanized a group of 40 eBay volunteers for more meaningful participation. Two years later, 150 eBay employees crowded a float pulled by the team’s “Unicorn Pride” car — a 1968 Ford Mustang customized with a “bejazzled” unicorn horn, rainbow wings and a “pride-tastic” paint job. eBay sellers supplied the accessories, taking a key role in the celebration. The car was auctioned on eBay and raised $50,000 for the Albert Kennedy Trust.

Today, Chris heads the employee-led eBay UK D&I Committee and his plans for the 2018 London Pride Parade are more ambitious than ever: “23 million people shop on eBay UK — an enormous breadth of humanity. eBay can tap those relationships, lead by example, and really make a difference.”

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