Mindbody API: Fostering Representation and Cultural Impact in the World of Wellness
In 2021, it was announced that Mindbody would acquire ClassPass. On paper, this seemed like a natural fit—two leaders in the world of wellness combining forces to create the largest community of transformative wellness experiences. Boom bam. All’s good. But, beneath that surface-level news was a deeper narrative—one that saw the blending of passionate teams, working tirelessly behind the scenes to make these connections to wellness experiences real. This was especially true among our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
As a bonus feature from the acquisition, our ERG program grew and became an even stronger part of what makes Mindbody, ensuring diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging (DEIB) is woven throughout the fabric of our company. One such ERG that came to life during this blending of teams is the Mindbody API, a group dedicated to fostering community, education, and career support around the greater Asian Pacific Islander experience. Today, I’m thrilled to sit down with Diane Hahn, user researcher at Mindbody, and one of the leads for Mindbody API, to chat about the lasting impacts this group has not only on Mindbody but on the world of wellness at large.
Will Price: What’s your role at Mindbody?
Diane Hahn: I am a user researcher on the research and insights team. I drive customer intuition across the company through user research, helping our teams build products with our users' true needs in mind.
WP: What brought you to Mindbody originally?
DH: Mindbody's commitment to connecting the world to wellness really drew me in. The company's core values also deeply aligned with my personal core values.
WP: What compelled you to join an employee resource group at Mindbody?
DH: I wanted to diversify the types of people I was working and building relationships with at work. This led me to joining our Mindbody United ERG. I also saw a lack of representation of women of color at our company and tech in general. I wanted to be a part of creating safe spaces and increasing representation.
WP: Walk us through how Mindbody API came about and what made you want to be involved with this charge?
DH: Mindbody API—Asian and Pacific Islanders—was born very recently. There has never been an API-specific ERG at Mindbody, though folks have been interested in creating one for a long time. When Mindbody and ClassPass joined forces, we learned that ClassPass had an ERG for API. The merging of Mindbody and ClassPass ERGs became the perfect time for us to work together to create a joint API ERG. I wanted to be a part of this new ERG because I think there is so much empowerment in forming connections with folks who have shared lived experiences as Asian and Pacific Islanders. The idea of being able to help create communities is special and meaningful to me. Having community makes people feel seen, heard, and empowered to bring their authentic selves.
WP: What does the Mindbody API ERG bring to Mindbody?
DH: Mindbody API hopes to foster community, education, and career support around the greater Asian and Pacific Islander experience. We’re excited to see the ways this ERG will not only bring API at the company together, but also to see it advocate for API representation in the wellness industry.
WP: What does the Mindbody API ERG bring to the world of wellness?
DH: Many practices and aspects of the American wellness industry come from Asian culture. This includes yoga, acupuncture, gua sha, matcha, certain forms of martial arts—just to name a few. My hope is that Mindbody API can foster representation of Asian voices in the wellness space and bring attention to how API culture impacts and propels the industry.
WP: With the theme of AAPI Heritage Month 2022 focusing on "Renew and Rebuild: Our Communities and Beyond," what does renewal and rebuilding mean?
DH: To me, a community is a group of people who work toward a collective goal whilst sharing trust and purpose. It means being able to walk into a space with your authentic self—your experiences, your stories, and all that you are—knowing that you'll be seen, heard, and supported. Mindbody can help renew and rebuild communities by providing financial and timely resources for employees to lean in and develop connections with one another. We can also be a part of creating spaces for business owners of different community associations to support one another. As individuals, we can work toward renewing communities by training ourselves to keep our implicit biases in check and creating judgment-free zones. The theme for AAPIHM is fitting for Mindbody API—we're looking to renew and rebuild our API community at Mindbody!
WP: In your opinion, does the wellness industry do enough to promote inclusivity? What can it do better?
DH: The wellness industry is not doing enough to promote inclusivity, but we are taking steps toward it! Wellness is for everyone. By making spaces welcoming for everyone, you can remove barriers to someone's access to wellness!
WP: What does wellness mean to you?
DH: Wellness to me means making choices daily to better yourself emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. The balance between these aspects doesn't always mean it's a 25-25-25-25% split—you may need to lean more heavily in one direction in certain seasons of life.
WP: In the coming months and years, what are some of the major Mindbody API initiatives and goals that will help shape the future of wellness?
DH: Since May 2022 marks our official launch, our main focus over the next few months will be to build up the community within the ERG with Asian Pacific Islanders and supporters. We also will be working toward providing educational resources and events for Mindbody to learn more about the AAPI community and how API influences the wellness industry. Additionally, we hope to increase representation at BOLD 2022 alongside other ERGs and support the company in other DEIB initiatives.
WP: Finally, where can I go to learn more about AAPI culture and its impact on the world? What news sources should we be tapping into to educate ourselves?
DH: PBS has a phenomenal documentary film that deep dives into AAPI history, including some current-day events. It's a great place to start understanding U.S. history from the lens of AAPI. In terms of news sources, NextShark covers Asian and Asian-American news including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech, lifestyle, and more. It's awesome for keeping up with current-day AAPI happenings. Also, if you are able, I would recommend visiting a museum that is focused on the Asian-American experience, such as the Japanese American National Museum in LA.
In general, a great thing to do is to diversify the types of voices you are listening to and reading. I encourage everyone to consciously choose one AAPI author, podcaster, or film to read/listen to/watch this month. This exercise can be applied outside of this month—we should try to ingest content from someone who is different from the authors and creators that we usually gravitate toward.
To learn more about how diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging come to life at Mindbody, please visit the DEIB Resource Center.
Read more about how Mindbody’s Employee Resource Groups are impacting the world of wellness in our “Meet Mindbody” series.