In early 2020, we drafted a new 3-year strategic plan. Creating a welcoming workplace has always been important to us, and in this plan we set out to apply a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) approach to creating a culture where all Brainers thrive. We have learned so much from other companies who have shared their work around DEI; this update is our way of contributing to this conversation.
In the workplace, when people mention DEI they are speaking to initiatives that will improve diversity, equity and inclusion. A few practical examples of DEI initiatives are including pronouns in email signatures, or developing features in your software, such as an inclusive gender option.
If you are interested in further exploring DEI work, we have three learning resources at the end of this article to get you started.
When we wrote our 3-year strategic plan as a team in early 2020, we put culture right up top. Building a great team is our first priority, and culture is how we get there. In our current plan, we commit to building an internal space that nurtures respect and care for each other, embraces our uniqueness, and creates a welcoming environment for all. This is our vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion in action; the workplace we will cultivate by focusing on DEI.
Before last summer, initiatives focusing on DEI sat with managers and our Culture Committee. Last summer, we coordinated efforts by bringing a committee of Brainers together to create a DEI Roadmap for the year.
Enhancing our own individual education was step #1. To deepen our understanding of the issues, the committee coordinated peer learning groups called Table Talk, curated a list of resources with personal recommendations, and provided funding for DEI learning materials. Moving beyond personal education and into company-wide initiatives, we worked with a consultant to develop some initial priorities with long-term impact. 3 initiatives that resonated with the team were creating an Emerging Leaders program, focusing on inclusion in our Onboarding, and bringing a DEI lens into our Product Development processes.
Our DEI Roadmap has taken us through a number of initiatives this year:
Most recently, we asked what diversity & inclusion mean to us as individuals and as a team, via a Humanizing DEI workshop facilitated by Reframe. Our shared understanding will provide the foundation for our next roadmap, and our continued learning as a team.
If you are asking yourself “where do I begin learning about DEI?”, you are not alone. Below are three foundational resources that we have used to deepen our understanding of DEI:
Many of our peer learning groups began with this book to understand the impact of white supremacy on our experiences and ourselves, and how to become good ancestors, building a better future. The book guides you through a series of topics and reflection questions to build a solid foundation for your understanding of this essential topic.
This daily or weekly newsletter takes one topic per weekday, and does a deeper dive into it with an anti-racism lens. Each newsletter contains an article about the topic, ways to take action, reflection points, and key takeaways. Beyond that, each issue provides you with additional resources that you can use to further support your education. You can subscribe here.
Project Include’s mission is to give everyone a fair chance to succeed in tech. They provide practical resources on implementing diversity and inclusion solutions at your organization, across a variety of topics.
While we are already seeing the benefits of our DEI initiatives so far, this work will be an ongoing priority. We will continue to educate ourselves, and cultivate meaningful change at CampBrain and in our industries. I’ll be sure to provide another update soon as we continue our DEI journey.