Earlier this year, I transitioned into a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Talent Partner role at Button. It has been exciting, challenging, and truly rewarding to shape what DEI means at Button. It started with having a committee in place, creating a roadmap, and executing on the initiatives set to make a greater impact.
Setting DEI representatives and committee members
Part of having any set group/committee, it is important to have a "board" or "representatives" that play a role in our meetings. For our DEI committee, I felt that was a major step to get buy in from members of Button that go beyond our people team. We set a team of four representatives including myself that can be held accountable for action items and initiatives we set. In addition to this, I have set monthly meetings for a greater audience to attend to share feelings, thoughts, and listen to our community as it pertains to DEI.
Our DEI roadmap
When thinking about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Button wanted to not only be dedicated to a mission statement, but have a roadmap in place in which we are held accountable for committing to DEI. When creating this roadmap, we wanted to have feasible action items rolled out across three different phases. All the phases ladder up to a one-year plan of immediate to long-term action items. When creating an extensive roadmap, I wanted to also have a safe place for everyone to feel dedicated to something they felt passionate about. This goes beyond a checklist, but rather words we can put into action!
In addition to having a solid roadmap in place, we wanted employees to also feel a sense of purpose. This means continuing to have monthly DEI meetings, having a concrete agenda with action items, and committing as a team to bring the change and making an impact. At a recent meeting I had set an agenda around entering phase two of our DEI roadmap in Q4. We discussed ways to volunteer our time within the tech community, picked two events we wanted to plan for Button in the upcoming months, and folks left with the action item to bring what they want to get out of this committee for the next meeting. to turn the ideas into reality. After every meeting, I sum up everything that was talked about and action items that needed to be followed through in an email to the entire company—it is important to maintain transparency about what the DEI committee is working on.
Some of our efforts over the past few months have been very successful in our community. We created a book club to discuss White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and our thoughts on the major social movement that recently took place. In addition, Button started a charitable donation matching program to encourage folks to donate to social justice and equality causes they feel passionate about.
Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
We promote diversity in every which way at Button, including through different community groups. We encourage all employees to share their backgrounds and interests with one another. Having dedicated ERGs has helped promote inclusiveness within the Button community with lunch n' learns, Talk O Tuesday's, monthly meetings for each group, happy hours, etc.
This has really helped folks in our Button community feel connected and included. During this pandemic and the challenge of becoming virtual, groups such as these really make a difference when you want to have an inclusive culture.
We recently shed some light on Women's Equality Month by hosting a panel discussion with two strong female entrepreneurs that joined us to share their journey. I moderated the conversation on achieving equality in the workplace, how to lead a strong team while being inclusive, and WFH hacks that work best during these times.
This year has certainly been a whirlwind with a major pandemic and huge social movement impacting our everyday lives. It is more important than ever to have a diverse, equal, and inclusive community within any organization. Button has taken the steps through our DEI roadmap to commit and hold ourselves accountable to be the change we want to see. It starts with us as individuals, employees, and a community.
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