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Diversity, equity and inclusion at Quadmark

The start of our journey 一 what we're doing, what we've learned and what's next. 

2020 was a wake up call. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbury, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black lives have been lost due to systemic racism. The Black Lives Matter movement has catalyzed a period of evaluation within our company, a time to listen and learn. We’ve been taking a hard look at ourselves in the mirror in terms of our own diversity, equity and inclusion. We realized we need to educate ourselves, change some of our processes, and think critically about what the future of Quadmark looks like.

While we’re still at the very start of our journey as a small, but quickly growing creative agency, we want to be honest about our thought process. In this post we’ll talk about the changes we’ve been making, the steps we’ve taken and what we intend to carry into 2021 and beyond. 

Blog post item_3 Our locations_400x200Quadmark is a collection of around 120 people located across the globe. And while we make every effort to maintain a close-knit company community while working remotely, naturally we do not know each other as well as perhaps a smaller team in one location might. So in order to strengthen our company culture, ensure we have as diverse a group as possible and create a place where everyone feels they belong, we must facing the challenge of growing as a company remotely

Looking in the mirror

We believed we had a fairly diverse workforce, being 55% female and collectively speaking 13 languages, as well as offices across the globe. Yet it's when we took a closer look at some of our practices, we realized there was much more we could do. We needed to evaluate ourselves and our systems to find our blind spots, and move toward becoming more diverse and inclusive.

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What’s happening now/next?

We have made the time to discuss, meet, reflect, listen, and learn from others as we roll out a new company-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) program.

Here’s a snapshot of the journey so far:

Blog post item_6 Paradigm Reach_400x2001. Raise awareness

Training is at the core of what we do, so that’s where we started — in the form of online modules. The first training course in September focused on unconscious bias, what it is, how to spot it, and most of all how to counter unconscious bias both in the workplace and our daily lives.

The course not only helped raise our awareness of unconscious bias, but also understand how these biases shape how we see and understand the world. The courses provided by Paradigm REACH have been an integral part of our learning journey, helping us to recognize and manage unconscious biases in the workplace, as well as raising our awareness of microaggressions, allyship, and belonging.

2. Gather insight

This led us to gathering insights with a DE&I advisor, who encouraged us to set up focus groups to capture thoughts, views and suggestions from across Quadmark, to be taken into consideration as we shape our DE&I journey. We held leadership workshops to help us think holistically about our business and what is being asked from us from many of our clients.

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3. Get involved

These insights were gathered, reflected on and translated into initiatives for different people to get involved in. We wanted to embed these into the Quadmark culture, so we formed teams to focus on these different initiatives, such as our DE&I Book Club, attending workshops during Google’s #IamRemarkable week and organizing inclusive activities during our events and parties, as well as in our social calendar for 2021. To help our employees feel like they can belong and bring their whole selves to work, we've formed an initiative team to help enable communities to form around identifying with a representational group, experience of similar circumstances, and similar interests. We’ve also been working on our new Speak Up process to increase our confidence in asking questions or raising a concern.

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4. Widen the conversation

In November, we initiated a DE&I focused Speaker Series, to open up the conversation and give outside voices a chance to share their experiences.

The first one was kicked off by Kim West from Kids Swag who educated us on the importance of mindful representation. We plan on continuing these conversations on a regular basis and inviting a host of diverse speakers to broaden our perspectives on various topics relating to diversity, equity and inclusion.

5. Rethink recruitment

We’ve committed to advertizing roles in a more consistent way, as well as actively broadening our reach and reducing bias in our recruitment process. For example, adding a screening criteria at each stage of the process, with the first stage being a "blind" assessment, and removing all non-relevant personal data such as name, method of referral, etc. We’re also broadening our recruitment net, starting with posting our job roles on Diversifying and BYP (Black Young Professionals) platforms as well as LinkedIn.


 

Blog post item_4 Positive result_400x200 (3)What we’ve learned so far


Making the time and space to go on this learning journey has been invaluable, and we’re still on chapter one. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned so far:

 

  • We’re finding out the importance of being open to learn from others, because none of us are experts in DE&I.
  • We’re learning to call each other out and challenge each other on behavior that makes us uncomfortable.
  • We’re realizing that we’re going to make mistakes along the way, but we’ll learn from them and continue working diligently toward building a workplace built on authenticity, acceptance, and empowerment for all employees.
  • We’re deepening our understanding of the value of each voice in this journey.
  • We’re involving everyone in the process of creating a company-wide cultural shift — basing our decisions on insights from the team and sponsoring rather than driving initiatives so that they develop organically.
  • We’re learning how diversity increases opportunity for change and innovation, as well as new ideas and solutions for our clients. This is inspiring us to think about future possibilities as a company.

What’s next

We’ve only just begun, and we’ve committed to this process for the long run. This learning journey has to be continuous to make meaningful progress in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive business that better reflects our core values at Quadmark. Only then will we enable Quadmarkers to bring their whole selves to work, and to role model inclusive behavior.

In 2021, we will expand our DE&I focus to who we partner with, the products we create, and the services we provide.

Let us know if you've got any questions or feedback, or browse the opportunities available within the team.

1 Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/02/12/five-essential-tips-for-sales-transformation/?sh=6c85e5211be6
2 Source: https://www.salesforce.com/blog/15-sales-statistics/

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