Diversity, equity and inclusion at Quadmark
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:
1. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.