At the outset of the widespread protests against racial inequality in America sparked by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others over centuries of systemic racial injustice, Amperity declared its solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We were of course just one of many companies to do so, and there was understandable skepticism at large about the authenticity of corporate declarations of allyship.
Our commitment to equality can only show through our actions, and it is in that spirit that I am sharing our specific plans to live up to our commitment.
We know that as a company and as individuals we have changes to make over the coming weeks, months, and years. This applies to issues of racial equality in particular, and diversity and inclusion in general. It will be a marathon, not a sprint, and we will have to continually learn and work in order to do our part in a real way.
The first thing we did at Amperity was make Juneteenth a day of observance for our company. This was not simply a day off work — we organized reading groups and film discussions to promote education and conversation among employees around racial inequality. We also provided resources for volunteer work to help employees get involved in making a difference in their local communities. I was so proud to see widespread participation across our employee base, culminating in a company-wide meeting at the end of the day, where we had an honest, vulnerable, and focused conversation about what we all learned and what we will do next.
In the spirit of accountability, I wanted to share the initiatives we’ve put in place regarding hiring, culture, and community in furtherance of our commitment.
- Growing our 21% overall representation of people of color by 10% by the end of 2021, including a 10% increase in representation at the management level
- Growing our 32% overall representation of women by 10% by the end of 2021, including at the management level, with a focus on intersectional representation
- Continuing our commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ community at Amperity by fostering an inclusive environment that celebrates each employee’s authentic self
- For each open role, reviewing resumes in batches only after the proportion of diversity among applicants matches the general population
- Ensuring that at least one woman, person of color, and/or LGBTQ+ individual be among the interviewers for every candidate
- Requiring all interviewers to undergo implicit bias training
- Hosting interns from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds by partnering with organizations such as the Summer Search Program, Code2040, and WashingtonStem starting this year if possible (2020)
- Partnering with colleges and universities that champion diversity and have a proven track record of increasing diversity within their student and faculty populations
- Implementing implicit bias and racial equity training for all employees
- Establishing a Diversity Committee with a charter of helping to evolve our culture to become more inclusive by representing minority groups, including gender-identity, ethnicity, and sexual orientation
- Maintaining our evaluation and commitment to pay equity for all employees
- Fostering continued conversation about issues of diversity and inclusion through ongoing reading groups and discussions of educational materials
- Creating a mindset and practice of identifying minority-owned businesses and vendors to support
- Participating in minority-centric initiatives (either our own or those of our customers) at least twice per year, in partnership with AmperityCares
- Focusing our annual company-wide Caring Day on a more consistent, clear purpose and actively identifying additional opportunities for more frequent outreach.
- Enabling payroll deductions for charitable donations to encourage charitable giving
- Formalizing our program of allotting each employee one day per quarter to volunteer for a cause they champion and expanding the definition of "volunteer" to encompass anything that contributes to change and progress — including but not limited to donating time or resources, protesting, voting, speaking out or sharing perspective on social media, and educating oneself and/or others
This is our way of taking a meaningful step in the right direction, but our work — as individuals, as a company, and as a nation — is far from over. Amperity is making this public commitment to foster real and lasting change because we believe that it is critical that each of us do our part to help right the inequities that have existed for far too long.
Thank you to our amazing Amperity community of employees, customers, and partners, for your compassion, your humility and your leadership. I look forward to continuing this process of learning and improving — together.