Fostering Racial Equity and Justice
“Solidarity is nothing but self-satisfying if it is solely performative.”
—Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Our mission at Rise is to empower people to live better lives. As part of that, we believe we have a responsibility to operate in a way that improves social and environmental conditions for our people and our communities. That includes doing the work of racial justice in our organization.
Here’s the work Rise has done and is committed to doing to help dismantle the systemic racism that permeates our society:
Recruiting and hiring
- Our hiring practices are designed to build a diverse candidate pipeline, including membership in the Professional Diversity Network.
- We are evolving our job postings to “impact job descriptions” designed to help potential applicants understand what they’ll experience in the role, rather than list pedigree requirements. Such an approach can increase applications from marginalized communities.
- As of 2020, 25% of our U.S.-based team are people of color. Our average turnover rate for Black employees in 2018-2019 was 5%.
Employee support and engagement
- Our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIBs) Committee advises the executive team on ways we can improve practices and strategies to strengthen the hiring, support, and retention of people from marginalized communities.
- Our annual employee engagement survey helps us measure employees’ experience with engagement, decision-making, fairness, voice, belonging, diversity, and contribution to a broader purpose.
- We have a formal framework and funding for employee resource groups.
- We have a full-time member of the People team who focuses on diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
- Our company operates with a human-centered framework where employees feel safe and empowered to bring their whole selves to work.
Education and training
- All employees participate in a required training program (part of onboarding) based on the feature documentary, “I’m Not Racist… Am I?” The program aims to transform employees into antiracists. This article talks more about the program and how we think about racial justice at Rise.
- We sponsor friends/family members of employees taking the digital version of the “I’m Not Racist… Am I?” course.
- We have a monthly guest speaker as part of our Diverse Voices Speakers Series to promote and foster conversations about diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace.
- We built an internal course that empowers employees to document actions we can take to support racial justice.
- We built a free online course on how to engage in transformational community activism. You can access it here.
Donations and volunteering
- We donated a total of $100,000 to Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, Color of Change, and Black Visions this year.
- We match employee donations up to $500 per employee per year with our Matching Donation program.
- Our newly created Service Sabbatical program allows employees to apply for a one-to-three month paid sabbatical to volunteer with an organization that furthers human and civil rights.
- We donate to organizations like Black Girls Code and are currently building such donations into our annual budget.
- We support and encourage our employees to take paid time off to volunteer, and we offer unlimited PTO.
There’s a lot of work left to do, and we are deeply committed as an organization to doing it. We will continue to hold ourselves accountable for helping to create a more just and equitable world for our employees, customers, and the communities in which we live.