Earlier this year, we clarified our stance on the importance of treating the continuous honesty and improvement of DEI as an ongoing commitment to our people, clients, and communities as well as all future Plativites. We followed that up with a public plan of action with the hopes that it would keep us accountable to our people, customers, and community members to continue to advance equity and inclusion initiatives at Plative while encouraging and enabling our peers to do the same. Our people know that our firm impacts hundreds of thousands of lives either directly or indirectly and this is not something that should be taken lightly. We strive to be the leader and a role model to our communities by leading the way and forging an equitable path for all people in the workplace. I’d say that the team has made some amazing progress since we began publicizing our efforts that I want to share publicly with all of our customers, partners, candidates, and communities.
We created our V2MOM: Our favorite borrowed mechanism for organizational alignment
One of our major keys to success is deep alignment with our partners. One of our top partners, Salesforce, was able to grow to become a publicly-traded software company with 40,000 employees in only 20 years. Chairman and CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff stated: “While a company is growing fast, there is nothing more important than constant communication and complete alignment. We’ve been able to achieve both with the help of a secret management process that I developed a number of years ago”. He is, of course, referring to the V2MOM framework which Salesforce employees and executives still use to this day to increase organizational alignment and foster more transparent and efficient communication.
We hope they’re amenable to the Plative team borrowing their framework ?
Our DEI mission and vision
Like any business-critical initiative, we wanted to start by creating a mission that we could always refer to as our true north as a firm:
“At Plative, we strive to create an environment that celebrates diversity, embraces inclusion, and creates the highest equity standards for our people. Plative will create a workplace that develops and promote strategies and best practices to address gaps in representation for URGs, promotes work-life balance, and allows people from all backgrounds to have equal opportunities to succeed across Plative’s global workforce.”
Every initiative that comes about through this program will be done with our mission in mind.
Our DEI core values
Here at Plative, our core values are well documented. We proudly display them on all of our proposals, offer letters, and Plative-branded collateral because we believe that all decisions that we make, whether they be partnering with a client, onboarding a new hire, or entering into a new go-to-market strategy must be in line with our core values. We’ve approached DEI in the same way. Our core values for this ongoing initiative are:
- Passion: We are passionate advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion and we strive to create a workplace that champions DEI with all of Plative’s stakeholders.
- Commitment: Internally, we are committed to learning, measuring, challenging, and eradicating all forms of inequality at Plative. Externally, we are committed to standing up against inequality and adversity, regardless of the outcome.
- Respect: We strive to create a working environment where all employees are listened to and valued, where we accept others without bias, where we treat all people with dignity, and where we value the collective power of teamwork.
- Integrity: We behave with integrity and we follow moral and ethical principles in all aspects of life. We extend this integrity to all professional areas at work such as decision making, interacting with colleagues or partners, and serving our clients.
- Acceptance: We act with unconditional acceptance, without bias and we provide a safe space to grow and learn without judgment.
We saw where we stand
We applied two of the same principles to spearheading this initiative as we do for our clients in improving their performance:
- Establishing a ‘current state’ is of utmost importance, and requires absolute honesty.
- What is measured can be improved.
Then, we enlisted the support of our own people who raised their hands to serve on our DEI committee to treat this as a discovery phase of an engagement. To accomplish this, we sent out a “State of DEI” survey to our people across the globe and analyzed the results. The results we received back were largely positive, but we wanted to use this as an opportunity to learn where we can improve.
Here’s what we learned:
1. Women, parents/legal guardians, and those who speak English as a second or non-native language at Plative were slightly more likely to feel that their opportunities to succeed and grow within the organization is not as high as we need it to be.
2. Our people of South Asian and Hispanic descent are slightly less likely to state that they feel treated fairly as opposed to their colleagues.
3. Feeling or certainty of fair compensation is largely spread over all genders and ethnicities for a multitude of reasons and needs to be more straightforward and transparent.
4. All genders and ethnicities feel comfortable sharing contrary opinions.
5. People in a marriage or domestic partnership were less likely to state that they have a manageable work-life integration than their peers.
6. Age and gender are not significant factors in satisfaction with work-life integration.
Our plan of action
The responses were collected, analyzed, reflected on, and shared with all of our people to give everyone an honest accounting of where we stood and what we needed to improve. Then, the amazing Plativites who make up our DEI committee did what they do best: They came up with a long-term project plan with key assignments, milestones, accountability, and measures of success that were in line with our mission, vision, and values.
Immediate next steps
The project plan went into effect and immediately began with a few key developments which will go live in Q1 2021 here at Plative that I, for one, am incredibly excited to release to the company.
Stay tuned for more updates on our diversity, equity, and inclusion journey! For those who are interested in learning more or curious to see how they can get involved, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!