In June, the U.S. witnessed some of the largest civil rights protests in recent history. Sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, this year we saw a reckoning with systemic racism at home and around the world. At Drip, we pledged to fight against injustice and systemic racism to enact lasting change. Our team took the time to pause and take a look at ourselves. To ask ourselves some tough questions. And to reckon with some tough answers.
What does diversity mean in the workplace? How can we be more inclusive? So ALL employees can bring their full selves to work—authentic and diverse? How do we define equity? How do we gauge real impact?
Committed to our pledge, we knew that we had our work cut out for us. We created the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team so our employees can take part in shaping how we show up as a team; for our customers, our crew, and our community.
Our DEI team’s work is centered around three pillars: Empower, act, and impact.
Empower: strengthen our team through education, resources, and empathy-building so Drip is a space where people can bring their whole selves—authentic and diverse.
Creating shared knowledge, language, and resources are foundational in creating inclusive spaces. At Drip, we’re starting out by hosting a quarterly book club and launching a company-wide unconscious bias training.
We’re already a bunch of nerds who love to read, so what better way to learn together? The quarterly topic will vary, and everyone who’s interested joins an internal Slack channel to discuss the book throughout the quarter. At the end of each quarter, we’ll have a discussion session facilitated by our DEI team. This quarter the topic is race, and we’re reading So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo. We have to shout out Black Garnet Books for being the only active Black-owned bookstore in the Twin Cities, and for getting So You Want to Talk about Race into our hands. We love their mission: “To introduce everyone to underrepresented voices and stories, new and old, that support and affirm the cultures they're connected to.”
In addition to learning through literature, we’re bringing awareness to unconscious bias. The goal is to educate Drip employees about what unconscious bias is, that it’s not taboo, and there’s power in acknowledging it. As allies we need to be aware of our own biases, give empathy for others, and create a common language to hold each other accountable. The DEI team will host a quarterly session where we learn, facilitate open dialogue, and participate in an activity. This quarter we’re starting with the basics: Defining unconscious bias and taking the Harvard Project Implicit assessment on race.
Act: we are committed to taking action to create the change we want to see in our communities, the tech industry, and the world.
One of the first actions our team is passionate about taking is investing in a mentorship program. At Drip, we care about each human. We want to invest in our community and expand access to our crew boat.
We’re excited to partner with UpTurnships—a local organization committed to ensuring that all college students have equal access to high quality, meaningful, paid internships that will impact their career pathway and future earning potential. Through this partnership, Drip is able to give interns exposure to the tech industry and the ecommerce space and provide professional and development experience to help students build their resume and further their careers.
Impact: what matters gets measured. We will measure our impact by setting clear goals and transparently holding ourselves accountable to the results.
If you don’t measure the results of your efforts, do they really matter? The answer is no. From participation and engagement, to survey results and mentorship OKRs, we will measure the impact of our efforts. We will hold ourselves accountable every step of the way. It won’t be perfect, but we will be unwavering in our commitment to fight against injustice and to enact lasting change.
And it doesn’t stop here! This is a small but important first step, and our DEI team is going full speed ahead 2021 planning and beyond. There is no finish line when you’re focused on growth, and we are humbly committed to continuing this work–with persistence and resilience–we look forward to reporting back in 2021.