Climatiq was founded out of the desire to drive climate action and contribute to meaningful, positive change. As a startup it can be challenging to stay true to your purpose and really invest the time to build and institutionalise a healthy company culture, where everyone is in a position to hold you to account for achieving that purpose.
In light of our ambition to become a certified B Corporation, we incorporated the requirement to put the planet and people before profit. But beyond legal requirements, we also wanted to make sure that we have the tools to elevate what people care about and the perspectives they bring. To do that, we decided to ramp up our understanding and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
DEI takes commitment. It takes personal and collective leadership to create a welcoming, inclusive work environment. And it takes continuous learning and sharing among employees and as a company.
We started our journey with an initial sprint focused on sharing daily learning materials, which we added to a still growing knowledge base to Climatiq’s internal company wiki. In addition, everyone on the team identified topics or skills to learn and improve. For some, it’s weeding out ableist terms from their vocabulary, for others it’s heightening attention around micro-aggressions, and yet others will explore tools for creating an inclusive culture in a remote work environment.
Apart from personal commitments, it also takes collective ones. It may seem obvious, but as a young startup it helps to define processes and policies early on. So we used our momentum to formalise an anti-discrimination policy – which is now part of our Employee Handbook.
And we did not stop there. Our Handbook states:
“We want everyone to feel welcome, respected, included, and that they belong. To help us reflect, improve and maintain a healthy culture, we keep track of a few high-level metrics. Metrics themselves won't tell the whole story, they simply provide indicators for things that may need attention.”
At the moment we look at these metrics:
Internally and as we grow, we will keep track of age, tenure, and employment status as well.
We also already identified a target for improvement and agreed that:
“We strive to increase the representation of women and non-binary employees to at least 50%, including in leadership and manager positions.”
You can learn a lot during a two-week sprint and, no doubt, it does help to raise awareness among the team. Yet, any business that’s genuinely committed to improve, will need a lot more to keep up the momentum and continuously improve.
If you are on a similar journey growing your awareness and looking for inspiration or conversation starters, here is a list of resources that we read or listened to in the initial 2 week sprint: