By Julie Tangen
Think of your life as an extended learning session. Few days go by in which we do not learn something new, even if it’s as simple as, “Wow, I didn’t know you could peel a lychee and eat it like a grape!”
Sometimes we have to re-learn things. For example, if we’re born into a culture that sees itself as superior to people of other races—while we can’t change out the influencers—we can modify our own outlooks and attitudes to balance that inequity and become more inclusive.
We all need to maintain a 24/7 approach to learning in order to be the best, most educated version of ourselves at all times. This includes attitudes toward social problems, such as racism and misogyny. At Offleash, we have built a culture of transparency, trust, mutual support, and accountability to principles of equity and inclusion.
Some examples of how we are implementing this include:
- Holding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training sessions for employees (as well as execs) to foster a deeper understanding of these issues and reconfirm our commitment to action;
- Maintaining agreements to cultivate a culture of respect, professionalism, accountability, equity, inclusivity, and authentic communication. We revisit these agreements, as we do with our commitment to our core values, at every opportunity; and
- Committing to learning new practices that promote these important values in our day-to-day work and in how we interact with one another.
Offleash also uses this approach in recruiting and hiring practices; we require the inclusion of people from underrepresented constituencies, such as women, persons of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and members from economically underserved communities.
Offleash also is intentional about encouraging employees to support their own personal causes. OffleashCARES, our philanthropy arm, keeps track of the hours and dollars donated to various local nonprofit organizations throughout the year.
Offleash shows through example that our commitment to DEI means:
- We are dedicated to constant learning.
- We know we will make mistakes, but we are determined to learn from them and to improve.
- We are dedicated to reviewing our actions and practices related to all of these policies and continue to hold ourselves and each other accountable to our DEI goals.
It’s great for people to think of their lives as extended learning sessions, and the same goes for the life of a company.
As partner and co-owner of Offleash, Julie focuses on both business development and working with clients on high level messaging/story building, PR strategy and program execution across a wide array of technology areas. Contact Julie here