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What Inclusion Means to Emplify

Adam Weber
Adam Weber

What Inclusion Means to Emplify—Empathy in Action

Here at Emplify, empathy is central to our mission of helping people realize their true potential. We don’t do it because it helps businesses operate more efficiently or our client’s bottom line— even though both those things are true. We do it because people matter. People with diverse perspectives from different walks of life power our world. Diverse perspectives matter and help make the changes needed to move our communities into the future. 

For too long, however, black, indigenous, and people of color have been systematically barred from the conversations that make those changes possible. For us, this is unacceptable. As people experts, we understand that each individual has their own set of values and needs that must be addressed in order to unlock growth. After all, that’s what it means to lead like a human. 

So, in the pursuit of a more human-centric workforce, we at Emplify are working to uplift these important perspectives here at home and with our clients. We’re dedicated to learning how we can better support our BIPOC employees and sharing those lessons back to our customers. Here are some of the steps we’ve taken in the past six months to continue the conversation started by recent calls for racial justice.  

Implicit Biases in Hiring 

Emplify has implemented a series of implicit bias trainings that will help us approach our work with a more inclusive perspective. One area where these trainings are vital is our hiring practice. From training our interviewers to recognize their own microaggressions to writing our job descriptions with more inclusive language, we are working to create a more inclusive hiring practice. 

In order to combat discriminatory hiring practices, we’ve worked with our hiring managers to detect their own biases when it comes to interviews. Studies show that if an interviewer is made aware of these biases before they talk to a candidate, they are more likely to detect them during the interview. An hour before each interview, hiring managers go over examples of microaggressions and inclusive language with our interviewers to ensure they are top of mind

Traditionally, job descriptions have relied heavily on terms like “crushing it” when referring to daily tasks, or “seeking a ninja” when attempting to net a high performing individual. This kind of terminology is overwhelmingly coded as masculine language and may deter an applicant from submitting for the position. Instead, we will be specific about the requirements needed for the job detailing exactly what the role entails as to ensure we interview the most qualified candidate. We’ve also shifted our use of pronouns from “his/her” to “you” to avoid any notion of gender being binary and to immediately portray a more inclusive atmosphere for the applicant. 

Finally, in every job posting, we make sure to mention our inclusion promise—not a policy—to every single one of our employees. It’s a promise because inclusivity means more to us than a set of corporate guidelines and procedures. We believe it’s an acknowledgement of responsibility that we are building a more equitable culture—both inside our walls and beyond. This promise encourages our people to engage in civic duties such as participation in demonstrations and voting responsibilities by allowing PTO use for these kinds of events.  

Diversity and Inclusion Progress Assessment Tool 

Research from McKinsey shows that companies who embrace and excel in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion outperform their competitors. In fact, companies with gender-diverse executive teams out-earn their competitors by 25%. Those with a high degree of ethnic diversity do even better: out-earning their competitors by 36%. Even with these striking differences, matters of diversity, fairness, and inclusion remain challenges for many organizations. Due to these challenges, we created the Diversity and Inclusion Progress Assessment to help companies everywhere become more inclusive and equitable.  

The Diversity & Inclusion Progress Assessment is an assessment that helps companies gauge their progress on issues of diversity & inclusion. The 15-question assessment (plus one open-ended response question) provides a view into the topic through the eyes of a team or an organization’s employees. Think of it like a thermometer—a general gauge of how employees are feeling about a company’s diversity and inclusion progress. The ideal use of this tool is not to solve all of the problems at once. Rather, it is meant to provide objective data about where the biggest challenges exist and where leaders can start taking action.

Most, if not all companies, have work to do in these areas. To make meaningful progress towards a truly inclusive climate, diversity must be sought out naturally for its clear competitive advantage.  And while understanding may only be a first step, it’s a tactical approach to a larger talent strategy problem. 

Company Wide Campaigns and Educational Events 

While Emplify has been working on these organizational changes, our people are making their own efforts to help promote equality everywhere. In honor of Juneteenth, Emplify and the Women’s Empowerment Group partnered together to raise over $4,000 for Black Lives Matter. BLM was chosen due to its significant support in the community and their focus on engagement and robust curriculum. Other employee led events include seminars on race in america where we’ve invited several members of the community—including those from academia and other organizations—to help guide the conversation. 

These are just our first steps, but to quote Martin Luther King Jr, “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.” We know this journey towards equality will be a lifelong one, yet we are determined to our path. Inclusion is a radical practice that means everyone is thriving and bringing their whole selves to their work. That practice requires daily work. But as a company with caring written into our DNA, we’re ready for the challenge. When it comes to unlocking the best in your people, inclusion isn’t merely a suggestion—it’s a requirement.

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