A year ago, George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparked global outrage and prompted people everywhere to confront police violence and racial discrimination. In the wake of Floyd’s death, Logical Position (LP) made a multi-point pledge to do our part to improve diversity in the communities where we live and work. One of the most critical components of that pledge was our intention to form a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committee that would provide a safe space for intentional listening and learning while actively inviting the contribution and participation of people from all backgrounds. In recognition of the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death and the formation of LP’s DEI committee, we’re providing an update on our DEI initiatives as we hold ourselves accountable for the commitments we’ve made and declare once again that black lives still matter.
LP’s Current DEI Initiatives
LP’s DEI initiative comprises four different groups. The first is the employee body, which is the largest group and one of the most impacted by our DEI efforts. The second is LP’s DEI Committee, including roughly 60 employees who meet once a month to discuss DEI in the workplace. The third group is our 16-member DEI Council, which meets every week to plan and execute our DEI initiatives. The final group is LP’s executive team who gives final approval on the DEI Council’s recommendations.
From the beginning, the DEI Council’s goal was to identify areas of improvement through a discovery process and offer recommendations for growth. While that process is still ongoing, we’ve begun making changes we believe will lay the foundation for a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Here are a few of our early efforts.
Create an Inclusive Culture
One of the topics we’ve addressed has been to make a more welcoming work culture. For example, each year LP creates employee softball teams. In past years, the men’s team was the only one competing competitively. Now, the company offers a competitive co-ed team as well. In another example, employees told us that office fantasy football leagues left many team members feeling excluded. So, this spring, LP also held a Rupaul’s Drag Race fantasy league where people unfamiliar with the sports world might feel more welcome.
While softball teams and fantasy football leagues may appear to be minor issues, they’re both examples of how DEI works on a granular level. When people from outsider groups constantly face small issues like these, they start adding up to something big. So as LP begins looking critically at seemingly benign office issues, we’re laying a foundation for a more welcoming workplace. We also believe that paying attention to small things will open up our perspective on significant issues like hiring, promotions, pay equity and more.
Honor Our Diversity Through Paid Holidays
In another early initiative, the DEI Council examined our holiday policy. LP already offers paid time off for the major American holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Independence Day. While these observances are undoubtedly important for many of our employees, other team members work on holidays that aren’t broadly recognized but still very important to their identity.
As a step towards honoring the diversity of the LP team, we’ve expanded our paid holiday schedule to include Martin Luther King Jr. Day. LP also took this one step further by implementing a floating paid day off that our team can use to celebrate a holiday important to them. For some, that might be the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Others might choose to celebrate Juneteenth. We believe this simple change acknowledges that the holidays we choose to recognize says a lot about our values. By expanding and diversifying our paid holiday policy, we’re demonstrating that we value our entire team’s experience.
Elevate Marginalized Voices
Too often, marginalized community members feel like they have to leave essential elements of their personality and culture behind when they come to work. That’s why a crucial component of any DEI effort is creating a welcoming environment for all backgrounds and perspectives. The DEI Council fosters this attitude at LP by elevating marginalized voices and providing resources our employees can access to learn more about people who are different from them.
During Women’s History Month, the DEI Council and LP’s Education Department led an #IamRemarkable workshop for LP employees, designed to encourage women and other underrepresented groups to talk about their accomplishments free from the baggage that comes with cultural and gendered modesty expectations. In May, our team also developed a full content calendar centered around Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month that provides our employees with external resources and activities so they can dig a little deeper and learn more.
In the future, we’ll honor other important moments like Pride Month, Juneteenth, and Loving Day, which marks the date when the Supreme Court struck down state-level bans on interracial marriage. We’re also making these efforts city-specific so teams from each of our offices can find resources near them.
Support People in Client-Facing Roles
Another important aspect of DEI is recognizing when employees are asked to act in ways that compromise their values. LP has a large and diverse group of employees and a customer base spread across the country. Occasionally, people in client-facing roles find themselves in situations that make them uncomfortable. For example, what if one of our vegan employees is assigned to a client that makes leather goods? How does LP navigate this situation? How do we allow the employee to have a conversation about their values with a supervisor? Our DEI Council has begun to build formal processes to let these essential conversations occur in safe and supportive ways.
More Initiatives are Underway
While we’ve made headway after our first full year, LP’s DEI initiatives are only getting started. In the coming months, we’ll develop standards and practices that will codify our DEI efforts into a program that can grow alongside our company. This process begins by refreshing the DEI council with members who have the ongoing capacity to engage with the council’s new initiatives fully. We’ll likely see a few current council members take a step back, and we’ll use an application process to fill those openings from the ranks of our DEI committee.
At the same time, the council will begin working on LP’s first DEI charter. This document establishes shared definitions of items we work on, along with mission and vision statements about DEI initiatives at LP and how the council will work towards those ends. As our DEI program grows, the charter will serve as a guidepost we can reference as we develop new projects or when current initiatives become unclear. We anticipate the charter will go into effect in July or August of this year, in conjunction with the DEI council refresh.
The council will also further engage with an outside DEI consultant we hired to help us advance our DEI efforts. During the first phase of our engagement, this consultant conducted discovery about LP’s workplace and culture. In the second phase, the consultant will deliver the results of that discovery phase and provide us with some direction moving forward. This process offers us a valuable outsider’s perspective that identifies areas of improvement we may not have identified ourselves.
Working Towards a More Diverse and Equitable Future
A year after George Floyd’s death, we’re still working to make LP a more diverse and equitable workplace. We believe the changes we’ve already made, our plans for the future and the ongoing support of our coworkers will help create the daily habits that make DEI a permanent part of LP’s culture. As we move ahead, we’re excited about what these efforts mean for the future of LP because we know great employees and great clients alike will want to be part of what we’re building together.