Too often, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements and reports fall short. In the months after the 2020 racial reckoning, many companies made bold public statements about their values relating to racial justice and DEI. Still, top down approaches, a lack of concrete policies, and limited investments have left many company cultures unchanged.
At Charter, we’re trying something different. Our DEI compass lays out our vision and actionable strategies for building a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist organization. We wrote it collaboratively as a team with multiple points for input, group brainstorming, and feedback. The result is this collective wayfinding tool. As we grow, we’ll use it to measure our progress and hold ourselves accountable to these values. To ensure that we hold ourselves accountable, we’ll release annual updates to our compass with both qualitative and quantitative assessments of our initiatives.
Charter believes that investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion are borne out of a responsibility to each other and to our communities. Both as individuals and as an organization, we believe in anti-racism as an active practice and strive to hold ourselves and each other accountable. As an organization dedicated to transforming every workplace, we believe in respect and dignity for all workers, regardless of their identity or the intersection of multiple identities. Charter is committed to acting on these values, both externally and internally.
Within Charter, fulfilling our mission depends on viewing all our work through the lens of equity and justice, both in the services we provide and in our internal operations. We believe the workplace of the future must be anti-racist and equitable for all, so recognizing and dismantling historical and structural inequities is core to our work. To realize that vision, we must create an environment that elevates and celebrates historically marginalized voices with a diverse team that reflects our readers and the organizations we serve. Even more, each member of our team has a responsibility to reject racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, ableism, and all other forms of prejudice and bias when we encounter it. We all have a hand in building more just communities and workplaces.
Just as importantly, we believe in DEI at Charter because it makes our organization a better place to work. People can only do their best work and be their best selves when they feel safe enough to do so, and that sense of psychological safety requires intentional investment in community building, robust structures, and continued opportunities for learning, including a commitment to courageous conversations. We know that investment will pay off, as we know that having a diverse team, including diverse leadership, leads to a more dynamic, creative, and rewarding work environment.
To make DEI actionable and measurable, we’re committing to concrete steps to embed our values into every aspect of our work. Within our first year, we have invested in DEI through continued dialogue and brainstorming, robust and equitable structures for hiring and compensation, and opportunities for learning and development related to DEI. As we grow, we continue to reflect on ways we can improve the diversity, inclusivity, and equitable outcomes of our organization, and we’re committed to the following initiatives, organized by functional areas:
Editorial and Design:
- Create more resources for organizational leaders, operators, DEI practitioners, and change agents in workplaces
- Amplify diverse voices and perspectives
- When covering historically marginalized communities, move beyond the deficit narrative with reporting that respects the dignity and agency of individuals, recognizes the contributions of historically marginalized communities, and acknowledges the failings of systems and structures that create disparate impacts for individuals and communities
Hiring, Growth, and Development:
- Attract, foster, and retain diverse talent, which includes implementing objective systems for evaluating candidates and performance
- Attain equitable representation of racial diversity across all levels of the organization, including senior leadership
- Include DEI as a key facet of learning and development, and provide ongoing opportunities for learning and growth, including forums, trainings, and reflections
Community and Culture:
- Ensure our programs and internal practices promote diversity and equity
- Evaluate how our tools, systems, and forums encourage diverse perspectives
- Create opportunities for impact and advocacy outside the organization through nonprofit partnerships and clear perspectives on systems change
- Encourage and celebrate individual connection and investment in our communities through volunteer time off and teamwide days of service