Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
If you are here, you’ve asked or are wondering about how we’ve done on creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment. While we feel we have a strong foundation, we know we can do so much better and have made an ongoing commitment to listening, learning, unlearning, and acting. Here is some current information on our company, practices, and values.
How diverse is our team?
Our team identifies* as:
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 1%
- Asian: 8%
- Black or African American: 15%
- Hispanic or Latino: 5%
- Two or more races: 7%
- White: 59%
- Did not respond: 5%
*A note that these are categories set by the federal government, not by us. We fully recognize there should be a lot more nuance in these options and in the future, we’ll give our team the opportunity to share if they identify differently. We also look forward to reporting on other types of diversity, including (but not limited to) those in our organization who identify as LGBTQIA+.
What is our hiring process like?
As our company has grown, we have built and continued to refine a competency- and values-based interview process, with a critical eye and active conversations/callouts on unconscious bias.
We interview for concrete skills, capabilities, and alignment with company values (including our value “be inclusive”) to eliminate bias. We discourage conversations about “culture fit” (which leads to people hiring people like them) and instead push our team to consider how the candidate will complement and bring something unique to our existing company culture.
We use scorecards to encourage candidate feedback that is concrete, consistent, and relevant to the open role, and use case studies and projects to ensure we’re assessing candidates based on ability in addition to education (if applicable) and past experience.
We actively train our team on how bias can show up in the interview process and call out other problematic recruiting practices as we see them. Every interviewer goes through our hiring handbook (and soon an “Inclusive Interviewing” training as well) before they can participate in any hiring process.
What do we do to create and sustain a supportive and inclusive culture once people get here?
- Prioritize hiring kind, collaborative, and open individuals to begin with. If we come across someone who is great at what they do but doesn’t have a track record of doing it with the above approach, we keep looking.
- Our team members have founded our first Employee Resource Group, Brooklinen in Color, and we look forward to many more.
- Support and inclusion have been woven into our company values since we put them out over a year ago: “Treat others the way they want to be treated,” “Be inclusive,” and “Be real, and real kind” are three of them that are not only written in our employee handbook, but are active expectations of everyone on our team.
- Conduct trainings on unconscious bias and behaviors of inclusion annually.
- We ask our leadership team to model inclusive leadership - all members of our leadership team have monthly individual and group coaching sessions with a DEI consultant to continue to grow in this area.
- In tough times, we connect with and support each other - we know people do bring their whole selves to work and make sure our team knows sometimes it’s okay to not be okay.
What are we actively working on?
We know that this work and these conversations are never done. We’re not driven by a desire to check a box and move on.
So here’s what we’re working on right now - and keep checking back here as we’ll be updating this as we go:
- Bringing discussions of systemic racism, white privilege, unconscious bias and microaggressions into regular, proactive, and explicit conversation so we can all continue to learn and unlearn.
- Understanding where we have a culture of whiteness within the organization that needs to be identified, talked about, and changed.
- Creating a culture of accountability and empowerment, where people feel brave and have the tools to hold their colleagues accountable when implicit bias does show up.
- Increasing diversity at all levels of the organization, with a particular focus on leadership roles.
- Standing with and behind our team members when they bring up something we can be doing better. We’re taking the work on humbly and proudly without putting the labor on them.
We know we have more work to do here and we look forward to doing it. Should you join our team, we look forward to hearing your feedback on how we can further improve.