DE&I — Doing the work: A year later
Diversity and inclusion aren’t new territories for CallRail. Since Jan 2020, we've worked to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and safe. However, after the racial injustices that took place last year, our CEO, Andy Powell, prioritized and pushed the need for social justice, taking a stronger stance on the racial injustices plaguing our country.
Since then, we've worked hard to make good on our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), building out our DE&I program, creating our employee resource groups (ERGs), and building our communities.
Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve accomplished to date.
Starting the work
Culture is a big part of CallRail, and we're only as strong as our parts. We're passionate about our customers and creating a work environment of open communication with honesty and candor.
To help build our vision of diversity and inclusion, we enlisted the help of an organizational psychologist to help with gathering feedback from our employees. We used the feedback and recommendations to iterate quicker and improve/balance the employee experience.
This helped us achieve our DE&I vision, which states:
"Our ideal future state is to create a work environment that provides all CallRail employees equal access to information, development, and opportunity. We want an organization that leverages our own diversity to create programs and services that meet the diverse needs of our employees, enabling their full inclusion throughout the entire employee life cycle. We seek an innovative organization that works smart and is instrumental in maintaining a competitive advantage in our industry."
We also partnered with BOSS Consulting and Buck Davis to facilitate "Doing the Work Training," which is a part of our overall DE&I program. All managers go through monthly sessions, with topics such as:
- Building accountability and ownership of feedback
- How to hold space about race, work, psychological safety, and more
- Back to our Values: How to lead from our Values
In addition, we’re creating an e-learning course on psychological safety that all individual contributors will go through. We also encouraged the use of pronouns and removed some language across the company to more general terms such as master and slave.
Laying the right foundation
Our work didn’t stop with just our vision statement and enablement of allyship and training, we also needed to make sure that we continue building our foundation.
A big part of our DE&I efforts was to create spaces where employees come together to share and engage one another to discuss important issues. This gave way to the creation of our ERG: Black & Brown, Women's Circle, and this year, a new group — the Rainbow Coalition, a revamp of our PrideRail group.
Here’s what our ERG leaders think about the importance and impact that these groups have on employees and the company:
“I like to think of BlackandBrown’s theme as “bridging the gap.” As events from last year unfolded, having a space where we can have honest conversations without judgment became vital. We needed to provide context on how current events unfolded, and how they affected employees of color. These weren’t mandatory meetings, but those who needed a space to learn or vent had the ability to do so. And over time, what used to be difficult discussions became a source of understanding for everyone involved.” ~Selina Boyce, Co-leader of Black & Brown
"Co-leading the Women’s Circle ERG, I get to work and connect with three other amazing women I otherwise wouldn’t really have the opportunity to work with. The same goes for the women we connect with through Slack, virtual meetups, and more. It’s really about creating that safe space for genuine connections with others, especially in a remote environment — and I hope that others get that from it as well." ~Melissa Garner, Co-leader of Women’s Circle
This year, the ERGs have been formalized and set up for success by establishing executive sponsors, building rapport with the leadership team through quarterly meetings, and standardizing the process for new leaders and members to be a part of our ERGs.
In addition, our ERG leaders are receiving leadership training and development through our Leadership Exploration and Development Program (LEAD), which aims to energize, engage, inspire, challenge, and grow leaders in the workplace and beyond.
Being the change we want to see
Speaking out and taking a stand is a part of the picture, but another part is actively giving back and donating to organizations that push for change and equality. We implemented a gift matching program for all of our employees, and in 2020 and 2021, CallRail, along with our Black & Brown ERG, donated to the following organizations:
- New GA Project: a nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians.
- Southerners on New Ground (SONG): an organization that builds, sustains, amplifies, and connects the LGBTQ community.
- Loveland Foundation: a foundation that is dedicated to showing up for communities of color, specifically Black women and girls.
- Apex Museum: a museum of history presented from the Black perspective.
- C5 Association: an organization focused on empowering youth from economically disadvantaged and risk-filled environments to complete high school and enter college successfully.
In addition, we also donated and will continue to donate $100k each year for employee-directed giving.
Fostering a safe space for mental health
Without a doubt, the racial injustices of last year had an immense impact on our employees, especially our Black employees and customers. It’s tough to perform at work when your mental state and health are affected by current events. It’s why we implemented a few initiatives to help our employees keep a healthy state of mind.
Time Off Policy
We evaluated our vacation policy to make it more suitable for our employees, ensuring that all departments had the same experience as it related to flexible work.
Our managers and leaders encouraged their teams to take the time needed to process. In addition, we implemented “Focus Friday’s,” which gives employees time back to deep dive into their work without distraction.
Mental Health Month
May is mental health awareness month. To participate, we provided new resources to help our employees take care of their mental health:
- Mindful Mondays: For each Monday of May, we sent out an email to all employees with different tips, research, and resources to read and listen to for the week.
- We provided each employee with a free 3-month subscription to the Calm premium app. In addition, we hosted a “Daily Calm” every morning at 8:30 am to do a small meditation to start the day off right.
- We brought in Dr. Curtis D. Jasper, mental health and wellness advocate, to speak to our black and brown employees about grief, emotional wellness, and actionable takeaways to implement in their everyday life.
The fruits of our labor
We’ve made great strides in carrying out our DE&I initiatives, and the results speak for themselves. Here’s a closer look at how our efforts have manifested in our company makeup:
- In 2020, 35.4% of new hires were non-white; in 2021, 52% are non-white. So far in 2021, we have hired a majority of non-white/people of color, up 16% from 2020.
- Gender-wise, we hired a majority female in both 2020 & 2021.
Due to the efforts of hiring managers and Talent & Culture and the desire to bring more diversity to the organization, we have partnered with Power to Fly, Technologists of Color, and posted our roles on multiple job boards. We did this to be intentional about building our pipeline, and we've done the work internally to make sure everyone feels welcome.
Keeping the momentum going
At CallRail, we view DE&I as a work in progress. And we strive to get better every day. As we look ahead, we plan to continue building on these initiatives.
The next step? Focusing on psychological safety to continue our mission of creating an open, transparent environment. Here’s how we’re planning on reaching our goals:
- Launching our first internal survey to learn more about our employees and how we can support them now and in the future.
- Restructuring our compensation philosophy and job calibration to benefit the overall company.
The work is never done, and we at CallRail are dedicated to doing the necessary work, setting the right foundations, and making positive change in our company and community.