The tragic killing of George Floyd and the events of the last few months have shone a spotlight on the disparate experiences of the Black community that have been marred by a culture of white supremacy and prejudiced systems and individuals. We know that these experiences are not new, and we know that change is long overdue. Now is the time for us to come together. Now is the time for us to speak up. Now is the time for action.
We stand with the Black community. We stand against the systemic racism that led to the brutal killing of the many other people who are black and whose names we know and those we don’t know. We stand against the systemic racism that leads to the injustices black and brown people face every day.
But what does that actually mean? At Extension Engine, we believe in being humble. Constantly learning. Being honest. Recognizing where we have to grow. Having our actions speak for themselves. In the tech sector, where people of color are underrepresented, we have a ways to go in terms of diversity and inclusion. In digital learning, issues of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility need to be embedded into the core of every learning platform and new course content that is developed; not just an afterthought.
Extension Engine collaborates with many organizations whose direct mission is to support marginalized and disenfranchised individuals and communities, the disproportionate majority of whom are black and brown. We’ve also implemented previous internal initiatives to address internal diversity and inclusion shortcomings, especially around gender and compensation. However, we can do more. We have to do more.
We have taken some additional immediate steps, including launching our first employee match program, doubling donations employees made to nonprofits fighting for social justice and racial equality. Some of those organizations are local nonprofits specifically working to diversify the tech pipeline. We have also started a team dialogue on diversity and inclusion at Extension Engine.
Still, we know that real change will take time, and we are committed to making long-term, sustainable change. That means continuing to hold the mirror up to ourselves. We have begun an internal assessment of diversity and inclusion at Extension Engine that spans across all aspects of the company, from hiring and onboarding; to engagement and development; our compensation, performance review, and promotion practices; the way in which we work with clients; and the end products we create. After completing the assessment and creating a strategic plan to move the needle, we will share our commitments and progress reports on a quarterly basis.