As Pride month comes to an end, we want to ensure that our support of the LGBTQIA+ community does not. Arcweb’s DEI Steering Committee has spent the month brainstorming what we can do as a company from now on to take meaningful action—and while there can be pressure during Pride month to make an immediate impact to support the LGBTQIA+ community, we thought it was even more important to make long-term and realistic action plans for our company.
Our small team has less power than large corporations, but we have the advantage of being nimble and able to make quick, meaningful changes. We thought sharing some of the plans that we came up with might be helpful to other smaller companies who want to support Pride year-round and we’re also open to conversation around how we can do better in the future.
This fall, we’re rolling out new DEI learning for all staff to include more modernized training around LGBTQIA+ inclusion. The Arcweb DEI Steering Committee went through the process of outlining criteria for our DEI learning and attending demos with potential vendors before landing on Paradigm Reach. We chose to work with this minority-owned company for a few main reasons:
- Updated topics such as transgender inclusion, unconscious bias, and inclusive hiring.
- A hybrid approach that includes online courses accompanied by discussion guides for interactive, company-wide conversations, micro-learnings to address more specific topics, and quarterly live workshops.
- An online platform that is easier to navigate and more pleasant to use than any training vendor we have used in the past (we’re UX enthusiasts, so this is important to us!).
- DEI content that is constantly updated, so we never run out of relevant topics.
The DEI Steering Committee is crafting a monthly DEI newsletter template that we will start sending out in July. This will provide transparency to all staff on what the committee is working on and act as a resource to share educational DEI materials in one place. For the month of July, we will be providing resources around LGBTQIA+ allyship as well as information around the history of Juneteenth. While our DEI committee members aren’t responsible for being experts, we do seek out content curated by those who are and want to make that more accessible to all staff.
While we know donating isn’t a catch-all to show support, we still think it has to be part of the work. Being a relatively small company, we don’t have the resources that large companies do, but we make it a priority to find and vet organizations and nonprofits that are doing important work to donate to on a regular basis. We realized after an internal audit of charitable giving that we should add LGBTQIA+ causes as a category to track over time and seek out more organizations to donate to.
A Little Fun While Supporting Local LGBTQIA+ Businesses
Lastly, since we’re local to a vibrant LGBTQIA+ neighborhood, this summer we’re planning a company Gayborhood get-together at LGBTQIA+-owned businesses that we want to support.
Our biggest takeaway from our first Pride month since the formation of our DEI Steering Committee is that we vow not to partake in rainbow capitalism, and that we have a lot to learn in terms of how we can support this marginalized community that’s very much a part of the local Philadelphia fabric.
Happy Pride Month, especially to Philly’s beautiful LGBTQIA+ community. We see you, we hear you, and we are committed to learning how we can better support you.
Arcweb’s DEI Pledge
As our DEI Steering Committee navigates its first few phases, we plan to learn, grow, and be a consistent voice both within our community and beyond. We hope other tech organizations, large and small alike, have the courage to institute bold DEI initiatives and share their experiences in their communities as well.
We believe that results are the real proof of success, and Arcweb is striving for purposeful action and endless improvement. Stay tuned for more updates and insights from our committee.