Last September Beehive shared its social impact commitment — including what our company stands for and who and what we stand up for — along with actions to drive results.
Taking continual action toward our social impact commitment and being accountable is fundamental to driving meaningful change in our world and in our organizations. Here’s an overview of some of the actions Beehive has taken in the last 12 months, what we’ll be focusing on next and some challenges, opportunities and insights. You can also read our 2020 Public Benefit Corporation Annual Report to learn more about how we activate our B Corp values.
Living our purpose and activating our social impact commitment means incorporating them into our organizational structure and policies.
- Used Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index as an evaluation tool of LGBTQ+ policies, which has so far resulted in:
- Updated handbook language that is more inclusive in our Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Bereavement Leave policies
- Added domestic partners to our medical and dental benefits
- Finding a DEI consultant has been challenging due to a surge in demand for this expertise over the last year. Despite conversations with at least half a dozen consultants and agencies, we have been unable to secure a partner, primarily due to availability. Identifying and beginning work with a consultant remains a key priority, and we have continued to advance our work.
- Review all policies with an outside Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DE&I) consultant to ensure they contribute to a work environment that is safe, equitable and inclusive of diverse backgrounds and perspectives
- Set metrics: benchmarks and goals
- Launched Beehive Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) conversation series with all employees, which included:
- Reading So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
- Watching and discussing PBS Series: Asian Americans
- Reading articles/watching videos on LGBTQ+ community and discussing as a team
- Purchased Anti-Racism Daily corporate subscription for all employees
- Participated in:
- Hollaback’s Bystander Intervention training to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment
- “The Steps to Creating a Culture of Inclusivity” with Tara Jaye Frank through Public Relations Council (PRC)
- The BrandLab’s virtual conference: The World Is Watching. Now, What?
- Participated in PRC webinar series designed to tackle critical biases that exist in our agencies and impede our ability to be best places to work for BIPOC talent
- Our team has embraced JEDI work and welcomes conversations, education and opportunities to learn and grow.
- Collectively, we are working to put our learning into action, through sharing, donating, volunteering and becoming more active in local/state/national government
- Review priorities with DEI consultant
- Continue providing regular agency-wide training and education
- Continue JEDI conversion series
- Set metrics: benchmarks and goals
Beehive is evaluating how we can improve recruiting and retaining more BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other employees representing underserved populations. We are working toward a specific, measurable and public commitment to improve BIPOC representation at all levels of agency staffing and in our industry.
- Started evaluating job descriptions for gender-neutral language: http://gender-decoder.katmatfield.com/
- Committed to salary transparency to advance workplace equity; implementing externally and internally
- Contributed 2021 DEI data to Hold The PRess and Agency DEI
- Participating in Minnesota Public Relations Society of America pre-internship pilot program aimed at getting more students of color and first-generation students into public relations (PR) careers
- Beehive is a small business of 12 employees that is proud to have very high retention. However, this limits our ability to have a substantial impact on job growth in our community.
- The PR industry must increase BIPOC representation at every talent level.
- The PR industry must expand access and close the knowledge gap that prevents underrepresented talent from entering and excelling in the industry.
- Improving the low rates of representation of underserved populations in the PR industry will take time and a sustained commitment.
- Minnesota businesses, in collaboration with state and city influencers, must make a unified commitment to creating and nurturing a market that is more accessible and inclusive for all talent.
- Assess all job descriptions for equity and inclusion
- Set metrics: benchmarks and goals
Beehive’s goal is to ensure our workplace culture is inclusive to all people and that our team exhibits cultural competency.
- Participated in PRC’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) task force for BIPOC employees; established beta ERG focused on Black employees, with more groups expected to come online
- Actively developing Working Agreements to create shared understanding and accountability for inclusion
- Introduced Implicit Association Tests for self-assessment
- Examine with DEI consultant how inclusive Beehive’s current culture is of all people; evaluate what changes would be needed to ensure the environment is equitable and inclusive to a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives
Beehive impacts positive social change in our community and our industry through volunteering, financial support, mentoring, pro bono services, social justice and activism.
- Joined Civic Alliance and signed Joint Statement on Protecting Voting Access
- Made financial donations to: Black Women’s Wealth Alliance (BWWA), Stop AAPI Hate, Human Rights Campaign and B Local Social Good Fund. Made matching funds available to employees who donate to non-profits during annual Give to the Max Day MN
- Shared message of action and blog post with network to support International Women’s Day
- Shared message of action and blog post with our network regarding support for George Floyd and Daunte Wright and all unarmed Black men killed by police in the Twin Cities and across the U.S.
- Provided template letter employees could use to contact Minnesota legislative representatives urging them to support critical police accountability bills
- Putting our social impact commitment into action with our team and in our community and industry has been inspiring for our team.
- Identify small work group to collaboratively develop rolling plan for: 1. mentorship; 2. social justice/activism; and 3. pro bono services that support these communities: women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+
Beehive works with clients, partners and suppliers that align with our purpose, values and social impact commitment. We empower, equip and educate clients on how to define and activate their own purpose, mission, values and social impact or DEI commitment.
- Reviewed and benchmarked Beehive list of vendors and suppliers that represent minority business categories
- Actively identify and evaluate diverse suppliers that can provide competitive, high-quality goods and services for any purchase opportunity
- Shared DEI resources and activation steps through Fresh Insights newsletter content
- Collaborated with client DEI consultants to align client values with diversity, equity and inclusion goals
- Provided resources, best practices and guidance to help clients to shape, communicate and activate their DEI commitments
- Update Diversity, Inclusion, Discrimination & Harassment Policy addendum for 2022 client contracts
- Set diverse supplier goal for 2022
We’ve decided to share Beehive’s social impact plan, actions and results with full transparency, which supports accountability.
It also opens the door for input and idea sharing. What do you think? What are we missing? Where could we do better? We’re listening. In the meantime, here are a few resources we’re finding helpful: A Call for Change open letter from black professionals in advertising demanding urgent action from agency leaders, Anti-Racism Resources compiled by the Team at B Lab U.S. & Canada and DE&I Resources from the PR Council.