Beehive is a Certified B Corporation. We are driven by purpose and committed to business as a force for good in the world. The current social justice crisis has opened our eyes wider to how we can deepen that commitment and take further action and impact in our community and industry.
In the days following George Floyd’s murder, as our city mourned and protested, our team talked daily. We created a safe space for people to share how they were feeling, read and shared information, checked in on each other, encouraged people to take breaks or time off to breathe and rest and reflect. Most importantly, we listened.
We’ve been listening a lot during the last three months. To our BIPOC colleagues in the marketing and communication industries, to Black leaders and influencers, to the B Corp community and beyond. We re-examined our values. We talked about what Beehive stands for, what we stand up for and who we stand up for in our communities and in the world – today and into the future. And we have deepened our commitment to continually listening, learning and taking action.
We believe strongly that, before we spoke up publicly, we first needed to look at our own internal culture, processes and policies. Today we are sharing our social impact commitment along with some of the actions we’re taking to drive results. The words were carefully crafted, but the proof is in the actions we take to shift cultures and drive meaningful change.
What we stand for
- Justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in all businesses
- Anti-racism and anti-oppression
- Equal civil rights
- Equal pay
- Voting rights
What we stand up for
- Implementing training, mentoring and hiring initiatives to improve diversity in businesses and in our industry
- Empowering women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) to advance and lead in business
- Dismantling racist systems, policies, practices and ideologies within ourselves and our networks
- Businesses supporting and empowering voting rights
- Safe, diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist business cultures
- Justice and equity in our communities
Who we stand up for
- All women
- Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people
How we’re taking action
Beehive is activating our social impact commitment by focusing on six areas: Inclusive & equitable policies; training & education; recruiting & retention; organizational culture; community and industry involvement, activism and leadership; and client, partner & supplier relationships. Here’s a sample of some of the actions we’ve already taken – and a few of the actions we’ll be focusing on the next six to nine months. We are setting specific measures for each area of our social impact plan, benchmarking our starting point and measuring progress to goals.
Inclusive & Equitable Policies
Living our purpose and activating our social impact commitment means incorporating them into our organizational structure and policies.
- Updated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy; added Pay Equity Policy and Whistleblower Policy. We also have a written code of ethics.
- Revised our employee handbook and agency brand standards to omit the singular, first-person pronouns of “he/she” and “his/hers,” replacing those with “their/theirs” to be inclusive and honor how all people identify.
- Review all policies with an outside BIPOC consultant to ensure they contribute to a work environment that is safe, equitable and inclusive to a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Evaluate what other policies are needed and look for blind spots in our existing policies and coverage, ask for recommended changes and activate changes to align to our purpose and values.
Training & Education
Beehive is exploring how we educate ourselves about structural racism and other social justice and equity issues. We are participating in training and other education to ensure we understand our own biases and privileges.
- Team participated in Active Allyship in Your Agency: Get Educated & Take Action, through the PR Council.
- Leaders participated in Just Brands: Unpacking Racial Justice & Equity in Business Sustainable Brands 2020 Conference; shared insights and recommended reading with team.
- Team will participate in a webinar called Check Your Bias at the Door this month.
- Add resources/featured articles to Beehive’s monthly Fresh insights newsletter that focuses on diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist business cultures.
- Start a book club to better understand structural racism and our own biases and privileges. First book will be: So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo.
- Develop a list of trusted resources and subject matter experts for communities of color and LGBTQ communities. Share with our team and clients.
Recruiting & Retention
Beehive is evaluating how we can we do better when it comes to recruiting and retaining diverse talent. We will be working toward a specific, measurable and public commitment to improve BIPOC representation at all levels of agency staffing and in our industry.
- Beehive is working with PRSA Minnesota to launch PRSSA chapters at three Minnesota universities with more diverse student populations, starting with Concordia College.
- Became member of the Diversity Action Alliance — a coalition formed by groups across the communications industry with the goal to ensure the diversity in the industry matches the diversity in the U.S. census by 2025. A key element of this commitment will be sharing our diversity data publicly on an annual basis.
- Evaluate how effective our internship program is at recruiting students of color and implement necessary changes.
- Continue salary benchmarking and commit to salary transparency.
- Assess job descriptions for equity and inclusion.
- Connect with Black professional organizations for networking and recruiting.
Beehive’s goal is to ensure our workplace culture is inclusive to all people. We also aspire for cultural competence and fluency.
- Received training on Crucial Conversations, communication styles and Emotional Intelligence to better understand self and others, and to improve communication and collaboration.
- Updated company value of Equality to Equity, understanding that Equity in our work, energy and actions is foundational to our culture.
- Active wellness program that focuses on physical, mental and emotional health for all employees.
- Examine with an outside BIPOC consultant if Beehive’s current culture is inclusive of all people; evaluate what changes would be needed to ensure the environment is equitable and inclusive to a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.
- Conduct a cultural bias assessment.
Community and Industry Involvement, Activism & Leadership
We are actively determining how Beehive can most effectively impact positive social change in our community and our industry through: volunteering, financial support, mentoring, pro bono services, social justice and activism.
- Rallied Minnesota B Corps to support The Sheridan Story through food donations and financial support.
- Providing employees with 8 hours of paid VTO time to be involved with the 2020 election any time through election day, including writing postcards, volunteering at phone banks, door knocking, making time to vote, driving voters to polls, being an election judge and more.
- Signed on to MakeTimeToVote.org and ElectionDay.org, nonpartisan movements — led by the business community — with a singular goal: to increase voter participation.
- Food donations and team volunteering event at The Sheridan Story in September 2020.
- Making matching funds available to employees who donate to non-profits during annual Give to the Max Day.
- Developing a plan for mentorship, social justice involvement and pro bono services that support women, Black, Indigenous and People of Color and Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
Client, Partner & Supplier Relationships
Beehive is examining what we can do to better communicate our purpose, values and social impact commitment to clients, partners, suppliers and industry colleagues. We are evaluating what guidelines we need to ensure our clients’ and partners’ policies and practices are equitable and inclusive.
- Made our Supplier Diversity policy public.
- Added a Diversity, Inclusion, Discrimination & Harassment Policy addendum to all client contracts.
- Improved our supply chain commitment by asking all contractors and significant suppliers to review and agree to Beehive’s Positive Impact Policy, which includes our Labor Policy, Statement of Values and Diversity, Inclusion, Discrimination & Harassment Policy.
- Review our list of vendors and suppliers; consider replacing any who don’t represent a minority-owned business group (women, veterans, BIPOC). If we work with a supplier that is not minority-owned, ensure the organization reflects the diversity in our community.
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.