At Impala, we’ve always been explicit about supporting D&I from the grassroots. We believe in holding ourselves accountable and helping drive towards true systemic change.
We were recently approached by a certification organisation, who suggested we apply for their certificate, which rewards great internal culture and benefits - and which would add huge value to our employer brand.
Thing is, it costs £1,500 to apply for certification, and frankly we thought we could do better things with that money right now.
So we decided to donate the £1500 instead, towards a grassroots measure to support diversity within the Tech/startup world - through InnovateHer.
£1500 contributes towards supporting their focus for providing workshops and support for young girls (folks who identify as female) to get into the tech industry.
InnovateHer strive to provide the self-belief, confidence and skills to pursue a career in the technology industry, whilst working with digital and tech companies to create inclusive workplaces for them to work within. And we're thrilled to help support on that mission.
We created a shortlist of wonderful organisations, and we allowed Impalans to offer further suggestions for where to donate the money, then we put it to an anonymous vote.
All shortlisted organisations were oriented towards providing training and support for women in the tech/startup domain, given International Women’s Day was coming up, and since women are still largely underrepresented in our industry.
In short, we believe that solely promoting and sustaining Diversity internally can be a form of Optical Allyship. It can make companies feel good, when in fact nothing has systemically changed. For more information on what we mean by ‘grassroots’ measures for diversity, visit page 32 of our D&I Deck.
Of course, having diversity in mind for hiring processes is excellent and does still contribute towards a better working world - we just don’t want to end our efforts there.
We want to ensure we’re investing time and resources into things that really change the game, and make a difference, longer-term, to the endemic and systemic root issues.
Supporting and nurturing D&I - not just internally but also on an industry level - is a marathon, not a sprint. And no one entity is able to create that change alone - but we hope that our efforts, along with the fantastic efforts from other entities, charities and individuals can help move the needle!
We debated whether to even share this publicly, as we’re incredibly wary of it coming across as peacocking, and detracting from why we’re actually doing this.
But we landed on deciding to share it purely because we think advocacy and generating discourse on the topic of grassroots support is more important than all that!
This also is definitely not to say that we condemn choosing to apply for cultural certifications, as it’s incredibly beneficial from an employer branding perspective!
But just for us, at this time, we decided that we’re not in a position where we need to pay for that marketing, versus the alternative, more meaningful ways we could use that money.
If you'd like to get involved in supporting grassroots efforts for IWD, visit InnovateHer's website or reach out to me directly and I'm always happy to chat through similar fantastic causes and ideas!