We have work to do: our commitments to racial equality

We have work to do: our commitments to racial equality

Methods+Mastery stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and countless Black and Brown people before them, is unjust and inhumane. The continued systemic racism that Black and Brown people face, both in the US and globally, must be dismantled. 

And we all have a part to play in dismantling it.

Over the past weeks, our team has grieved together, learned together and collectively, we have all been galvanized and moved to do better, to do more. Improving diversity, ensuring equity and fostering inclusion at Methods+Mastery has always been a goal in the way we conduct ourselves, do our work, and run our business. But we haven’t done enough. Change has been slow. This moment in our collective history, building for centuries, has underscored the desperate need to double down on our commitments, take action in support of those commitments, and make this the most urgent and pressing priority we have, as a business. 

Methods+Mastery is part of the FleishmanHillard network, and we’re proud of the commitments made by John Saunders, our global CEO. We are participating in all of these programs. At Methods+Mastery, we are also taking steps that feel uniquely right for our team members, our clients, and our business. So, as we shared with our team today, we are making a number of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion commitments:

1. Careers. We want to ensure our Black colleagues and People of Color (POC) are fairly and equally treated. But first, we must acknowledge that Black and POC colleagues are not on a level playing field with non-POC colleagues who carry privilege in all aspects of life – in areas as vast as health, wealth, education, justice – and that we must double down on measures that ensure the hiring, retention and advancement of Black and POC talent in our agency. Specifically:

    • We are auditing and evaluating each stage of the recruiting and hiring process to maximize diverse representation, particularly where we have the greatest deficit (e.g. Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)  candidates). We are auditing career progression and compensation to ensure fairness and equity, at every stage of career advancement. 
    • We are working to increase diverse representation, at all levels. We are reigniting our diversity Fellowship in partnership with FleishmanHillard. We will partner with specialized recruiters and increase outreach to historically Black colleges and universities to ensure our candidate pools are representative of the communities we work in.
    • We are creating and empowering a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Council to audit and hold us accountable for equity of opportunity, pay, and policies. This includes our senior leadership, FleishmanHillard’s Chief Diversity Officer, and Black, Indigenous and People of Color within our agency. 
    • We will tap into outside resources to create inclusive career paths. We need to call upon our agency network to ensure our employees have access to employee resource groups that connect them with peers and mentors. 
    • We will conduct annual bias and equity training for all those at VP level and above. 

2. The work. We are committed to using our talent for good. We must do our part to avoid symbolic annihilation and stereotypes. When free from bias, our insights capabilities help us understand diverse perspectives. At our best, we can increase representation in the content we produce and amplify. 

    • We will continue to challenge our clients to do the right thing, and take a progressive stance on dismantling racism. 
    • We will hold a Virtual Summit for all staff in Fall 2020 to retool our approaches for insights and creative practices that ensure strategy and execution prevent stereotypes and showcase diversity. 
    • We will develop partnerships with BIPOC-owned production, data partners and freelancers and establish a panel of external consultants to review our work for critical perspectives we may miss within our team. 
    • We will seek to do more work that aligns with our values. We will dedicate a portion of our agency resources to non-profit organizations, including at least one non-profit benefiting BIPOC every year. That will also include opportunities for volunteer time for our employees to support organizations aligned with our DE&I principles. 

3. Our culture. Respect for each other’s differences is the baseline for what it means to be a “M+Mer”. We actively celebrate and seek to understand diverse perspectives. We strive to be a network of true allies, not one of performative allyship. 

    • We are developing our individual perspectives through education and resources. M+M is providing the materials – the team will dedicate their time, and share their learnings. 
    • We are celebrating diversity and introducing new thinking through our Perspectives committee. This smart group has regularly met throughout 2020 and will continue to drive a calendar of events and discussions for our organization.
    • We do not tolerate racism, or discrimination of any kind. Not from our own team and not from clients. We are ensuring all employees understand the course of action available to them to safely challenge any discrimination they may face. 

Tomorrow, we are closing to observe Juneteenth, and our team will use this day for reflection, learning and action. The work ahead of us is hard and it will take time. We seek progression over perfection. We want all our colleagues from diverse backgrounds to feel safe, valued, heard and included at Methods+Mastery – and we’re dedicated to doing the work to get there. 

Managing Directors of Methods+Mastery,

Brandy Fleming

Gwen Foutz

Marc Matthews