Home

06.23.20

Our Commitment To Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

by Ben Gaddis

The last few weeks have been both humbling and moving, watching events unfold across the country with my family and my community. It’s been a cathartic reminder of why Black Lives Matter and the realities many of our colleagues, friends, industry—and our country—must address. There’s words, but action is crucial. 

Two things have become clear to me as we move forward to take action against racial inequality and bias.

The first step is education and self-awareness. I must listen more and keep learning. I know many of us are in the process of doing the same, taking early steps of what must be a life-long series of steps to see ourselves differently and change our own behavior. Knowledge is a key tool we need in order to get to the systemic roots of racism and bias in our communities, our organizations and our society at large.

The second point of clarity: T3 must take steps now. We must embrace our agile mindset and iterate instead of waiting for the perfect plan to become more diverse, inclusive and equitable in how we work with each other, attract new talent and guide our clients.

We must control what we can control, learn, measure, constantly improve and hold ourselves accountable.

Today I want to share our Commitment to Change Action Plan. Over the past two weeks, a passionate group of T3ers dug into the research, interviewed consultants, had the hard conversations and framed what we believe, and I believe, is our best first few steps forward. It is not perfect. But it is our start.

The Action Plan will be a living document. Living up to this commitment to change starts today.

Our Action Plan FOR NOW:

We recognize that these weeks of brutality and social injustice are not new for many members of our nation and community who have and are facing the impact of systemic racism today. Our industry and our agency have waited too long to take action and we are overdue for real change. We recognize the significance of this moment and we hear the call to action. 

As an organization that has focused its mission on damn good people helping brands “do” and then “say”, that need is greater today than ever before. It is not enough for us to say Black Lives Matter. We must do more and we must do better.  

We at T3 commit to rising to meet the moment—not only today, but far into the future. Change will start with us, and we proudly embrace that responsibility. 

We will become more diverse and inclusive in how we work with each other, attract and develop talent, and guide our clients. 

We will evaluate and assess our processes, partnerships, products and services to ensure our practices and our work align with our commitment to drive equitable outcomes. 

We will be transparent and authentic about our progress and mistakes. Inevitably, there will be missteps. But the measure of our worth will not be whether we make mistakes, but the depth of our commitment to grow from those failures.

We will do everything possible to amplify the voices and perspectives of our Black and underrepresented colleagues and ensure we fully support their needs. 

We vow to move swiftly, strategically and do this courageously. Here are our first steps.

OUR PROMISE:

We reject racial discrimination and injustice in our organization, our communities and society. We pledge to act as effective allies for our colleagues who are Black or members of underrepresented groups. We will take consistent, measurable and bold steps to strengthen our culture to be more inclusive with leaders, with teams and with how we work together. We will respect and champion diversity of thought. We will not back down from hard conversations. We will operate with the same excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion as we do with our business. We will lead rather than follow. We will share our action and ideas with clients and the world.

Building a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force
We have created a DE&I task force, supported with representation from all levels of our organization to design informed programs, chart progress and hold us all accountable to take measurable action. 

This group will be empowered with decision-making authority, budget and an established charter. 

Education & Conversation
To move quickly, yet strategically, we will contract with DE&I consultants to craft measurable goals and a strategic roadmap to ensure we are on the path to a demonstrably more inclusive and equitable environment. This will include continuing education curriculum and creation of inclusion groups to provide safe spaces for employees to share, organize and converse.  

We will roll out mandatory unconscious bias training for all employees to start. 

Organizational Change
We will audit our organization and publish our workforce diversity data to ensure full transparency. 

We will identify bias and racial insensitivity in our processes, services and the creation of our work. 

We will be inclusive in our creative and design processes. We will educate our clients and hold them accountable to be diverse and inclusive in work we create for them.

Hiring and Advancement
We will not blame the pipeline for lack of diverse candidates. It’s on us. We will fund more aggressive outreach to find new sources of talent. 

We will audit hiring and promotion criteria for bias.

We will consider candidates who want to work for us, but live in their communities. We will commit to increasing diversity in workforce representation.

Donating & Volunteering
We donated $50K to the NAACP LDF and will create a plan for annual donations and fundraising.

We will donate our time, talent and funding to projects that make a difference for diverse communities on a large scale. We will commit to consistency. 

Sharing & Amplifying
We will be transparent with our action plans and results with our people and in public.

We will publicly share our ideas, resources and progress. In addition, we will amplify diverse points of view so Black and underrepresented communities are seen and heard. 

We will be brave in providing counsel to clients with their communications and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs.

Ben Gaddis