June 14, 2022

Rainbow capitalism & for-profit corporate virtue signaling

Authors:

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

It’s Pride Month. And Juneteenth is right around the corner.

Inspired by Jasmine Williams’ post on this topic last week, I wanted to address Hirewell’s stance on Rainbow Capitalism and other forms of for-profit social media virtue signaling.

It’s always bugged me how easy it is for companies to appear to be allies without any follow through. Turn your logo into a rainbow (whatever color scheme fits the occasion.) Regardless of what’s really happening behind the scenes.

No, my intention here is not to throw shade at every company donning the rainbow right now. It’s just that I’ve seen too many orgs that are completely full of sh*t, looking for easy street cred. And from the outside, it’s impossible to tell which is which.

Don’t forget: corporate leadership in America is still predominantly run by white, straight males. (We’re no exception to this.)

And that’s ultimately who’s behind your corporate social media account. The management.

Now, many orgs do plenty of great things to foster inclusive workplaces. What’s wrong with them tweeting from behind a logo on social media?

👉Because it doesn’t matter what your leadership thinks about your DEI initiatives anyway. It matters what your team thinks about them – based on the *actual impact* they make on their lives.

Hirewell’s stance is this: we allow and encourage our team to speak their minds. And take action. The Hirewell brand should serve just to amplify their message.

In that spirit…

Hirewell will not:

❌ Change our social logo color to fit the occasion.

❌ Voice support for something that isn’t backed up with actual action.

Hirewell will:

✅ Allow our team to use their own accounts to discuss and post any topics they see fit.

✅ Amplify and feature our team and *their* message with our corporate social accounts.

✅ Continue to promote action and education through our internal DEI committee and with the help of our partner Holistic.

Some recent examples of our DEI team’s efforts:

  1. Organizing an upcoming day of service in observance of Juneteenth.
  2. Internal fundraising and donations, determined by the team. (e.g. Trevor Project recently).
  3. Created an internal process to improve diverse candidate pipelines at our clients.
  4. Employee-driven educational content on a variety of DEI and work culture related topics.
  5. Partnering with IT boot camps focused on under-represented communities (e.g. Per Scholas)
  6. Created internal Employee Resource Groups to continue fostering an inclusive environment.

Tldr – We’ll let our team do the talking, anytime they want. As an org, if we’ve done it, we’ll talk about it. If we haven’t, we’ll STFU.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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