As injustice in our country has again come to a new boiling point, 60Hertz takes today, Juneteenth, to announce the steps we will take to renew our personal and corporate commitments to do more to create equality and fairness for all people, with a special priority for people of color.
For the past five years, I’ve started Martin Luther King Day by listening to one of Dr. King’s speeches. In quiet. Without distraction. Preferably with a pencil in hand, ready to record an inspiring turn of phrase. Each time, I can’t believe that a leader of Dr. King’s altitude of thought, conviction, holy purpose and ultimate martyrdom didn’t affect the complete and final end to racism in our country. If not he, who? If not during the Civil Rights movement, when?
As a team, we’ve invested in developing our commitments to surpass status quo and bring into conscious focus our contributions to end systemic inequality. I do not believe it is partisan to yearn for justice for humanity; it is moral. All people must genuinely experience fulfillment of potential. All must start at the same line on the track as we begin running toward our aspirations.
If you’ve followed 60Hertz over the years, you know that we are designing maintenance software for people who historically have been overlooked. Maintenance personnel are often not seen, literally, by those who use the infrastructure that others uphold. Thus, invisible. Frequently, there is a question of race within the roles and those who fulfill them. At this time, we’re honored to share that 90% of 60Hertz’s users are minorities. The cornerstone of our product differentiation is in our User Interface, training materials, and attention to structural issues that prevent some from fulfilling their dreams. 60Hertz co-founders, investors and employees have been called to this mission to contribute our passion and time to creating so much more than software, and we take this moment to reiterate our commitment to social change.
In addition, 60Hertz commits to these goals:
- Develop features within our software that serve as means to cultivate organization, awareness, engagement, education on the part of our users.
- Prioritize growing our team in a manner that reflects or increases our currently diverse makeup:
- We are 50/50 male and female (in terms of FTEs or contractors working 20h+/week)
- We are ⅓ people of color
- We are ⅓ LGBTQ+
- Implement a voluntary affirmative action plan to recruit and hire diversity candidates, specifically for our software development team as we grow.
- Ensure that we hire locally in the regions and countries where our product is deployed at scale, such that our team looks like our users. Further, conscientiously embrace international employees on our team for whom English is not their first language by establishing Slack channels in their language or using our existing Language Facts channel to a greater degree. Similarly, we will devote time during monthly All Hands meetings to reflect on political or cultural issues in our non-US employee’s countries to reduce a US-centric company culture.
- Adopt a procurement policy that favors minority-owned businesses whenever a choice is possible, by keeping a list of such vendors for easy reference.
- Provide all staff with 16 hours of paid time off per year to engage in advocacy for fair elections, voter turnout, or policy reform of their choice and to take the time to vote in national, state and local elections.
- Recognize the responsibility that accompanies being an American company selling its product into countries that may be on different footing with respect to GDP, civil liberties, or rule of law.
- Join the NAACP Anchorage and Denver chapters.
- Create a culture that allows grace and forgiveness with ourselves and teammates as we navigate the vocabulary words, unconscious bias, unintentional thinking errors that may inadvertently come to the surface as we vulnerably try to become yet more anti-racist.
- Review and assess progress toward these goals on a quarterly basis.
I leave you with a few inspiring words from Dr. Martin Luther King.
“Let us not despair. Let us not lose faith in man and certainly not in God. We must believe that a prejudiced mind can be changed, and that man, by the grace of God can be lifted from the valley of hate to the high mountain of love.”— The Reverend Martin Luther King
“The Death of Evil upon the Seashore” Sermon delivered at the Service of Prayer and Thanksgiving, Cathedral of St. John the Divine; May 17th 1956