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B Corp KPI Updates 2019-2020

by | Jun 16, 2021 | News

Hello friends! Every year-ish, we track our Mission Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in order live up to our promise to make measurable change and to use our business as a force for good. Our KPIs track diversity, inclusion, investing in our local community and economy, building productive relationships, and giving back.

Some years we do better than others. Employees move on, the economy tanks, not-for-profit grants run out, we get a big out-of-state corporate project, we find a new vendor. Honestly, after living through 2020, we’ve seen it all. We do our best to maintain our focus, but life and business are always full of surprises!

Why do we track diversity and inclusion?

We track the diversity of our vendors, clients, and our team members with the intention of fostering a workplace of diverse thought, mutual respect, and innovation. We generally like folks and want to build a community of trusted friends and colleagues that work together and play together while encouraging communication and empathy and broadening our perspective and skill base. Diverse collaborative teams bring a variety of perspectives to the table, pushing individuals to think beyond their limited life experiences and participate in multi-dimensional problem solving, resulting in more informed solutions, and innovation.

A synergistic work environment becomes the norm when employees work in teams comprised of varied work styles, abilities, and disabilities, and who represent different cultures or generations. Although an idyllic atmosphere may be difficult (or impossible) to achieve and maintain, employees nevertheless recognize the many strengths and talents that diversity brings to the workplace and gain respect for their colleagues’ performance.

We would like to mention that the design industry has an enormous diversity issue. It’s unfortunate, but completely true. It’s a mess, but Pixel Parlor is working hard to help fix it (more to come on that shortly). The diversity issues within our industry have racist roots, as well as a perception that design is an impractical luxury rather than an essential industry rooted in communication and expression.

Lots of folks don’t think that design is even a viable career path giving our industry a bad reputation and scaring off folks of varying cultural backgrounds from even considering a job path in the industry—systemic racism, we see you. The diversity issues of our industry play out in the tiny microcosm of our studio. If you check in on our team roster from time to time you will see a spectrum of color, religion, and background come and go, change and evolve. It’s never the same for long, but we do want folks to know that even when we look like a mostly homogenously presenting studio, our diversity runs beyond perceived skin tone. Even if there is a time that you don’t see someone in our studio that looks like you, know that you are welcome and encouraged to join us on our journey.

What is our definition of diversity?

Any identity trait that isn’t cis-gendered, white male. (Don’t worry guys, we really do love you.) We also include folks who identify with religions that have experienced historic discrimination within the domestic and global context.

Why?

Because the cis-gendered, white male archetype is the benchmark upon which our country and workforce has been designed, and we are looking to invite folks into the mix who don’t fit that mold. American businesses tend to be modeled around Christian-based religions and don’t make space for those of other religions in their worship practices, holidays, and perspectives. We don’t always know a collaborator’s religion, but those that we do are included in our metrics.

Why local?

We love Philly. Why? Because it has a vibrant local culture! By supporting local, small and mission-based businesses it helps build culture, add to our local economy, improve our communities. A vegan cheesesteak from anywhere other than Philly, just isn’t a vegan cheesesteak? Am I right?

Please note, the definition of local used to include any business within a 100 mile radius of our home office, this has been refined to 50 miles which no longer includes our long list of clients in NYC.

Why give back?

Donating to and volunteering with local organizations allows our team to reinvest in the initiatives that are close to our heart and to see the smiles on the faces of our friends and neighbors. When we clean up a local waterway, plant flowers, or serve a meal to a neighbor in need, we are building stronger bonds. It is easier to see the direct impact of our efforts when we keep it local—especially in Philadelphia—we are still the most impoverished large city in America. Our city and its people need a helping hand, and we are proud to get involved.

What do the results mean?

These annual comparative results show where we are succeeding and where we need to improve. Looking at these numbers helps our team better understand how our performance and collaborative engagements are not only tied to the success of the business, but also to the ongoing positive impact of our studio.

These results show just how many of our clients are local, diverse, and mission-driven businesses. It also proves to our team that we need to work harder to find vendors that are diverse and mission-based—which will help us set our goals for upcoming years.

What changed?

Welp everything. A pandemic set in, the global economy crashed, businesses closed permanently, people died, 2020 came and went. A push for social change caused the world to shift.

This year we are taking the time to reflect, dust ourselves off, assess the damage and recalibrate. It’s hard work that never ends when we choose to use our business as a force for good.

Please reach out if you have any questions, thoughts, methods, processes that you’d like to share. We can’t do it all by ourselves, and it would be great to amplify our impact together.