Celebrating Our Common Humanity
Celebrating our Common Humanity
By the ExpertVoice Diversity and Inclusion Committee
August 3, 2021
This April, ExpertVoice was treated to a powerful and introspective presentation by Franque Bains and Aja Washington - artists and activists who introduced to us the concept of ‘Routes of Safety’. Developed by a social worker, Routes of Safety highlights eight of the most common attributes that people require to cope when feeling a lack of safety (emotional, physical or otherwise). The attributes include ‘Private Retreat’, ‘Closeness & Proximity’, ‘Protective Measures’, ‘Quality Relationships’, ‘Sensory Experiences’, ‘Structure & Clarity’, ‘Inner Guidance’ and ‘Common Humanity’. The final attribute, ‘Common Humanity’ deserves special attention and will be the focus of this post.
It goes without saying that 2020 was a year of extreme hardship that required every individual and business to adapt in sudden, often surprising ways. ExpertVoice was certainly no exception. One of the ways that our business leaned into this new reality was to institute a much more flexible and broader hiring policy - effectively removing the need for physical proximity to one of our two main office locations (Salt Lake City and Kirkland, Washington). Unsurprisingly this change led to a meaningful increase in diversity and talent for our company, with employees now spanning the nation (and beyond).
In response to this ‘new normal’ and as a way to index and celebrate our ‘Common Humanity’, the Diversity and Inclusion committee recently ran a survey for all employees to weigh in on a myriad of subjects - from frivolous to serious - in order to get a better understanding of who we are as a collective group of employees and to learn what areas we still need to improve on.
Where do we come from?
While it is true that the majority of our employees are currently located in Utah and Washington, the variety of places that our team members hail from is truly impressive. Almost every state from coast to coast is represented as are places such as Cape Town South Africa, Bangalore India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
Our Furry(ish) Friends
The humans at ExpertVoice are certainly diverse, but don’t hold a candle to the unique range of four (or more) legged friends that share our spaces with us. Dozens of dogs and cats, coopfulls of chickens, snakes, lizards, fish, shrimp and at least one tarantula are valuable contributors to the companionship that has become so necessary in these uncertain times.
Never a dull celebration
Here at ExpertVoice we love a good excuse to party - even if it’s remote - and what better excuse than a holiday? Our employees shared their personal favorites - a calendar’s worth of holidays such as: Halloween (the top choice), Juneteenth, Veteran’s Day, 4th of July and lesser known honorifics such as National Penguin Awareness Day, Summer Solstice, National Yorkie Day, and Utah favorite Pie-n-Beer Day.
When asked “Who gives you the courage to try new things” there were a range of responses with some common threads. Family members, such as ‘my spouse’, ‘my dad’ or ‘my kids’ were the most common, followed by inspirational authors, mentors and podcasters - and a handful of supremely self confident individuals who listed ‘themselves’.
How we can do better
There are many other categories that gave a fun idea of the ways we as a company are diverse and unique (the company is split almost 50/50 on the Sushi or Tacos for life debate) but there are many areas of being a more diverse and inclusive company that we take very seriously - and know we still have a long way to go. We asked for input on subjects such as the company's current ethnic and sexual diversity and how we could do more to improve, how safe and comfortable do current employees feel and how well respected are individual voices. Although the consensus was overwhelmingly positive, we know there is still much we can do to improve and continue to make ExpertVoice as a place that is welcoming and respectful to all races, religions, genders and sexualities.
Until next year
We hope this summary provided an entertaining look at who we are at this unprecedented time in history - a time-capsule of the common humanity we are honored to celebrate and share.