Some of the things we value most in our employees at Censia are awareness, compassion, and drive. An awareness of how systemic, unconscious bias impacts the global workforce, the compassion to want to solve this problem, and the drive to make it happen.
We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are complex, nuanced, and sensitive subjects, and the topic doesn’t end at meeting your hiring quota. DE&I is honoring the lived experience of our colleagues, our friends, our employees, and our customers.
Here is how we’re working on expanding the definition and practice of DE&I and how we aim to empower every person in the world to do the same.
We Make DE&I a Priority
DE&I is not just having diverse people on your team, meeting your hiring goals, or checking the box that indicates you comply with EOC and OFCCP guidelines. DE&I is the experience you are consciously creating for your employees. DE&I doesn’t just mean having a seat in the office, but having a seat at the table where one feels seen, heard, respected, and valued.
And as a company, it also means acknowledging the collective trauma, lived experiences, and emotional labor that are an inextricable part of people’s experience.
At Censia, we don’t just create technology that helps organizations create greater workforce diversity. Instead, we create a more inclusive and equitable workplace by proactively shaping our company culture, educating our team and clients, and providing benefits that support people from different backgrounds.
We Take Responsibility
We believe that it is not the role of people of color and marginalized groups to educate their peers on the history of their oppression, explain their beliefs, or share their lived experiences.
Companies often ask their diverse employees to take on additional (and often unpaid) work to foster greater “diversity,” which is problematic for many reasons. It places the responsibility of changing people’s minds and educating them on the marginalized person, forces them to relive their trauma, and makes their otherness a prominent part of their workplace identity.
At Censia, we proactively educated ourselves and our team on the history, challenges, and lived experiences of marginalized communities with the mission to create greater understanding, compassion, support, and equity. Every staff member is aware that they are welcome to share their thoughts and experiences and participate in any way they like and that we don’t require or expect them to.
We Hold Space
Race, justice, and diversity are complex and nuanced subjects and cannot be addressed and resolved through simple training. Not only that, but they often fall to the wayside when work gets busy or when a holiday or commemorative month passes.
Outsiders can’t understand the collective and generational trauma that can be an inextricable part of some people’s reality. This is why we make it a priority to hold space for these conversations. Juneteenth is a company-wide holiday set aside to give people a chance to reflect on racial justice and what we can do to improve it. But we don’t stop there. We dedicate town halls to educating our team and discussing topics related to marginalized voices.
For diverse people, opting out of generational trauma and lived experience is not an option. This is why we choose to opt in, to do everything we can to support our peers, and to deepen our understanding so that we can deepen our impact.
We Walk the Talk
It is one thing to recognize that trauma, bias, and anxiety are everyday realities for many people and communities. However, it is another thing to act on that knowledge in a way that is genuinely supportive of healing and growth.
As such, we are continuously striving to provide more supportive benefits to our team members. This includes unlimited paid sick leave in addition to earned paid time off (which serves as a financial buffer and emergency fund), company-paid disability, access to mental health services, and legal insurance. We also work with employees to ensure that they feel safe and supported through all of life’s events, especially when they live in states that do not have supportive policies, such as state benefits for maternity leave.
We create policies that enable our employees to keep a balance. We believe that external and immovable life factors shouldn’t be inhibitors to their careers.
Sharing our needs and concerns can be difficult for anyone. This is why at Censia, we have an open-door policy where any employee can directly schedule time with any executive or other team member to have a confidential conversation.
We Hire for Skills and Passion
Job titles are problematic, and the research shows it. Throughout a career, marginalized groups are often passed over or denied critical early promotions that permanently and negatively impact their career trajectory. This phenomenon is called the broken rung, and it leads to a significant discrepancy in representation. Women of color, for instance, go from making up 18% of the workforce in entry-level positions to 4% at the executive level.
All too often, diverse employees have the skills, the experience, and the passion, but not the previous title, to get the job they deserve. We are determined to fix that.
In addition to creating enterprise technology that enables skills-based hiring, we practice what we preach. For example, we begin every interview process with a culture interview and consider their lived experiences, resilience, integrity, commitment to integrity, and growth mindset.
We do this because we recognize that careers are complex, that life experience matters and that our employees should grow and evolve during their time and Censia. Companies can and should commit to educating and evolving their employees throughout their careers, and hiring people who align with your company’s mission and values is a strong indicator of their future engagement and success.
We Continue to Grow
DE&I is not just a goal or trend, a best practice or box you check to avoid litigation. DE&I is a way of running your company.
The work of creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce is never truly finished. The work of uncovering systemic and unconscious bias is difficult and nuanced and challenges people at their core. Racism is not just active hate but the passive acceptance of the status quo that disadvantages a large part of our global workforce. Bias is not always a conscious thought but a slight preference that steers our decisions without us noticing it.
These are the reasons why we at Censia commit ourselves to do better every day, listening to the needs of our staff, and updating our best practices as our awareness and understanding grow.