As we kick off a month of much-needed reflection and celebration of diversity, we’d first like to pause and reflect on the roots of PRIDE. Established in 1966 as a radical gay political organization, PRIDE (an acronym for Personal Rights in Defense and Education) has evolved to symbolize Promote Respect, Inclusion, and Dignity for Everyone. In the U.S., the reason we choose this month to celebrate PRIDE is to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 1969, when a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay community in response to a police raid took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. This month reminds us all that people have the inherent right to be treated with dignity and without bias – in our communities and in the workplace.
Here at CommerceIQ, one of our core tenets as a company is “bias for action” whether it involves product engineering, marketing, sales, and even HR – where we prioritize Diversity and Inclusion and take it very seriously. In keeping with our “bias for action” philosophy, we know it’s not enough to “talk the talk.” As is the case with other matters of importance at our company, we always want to know how we can improve. This quest for improvement is no different when it comes to the management of our employees – the people who are the heartbeat of our company.
The way we bring PRIDE to life at CommerceIQ begins with constant self-assessment. For that, we collaborated with an outside firm called Reverb – our Human Resources Consulting Partner that works with us on further embedding our core values throughout our global workforce in India and the U.S. Part of this journey started years ago with identifying the unique issues faced by each team in both countries, a process we could only undertake through open conversation founded on trust.
For example, certain forms of discrimination or “casteism” are still rampant in parts of India (though a taboo), and recent events have shown that racism remains an issue in the U.S. Instead of taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in both countries, we built on CommerceIQ’s company culture by implementing colleague reward systems to encourage employees in their day-to-day interactions to win as a team. Supported by intense, empathy-led coaching sessions, we want to foster an atmosphere where the mere potential for discrimination cannot arise. One that recognizes the humanity of our people at their heart, not the label – or society – they fall under.
Practice What We Preach
Seeing this come to life during COVID-19 was a testament to our culture. Just like other companies who were forced into remote working, the pandemic affected more than our bottom line. It affected our physical interactions and environment of security, welcome and positivity. During this time, we saw our colleagues’ innate humanity shine through (no matter what caste, gender, or race), supporting each other through tough personal and professional times. Our team adapted to the ‘new normal’ with assurance. Allyship is a badge that each team member, from the top down, wore – a mindset and promise to support those who needed it, without prejudice, without conflict and above all, with compassion.
Most importantly, practicing PRIDE must be a conscious daily consideration – not a one-time event, which is almost certainly destined to fail. We believe that doing the right thing by our people means treating them like people, no matter where they are from, how they look or who they love. Caste, gender, race, and sexual orientation are words that do not form part of our mindset at any point in the employee journey. This is not to erase the history and hardships that people have endured, but to treat everyone with equality and equity supported by action.
This month, we encourage other company leaders who have yet to start on the journey towards “walking the walk” to begin today. At CommerceIQ, in keeping with our “bias for action” culture, it started with a professional outside self-assessment from Reverb. Each company must find their own path forward.
At CommerceIQ, we believe that winning as a team – where every member feels valued – is the only win worth having. If you’re interested in being part of the team, check out our Careers Page where the future of CommerceIQ starts with you.