A one year update: The steps we're taking now to build a culture of inclusion and belonging.
Everything we do at redpepper is rooted in a goal to help our people and partners grow. We recognize that in order for true growth to occur, it needs to be accessible to and inclusive of everyone. That’s not the current reality in the creative industry. In our initial statement made in June of 2020, we pledged to make changes as a company that will help us get there together. While we still don’t have all the answers a year later, we have remained committed to being part of the way forward.
In partnership with The Courage Collective, a diversity, equity, & inclusion consultancy, redpepper has committed to action on the following initiatives:
How we hire. We’ve made a commitment to cultivate a workplace that is representative of Nashville’s diverse makeup, attracting and hiring from underrepresented identity groups at every level of our company. This includes the implementation of unconscious bias training taken by every redpepper employee involved in the hiring process. We’ve also introduced a paid internship program to help make our industry more accessible to young people seeking careers in advertising.
We recognize redpepper is not racially diverse. We will hold ourselves accountable to our goals to increase representation by maintaining transparency around our gender and racial diversity statistics. Here’s our 2021 data, which we will publish annually.
Fellows program. In addition to our traditional internship program, we are piloting a semester-long fellowship program that is designed to create access for early career candidates from underrepresented identity groups. The program will provide fellows with professional development opportunities and prepare them for a career in the marketing and advertising industry.
Internal inclusion training. As part of our continued commitment to growth and accountability, redpepper has partnered with The Courage Collective to provide ongoing training and development for every employee at our company. We understand that representation is only part of the equation and are committed to creating a culture of true Inclusion & Belonging that recognizes and celebrates the unique identities, experiences, and backgrounds of every employee, partner, and client.
Supporting change-making organizations. redpepper supports local Tennessee nonprofits that fight to dismantle systemic racism in our community. Monetarily, we have supported several organizations including the Equity Alliance and Gideon’s Army. Through our annual CreateAthon event, we donated our services to help The Nashville Bail Fund and Aphesis House develop sustainable marketing strategies and creative materials. We will continue to invest both funds and services into organizations focused on creating a meaningful impact in underserved communities.
Everyday inclusion adjustments. redpepper recognizes that even the smallest intentional changes can have a significant impact. We’ve implemented a few changes that we believe can help any business create a more inclusive culture. Changes enacted to date include: adjusting both our holiday calendar and office decorations to be more inclusive of all cultural celebrations, relabeling our office restrooms by pronoun rather than gender, and distributing corporate credit cards rather than reimbursing employees for company charges.
Conclusion. At redpepper, we know that creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture takes time and intentionality, and we’re committed to making sure it remains a priority for us now and in the future.