How Local Tech Companies Are Taking Action to Support the Black Community

Janey Zitomer
July 16, 2020

On June 8, 2020, hundreds of protesters lined the streets of downtown Denver to show their support for Black Lives Matter. Among them was a group of employees from local ethics and compliance software company, Convercent

As Black Lives Matter has grown into one of the largest movements in United States history, more and more organizations have taken a stance against racism in the workplace, vowing to reevaluate hiring practices and create employee resource groups for minorities in tech. While such initiatives move the anti-racism conversation forward, the following two local companies have leveraged resources already built into their business model: their products.  

“We are giving any organization needing a website to promote equality-related causes a free annual Duda subscription,” the CFO of the web design platform, Stephanie Hsiung, said. 

At Convercent, employees have formed a group to identify and reduce bias within their own technology. Doing so requires building future products and features using an equity lens in order to serve marginalized employees at client companies. And hopefully, our respondents said, other tech organizations will follow suit. 

 

Convercent
convercent

Duda employees are using their voices and products to support the Black Lives Matter movement, starting with the software services they provide. CFO Stephanie Hsiung said the team has committed company resources to actively share, promote and amplify websites built on Duda in support of Black Lives Matter. But that’s just the beginning. Leadership is also asking for feedback from employees around the world so that the organization continues to evolve.
 

What steps is your company currently taking to support racial justice and equality in your community (or at the national level)? 

As a global company, we believe that we’re in a unique position to show up and support those fighting for racial justice and equality through the use of our product. To that end, we are giving any organization needing a website to promote equality-related causes a free annual Duda subscription. Further, we’ve committed company resources to actively share, promote and amplify websites built on Duda in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

We also recognize that our employees are interested in doing more themselves. To encourage their active participation in furthering equality, we recently announced that we’ll be matching any employee donations to non-profit organizations of up to $200 a year. We also encourage employees to take two days off each year to volunteer for organizations they care about. Finally, to help those actively pushing for change on the ground today, we’ve made a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on behalf of Duda. 

 

Internally, what is your company doing to support and empower black team members — both inside and outside the office? 

In addition to our CEO speaking out against systemic racism and standing in solidarity with the Black community both internally and externally, we’ve been evaluating our recruiting practices. We are committed to focusing on how we can do better at adding more diverse voices to our teams.  

We are committed to focusing on how we can do better at adding more diverse voices to our teams.’’  

How have you worked to ensure your actions are meaningful, impactful and in alignment with the needs of the Black community?

Our understanding of what would be most impactful continues to evolve as we listen and learn from those around us. The feedback of our employees from across the globe continues to be a key resource for us. Several of our Dudes and Dudettes have been participating at the local and national level in activities to support the Black community and they’ve shared many of their learnings with Duda. Those insights have helped shape our recent actions. 

 

Jenna Thomas
Content Marketing Manager

Last month, team members at Convercent formed an employee group focused on the impact of their product on their users. Content Marketing Manager Jenna Thomas said the group is identifying ways the ethics and compliance management business can better serve marginalized employees at companies around the world. 

 

What steps is your company currently taking to support racial justice and equality in your community (or at the national level)? 

We formed an employee group focused on community engagement for diversity and inclusion. Team members in that group are planning fundraising and awareness events throughout the year, with 2021 keystone events during Black History Month in February and on Juneteenth. This group will also support existing community initiatives in Denver and London, where our offices are located.

We are creating a resource center for ethics and compliance professionals, whom we serve, so that leaders within other companies are empowered with the education and tools they need to make meaningful changes to company policy. This resource center started with a podcast we published on June 15 about how compliance leaders can support their company’s diversity, equity and inclusion team. 

 

Internally, what is your company doing to support and empower black team members — both inside and outside the office?

We started trainings for leadership and employees in the first week of June, starting with a “conversations, not confrontations” session. This month, we will hold an unconscious bias training. In addition, an employee group hosted its first event about the origin of the Black Lives Matter movement, the history of police brutality and white supremacy, and how we’ve confronted racism in the workplace in the past.

Further, we are providing all employees with education and resources on anti-racism so they can be more effective advocates within the workplace and in their personal lives. This education, including planned conversations with activists and Black leaders, will inform the ongoing actions we take as a company, including hiring practices and internal policies.

We don’t intend for our Black teammates to shoulder the responsibility of speaking up or educating their colleagues. We do, however, invite them to share their perspectives if they choose to. The accountability to create change falls on all of us. We intend to create change hand in hand as advocates for our Black teammates.

The accountability to create change falls on all of us.’’

How did you determine which actions your company would take? 

We formed an anti-racism task force on June 1, 2020. This small group determined that we could only sustain this movement meaningfully with the participation of our entire company. So we created four pillars focused on different actions, in which all employees are invited to participate. The pillars are fostering conversation, education and action, community involvement and product impact.

We plan to ensure that our ongoing work is truly aligned with the needs of the Black community by maintaining ongoing education. That education includes guided trainings, listening to Black voices from within our community and the business world, hosting activist speakers, and absorbing the work of Black authors, documentary filmmakers and artists.

 

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Duda, Inc.
Boulder
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Duda, Inc.
Boulder
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Convercent
Denver
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Convercent
Denver
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Convercent
Denver
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Convercent
Denver
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Convercent
Denver
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Convercent
Denver
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Convercent
Denver
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new
Convercent
Denver
Developer
new
Convercent
Denver
Operations
new
Convercent
Denver
Sales
new
Convercent
Denver
Developer
new
Convercent
Denver
Project Mgmt
new
Convercent
Denver
Developer
new
Convercent
Denver
Marketing
new
Duda, Inc.
Boulder
Project Mgmt
new
Convercent
Denver
Developer
new
Convercent
Denver
Product
new
Convercent
Denver
Data + Analytics
new
Convercent
Denver
Content
new
Convercent
Denver
Project Mgmt
new
Convercent
Denver
Product
new
Convercent
Denver
Developer
new
Convercent
Denver
Marketing
new
Convercent
Denver
Marketing
new
Convercent
Denver
Sales
new
Convercent
Denver
Developer
new
Convercent
Denver
Finance
new
Convercent
Denver
Sales
new
Duda, Inc.
Boulder
Sales
new
Convercent
Denver
Project Mgmt
new
Convercent
Denver
Developer
new
Convercent
Denver
Sales
new
Convercent
Denver
Design + UX
new
Convercent
Denver
Operations
new
Convercent
Denver
Design + UX
new
Convercent
Denver
Project Mgmt
new
Convercent
Denver
Operations
new
Convercent
Denver
Sales
new
Convercent
Denver
HR + Recruiting
new
Convercent
Denver

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