Equilo's Commitment to Social Justice

We as a global society are at a pivotal point in deep communal reflection and call to action that will define our civilization's path forward. The current COVID-19 pandemic and the power of social media have made more visible the persistent and pervasive systemic injustice and racism within the United States and globally. Inequity across economic, education, health, and justice systems, and within the development and aid structures mark the daily lived experience of those without privilege.

There is a collective global pause, where a critical mass of people are responding to this drumbeat that we hear more loudly and more clearly. Perhaps more of us who have enjoyed the privilege of living without the challenges of inequality are finally listening to this drumbeat as we bear witness to, and finally fear for ourselves, the fundamental collective weaknesses of these buckling systems that inequality begets

This drumbeat is that of a long and steady history of brave activism by women and men with diverse social identities who have led incremental progress for women's rights and social justice in the US, marked by notable movements led by Black women. It is the drumbeat of courageous Indigenous women and adolescent girls globally making visible the uncomfortable truths of inequality that pervades within one social identity.

We can choose to unite by recognizing differences and working to reduce the inequalities within, or we can choose to ignore and mute those differences. Both of these are active choices with rippling effects. At Equilo, we make it an active and purposeful daily choice to interrogate how our actions may make visible or invisible inequalities that pervade, and commit to doing our best by continually recognizing and being vulnerable to our blindspots.

But our words are only as meaningful as the actions that follow. We reaffirm our resolve to do our part within our spheres of influence to work toward achieving social inclusion, happiness, and justice thoughtfully and systematically over time in the marathon that sustained change requires. We continue to ingrain this value as part of core business operations, and commit to regularly reflect and learn, as the hard work of embracing discomfort and growth is never done. Although we commit to building upon this as we learn and grow, Equilo's foundational Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Agenda follows this three-pronged approach:

  1. Enhancing our analysis tool to improve inclusion and intersectional intelligence with better data, calling out where missing data creates biases and using qualitative information to fill in gap

  2. Influencing growth-oriented dialogue and action through our personal and professional networks on a regular basis over a sustained time as an ingrained part of our workplace culture

  3. Creating a thriving inclusive workplace, especially as we grow and hire new talent with diverse social identities

 

We stand with the Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQI+, and other socially excluded groups and fellow justice activists in the US, globally, and within the international development space. We truly believe that if we each do the hard work required, we can reimagine and create a happier, more just world for all.

- Jessica Menon & Rachel Elsinga, Equilo's Co-founders (July 2020)

Equilo's mission statement highlights our ingrained commitment to social justice and inclusion: 

 

Hacking gender equality & social inclusion for a happier, more just world.

From Equilo's inception, we defined how we expect us as leaders and all of our employees to live this mission personally and professionally through our values. Our commitment to work for social justice and the principles upon which our tool is built are highlighted in our Move Together value:

 

As global citizens, we believe in equality, fairness, and freedom. We listen to partners and to each other. We cultivate togetherness within our team and beyond, gaining strength from diversity. We create happiness and hope for all people- our team, their families, our communities, and the wider world influenced by our work. We show up for each other.

Equilo's Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Agenda

Enhancing our analysis tool to improve inclusion & intersectional intelligence

Our Equilo tool supports organizations with automated gender equality and social inclusion analysis to create more inclusive projects and investments globally. ​Equilo's analysis also seeks to amplify the intersectionality of gender and ability status, age, LGBTQI status, ethnic and religious minorities, and vulnerable populations, including refugees and IDPs. As we launch the first version of our first tool, we painfully recognize the global gaps in intersectional and inclusive data that we urgently need to improve intersectional analysis. To address this we are:

  • Ensuring our research and analysis continually works to ensure we do not make invisible or erase that which we cannot measure. 

  • Working in parallel to supplement quantitative analysis with qualitative information that addresses inclusion and diversity.

  • Incorporating within strategic planning on our research agenda how future version releases will strengthen the diversity and inclusion lens with more robust quantitative and qualitative data.

  • Ideating subsequent release of Equilo US, utilizing our analytical framework to support identification of gender equality and social inclusion opportunities and gaps to support state and local governments, NGOs, and companies to understand the social context within they operate to enable them to tailor policies, programs, products, and solutions to the diverse populations they serve to meet the global call to action.

Influencing dialogue & action

As part of operationalizing our values and ingraining our values in our work culture, Equilo includes on regular team calls reflective questions about behaviors for all leaders and team members to discuss. Within our Moving Together value, Equilo regularly reflects on these expected behaviors of its leaders and employees:

  • What have you learned about someone else’s lived experience that has expanded your perspective and beliefs?

  • What actions have you taken to understand a different viewpoint without judgment?

  • How have you addressed your unconscious- or conscious- bias?

  • How have you connected with others outside of work to leverage your relative privilege to do good?

 

We value learning from others' diverse perspectives within our organization and externally, and commit to learning and sharing:

  • Participating as a team in external webinars and hosting internal webinars to hear diverse opinions and perspectives on topics of diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality on an ongoing basis. 

  • Engaging diverse global and national networks of gender equality and social inclusion specialists, as well as individuals representing diverse communities, to ensure that the communities we are here to support are involved and given a voice in the development of our analytical frameworks.

  • Applying our learnings thoughtfully in our research agenda, data, analysis, and within our workspace.

  • Contributing to, and amplifying, the important work being done by community leaders and activists in the US and around the globe, by cultivating an open-access resource hub of anti-racist diversity, equity, and inclusion materials (high-quality guides, tools, and learning resources) within development projects and workplaces; work produced by BIPOC will be featured. 

Creating a vibrant inclusive workplace

We have a defined People Strategy in place that includes diversity, inclusion, and social justice commitment to:

  • Reaching goals and targets for diversity (ethnicity, race, sexual-orientation, and ability status) in our recruitment, hiring, and promotion as we grow

  • Maintaining and growing a diverse advisory board

  • Maintaining and growing partnership with diverse networks and thought partners

  • Paying employees equally for work, regardless of gender, social identity, or country of national origin

  • Integrating equality, diversity, and inclusion training for new employees with ongoing refresher trainings

  • Joining Pledge 1% and building a robust corporate social responsibility agenda around selected social justice and equality initatives as Equilo becomes profitable

  • Including individual social activism and volunteerism as an individual employee key performance indicator

Accelerating 

gender equality

Amplifying

impact

National Science Foundation &
Small Business Innovation Research  

2019 Grant Awardees

© equilo 2020

Catalyzing

change

Get in touch

[email protected]

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