We've Got Work to Do.
By Josh McCarter
There are a lot of candid and sometimes uncomfortable discussions currently happening about race among our entire team, and as a company we’re facing some hard truths. We recognize that we can’t stand for wellness without fighting for Black lives.
We’re committed to building an inclusive and anti-racist community with a series of actionable steps that we hope will help promote and empower the Black Lives Matter cause.
MBUnited—amplifying and supporting minority voices on our teams
First, we’re being guided in our response by MBUnited, a diverse council of minority and allied team members whose mission is to “promote intercultural dialogue, awareness, and increased opportunities for all minorities both within Mindbody and in our proud minority communities." This team is helping Mindbody determine what actions we should take in this moment and how we can transform our company for the sustainable future.
Mindbody will make a $100K donation to the organizations that can have the biggest impact, an amount that will be matched by our CEO and co-founder, Rick Stollmeyer. The MBUnited team is helping to determine which organizations we should help fund in the fight to end racism and police brutality.
Money talks, but we’re listening, too. We recognize that asking our Black teammates to act as guides places an undue burden on them to educate the company, which we clearly understand is not their responsibility. As Mindbody Senior Solutions Engineer Arrica Peoples called out, “It's not fair to make people of color the Black encyclopedia.”
As a company, it’s on us to educate ourselves. But, we’re also a team, accustomed to working together to solve problems, and we’re incredibly grateful that we have willing voices in our organization whose lived experience can help us make lasting change.
Revisiting our employment and hiring practices
Transforming Mindbody’s employee demographics to better represent our diverse global society means taking a hard look at our recruiting and employment policies. We must reevaluate our hiring practices to expand the diversity of our teams, and annually review our compensation system to ensure we’re paying team members equitably. We must also reassess our internal promotion process to guarantee that Black and minority team members have equal opportunity for career advancement within Mindbody.
We’re building racial harassment awareness into our standard training in all countries in which we operate and adding a zero-tolerance racial discrimination policy to our employee handbook.
Additionally, we’ll be creating mentorship programs that seek to provide more avenues for professional growth and promote employee retention among minority team members.
In September 2019, we made unconscious bias training available to all Mindbody team members and mandatory for all managers. It is now required company wide. Although biases are not limited to race or ethnicity, the outrageous number of documented—and undocumented—instances of unconscious bias that have resulted in harm and injustice for people of color is why we’re having this conversation and why we will continue sharing this important education in 2020 and beyond.
We’re also launching additional educational opportunities for all Mindbody team members by partnering with third-party consultants. They’ll provide materials and counselors that facilitate training on diversity in the workplace and empower employees to have more open conversations about race at home to create change in their personal lives.
Presenting our teams with more opportunities to step forward
- Observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—All US Mindbody employees will receive a paid holiday to honor this important figure in the civil rights movement and have the chance to volunteer in their communities.
- Paid time off for election day—We believe that voting is one of the most significant ways to affect systemic change and we’ll ensure that our members can take that day to vote, or another day to educate themselves about the ballot.
- Providing more paid personal days—Our teams will receive 2 paid days off in the next 90 days to work for causes they believe in, give back to their communities, and regenerate their mental well-being to better participate in transforming our society.
- Recognizing Juneteenth—Commemorating the end of slavery in the US gives our teams another occasion to recognize the systemic oppression Black people have lived through for over 400 years. On June 19, Mindbody will host a 1 ½-hour all-hands meeting during which we’ll hear from teammates about their experiences with being Black in America.
Sharing stories from our teammates and customers
The most meaningful way we can try to understand how it feels to be racially discriminated against is to walk in the shoes of those who have experienced it. That’s why we’ll be illuminating stories from our team members who have felt the devastating impact of racial prejudice. These experiences are very real for our Mindbody family and sharing them among our team aligns with our core values of empathy and conscious evolution. We’ll also share them across our social networks to shine a light on how we’re helping to elevate the conversation among our larger community.
We also think it’s more important than ever to spend time listening to our customers, many of whom are hosting open forums around the racial issues faced by their communities. They’re doing important work to bring wellness to the world, and many operating in diverse regions have a significant positive impact on their communities. Going forward, we intend to spotlight those discussions and stories across our social channels and everywhere else we can.
Looking toward a better future
During a conversation about race and equality between our teams, Senior Workplace Administrator Specialist Derrich Mosley posted this message:
“It's, simply put, a statement of inclusion that insists that Black Lives Matter, Too! Our society and the systems in place challenge this very statement daily, which is why it's so important for you to say and even more important for people that look like me to hear. To me, you're saying with me, that I matter, that I'm valuable, that I'm heard, and that I'm not alone in my strides towards liberty and justice for all.”
We’re striving to be the more inclusive team that Derrich and all of us at Mindbody are proud to be part of. Our ears and eyes—and our hearts—are open.
These actions are the start of our work towards more sustainable anti-racist and diverse practices across Mindbody. Please visit our Response page for further details and more actions we are taking.