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How Uncommon Goods brings DEIB into their workplace, marketplace, and community

The Textio Awards is our annual celebration of customers and the success they have had in the past year. For 2022, we wanted to hear directly from them. We put a call out to customers for stories about how they are using Textio at their organizations, with the goal of selecting five exceptional stories to honor with the Textio Inspiration Award.

The only rule: Textio was one piece of the larger DEI puzzle. We are encouraged to hear when customers successfully use Textio to create a more inclusive culture, and we know there are many other important programs and practices that must be in place for sustainable change.

This week, we continue to celebrate the 2022 Textio Awards by announcing the winner of our first-ever Textio Inspiration Award: Uncommon Goods!

Uncommon Goods stood out among submissions from the beginning. Textio Inspiration Award judge, and VP of Sales and Customer Success, LeeRon Yahalomi, summarizes it best: “The work they do within their company is remarkable and award worthy, but they took it a step further and are intentionally impacting their community and making the world a better place for all.”

Here is a look at some of the key initiatives Uncommon Goods has rolled out, earning them top spot for the 2022 Textio Inspiration Award.

Building a representative community

Since the founding of their Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee in 2019, it has been Uncommon Goods’ goal to build an authentic community that values, supports, and cultivates the uniqueness and potential of the individual as a part of the team. This has extended to their product assortment, as the merchandising team seeks out talented makers from underrepresented communities to join their growing list of vendors. This is deeply valued by their team and reflects the core values with which the company was founded.

Making a monetary impact

Charitable giving has been a core tenet at Uncommon Goods since the creation of their Better to Give program in 2001. Through this program, they’ve donated over $2.5 million to worthy causes aligned with their social beliefs.

In 2020, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)—a nonprofit dedicated to providing scholarships and internships to students attending HBCUs—became a Better to Give partner, with Uncommon Goods customers able to donate to TMCF at checkout. Members of the founding TMCF team also joined Uncommon Goods for a panel discussion on the importance of Juneteenth to coincide with adding Juneteenth as a paid holiday in 2022 and beyond.

Additionally, equitable pay that goes above and beyond the minimum wage is both a key element of inclusion and essential to health and financial security at Uncommon Goods. Approaches to achieving equitable pay include:

  • Increasing the starting wage for hourly jobs to $20/hr in 2021
  • Embarking on a market compensation and pay equity analysis, the findings of which will impact wage increases for Q1 2022
  • Encouraging customers via an email campaign to urge their public officials to pass Paid Leave for All in the recent congressional budget reconciliation

Leading with inclusive language

It’s one thing to value equity and inclusion; it’s another to empower employees with tools that reinforce those values. Textio is one tool that allows Uncommon Goods to keep recruiters and hiring managers accountable to leading with inclusive language to ensure inclusive hiring.

In early 2021, they asked all year-round team members to draft a job description for their current role, then ran training sessions on how to improve them with Textio. Now, they not only have a library of descriptions to utilize for future job listings, but they also utilize these job descriptions to ensure the accuracy of the market compensation analysis and subsequent pay equity analyses through

Additionally, when Textio released the Inclusive Recruiting Certification Course in August 2021, Uncommon Goods made it a required training for all people team members. No wonder they also won the 2022 Textio Growth Mindset Award! As it’s typical for them to bring on a large team of seasonal recruiters in preparation for the holiday season each year, it’s imperative that Uncommon Goods ensures everyone is aligned from Day 1. The Inclusive Recruiting Certification is now also required training for hiring managers before a new recruitment process can be launched.

Reinforcing commitment and accountability

Equal access to advancement opportunities is also an important initiative at Uncommon Goods. All year-round team members have unlimited access to a professional coach via Bravely, a professional development coaching service. The company has also developed an internal internship program, providing opportunities for internal advancement to the hourly and seasonal team. The program includes experience, skills, and training in departments that some team members may not have had the opportunity to explore as a potential career path previously. Several of these internships have turned into full-time roles.

Transparency is also key to the success of any DEI strategy, and in mid-2021, the organization began actively reporting on diversity metrics on a quarterly basis. Just reporting on the numbers is an important step in holding themselves accountable. Due to their efforts, they’re seeing an increase in BIPOC candidates hired for open roles quarter over quarter.

When asked to describe what stood out about Uncommon Goods’ submission, Jackye Clayton, Textio Inspiration Award judge and VP of Talent and DEI, explains, “Uncommon Goods doesn’t just have products that are uncommon. They also have uncommon business practices that can be envied by all. Their dedication to inclusion for employees and underserved communities is enviable. They recognize that inclusion is something that can be learned and through using tools like Textio, they have been able to educate their team on the importance of using inclusionary language to foster healthy communication. It gives me hope to see the work Uncommon Goods is doing not just to benefit their organization, but the overall world of work.”

Thank you, Uncommon Goods, for “walking the walk” when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. You’ve shown us that there are many pieces that must come together to spark the change we all hope to see in the workplace. Congratulations!

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