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Smartly.io’s Commitment to Supporting Social Justice

Kristo Ovaska Jun 29, 2020 8:02:01 AM

 

Over the last few weeks, like many others, we have spent time listening, learning, talking and determining how we can take action to support the Black Lives Matter movement and combat social injustice. While our social media channels remained paused during this time, we were not pausing internally. Our 350+ Smarties across the globe were engaged in passionate discussions.

I am proud of the conversations we’ve had and will continue to have. For us, the talking must be followed by action. While we haven’t determined all we will do in the future, we have some initial short and long term plans. And after aligning as a business with significant employee input about how we can make the most substantial impact, we are ready to share. 

By examining how we work internally, leading by example and striving for systemic improvements, Smartly.io is committed to change – without gimmicks, or by running after fast wins or optics. Smartly.io is a respectful and safe workplace with equal opportunities for all, regardless of background, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, family status, or any other attribute. We’re committed to continuing to build and maintain a culture free of harassment and discrimination. As stated in our Code of Conduct, everyone needs to be treated respectfully, we don’t tolerate any form of racism – this has been the cornerstone of the Smartly.io culture since the beginning. But recent events have taught us all that more needs to be done.

What We Are Doing Right Now

Real change takes time but there are steps we can take right now. In terms of immediate next steps:

  • We have created a CSR Committee “Smartlies for Social Action”, in which all Smartlies are invited to join. The committee’s responsibilities will include defining a social mission statement to be matched with overall Smartly.io messaging, creating proposals for new initiatives and creating shared resources of recommended articles, videos, books, podcasts, etc. Change needs to start within and we are proud that our team is leading the charge.
  • I will host intimate Q&A sessions alongside a diverse selection of leaders across Smartly.io to discuss diversity and inclusion topics and welcome all Smartlies to join however often they wish. 
  • Smartly.io will donate EUR 10,000 to a neutral, non-political group based on our newly formed CSR Committee’s recommendation.
  • Additionally, Smartly.io and our Board will match Smartlies’ donations to eligible non-profit organizations, up to an aggregate amount of EUR 15,000 (funded jointly by Providence Equity Partners and Smartly.io).

How We Will Continue the Momentum

Systemic change won’t happen overnight. As part of our plan, we incorporated long-term initiatives to continue the momentum of change. This list will grow and develop with the support of our CSR committee.

1. Internal efforts to better the company and support employees
  • With the help of an outside third party, we will create a stronger vision and strategy for Smartly.io Diversity & Inclusion. 

  • We will also finalize a social mission statement and communicate it internally and externally.

  • As part of Smartly.io’s D&I efforts, we will leverage an outside partner to help us establish unconscious bias training for all current Smartlies and new hires. Team leads will receive extra training to ensure our leaders are setting the right tone for the company.

  • We are committed to expanding diversity in hiring globally, but specifically at the senior leadership level. 

  • Smartly.io will develop an internal diversity statistics report in Q4.

2. Supporting customers and the advertising industry
  • It is important that we look to address unconscious racism, not just in our own company, but in the industry at large. As such, Smartly.io will offer our customers training about recognizing and tackling unconscious bias in advertising.

  • Also in an effort to improve the industry, we will develop pro bono work practices and guidelines for the company. 

3. Getting involved and donating our time 
  • Our CSR Committee will plan activities and events for our organization. These will include, but are not limited to a PRIDE Parade, meetups with underrepresented groups in tech, guest speakers, sponsorship of conferences, and more. 

  • Smartly.io will launch a Volunteer Time Off Policy to encourage Smartlies to get involved and make a difference. 

Doing Our Part to Raise Awareness for Social Justice

Starting this week, we will once again begin to use the voice of our social channels to share information and resources around the Black Lives Matter movement. These social posts will highlight BLM resources, educational information and further details about the actions laid out above. Moving forward, we will also provide regular updates from our CSR Committee about our progress. 

It’s not enough to say that we care about social justice. We need to show it with our actions, words, policies and support. At Smartly.io, we’re committed to the actions we’ve noted above and look forward to continuing the conversation for years to come.

Author
Kristo Ovaska
CEO and Founder

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