our commitment - update june 2020

This past week has highlighted the challenges our country and our communities have been failing to address for generations. Third Plateau stands with all of those fighting against police brutality, advancing efforts to ensure racial justice, and working to create an equitable social compact. The unjust treatment of people of color, especially black people, in the United States is disgraceful and intolerable. We, as individuals and as a company, are committed to working alongside people and organizations working day and night to dismantle systemic racism.

In service of our value of Learn Up, we are redoubling our commitment to both individual and team learning about antiracism. We recognize that as a white-owned company, it is incumbent upon us to do the internal work to understand the history and dynamics of police brutality and systemic racism in our communities so that we can show up as effective contributors to this work.

In service of our value of Team Up, we are committing to facilitate a team-wide process to learn together about the work of organizations doing essential racial justice work in our communities. Our intent is for the team to collectively decide on one or more organizations for Third Plateau to financially support based on what we learn. We believe this endeavor will also help enhance our service to philanthropic clients interested in strategically funding racial justice efforts.

In service of our value of Step Up, we are establishing a pro bono consulting fund to support racial justice organizations, especially those led by people of color. We believe that one of the best ways we can show up as an ally is to leverage our greatest asset – our team’s core skills.  We seek to use those skills to advance an agenda of equity, justice, and opportunity for all.

Finally, in service of our value of Live It Up, we are committed to creating a space where all people on our team feel valued, supported, and heard. We are encouraging our team to take mental health days as needed, and practice self-care so we can continue to show up fully and strategically in our work. We are especially mindful of how current events are impacting the people of color on our team, and are taking additional steps to ensure they know they have full support from the firm at this time.

Third Plateau Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

We know you’ve probably read a million and a half diversity statements, but hear us out. Yes, we too fundamentally believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion will allow us to build the organization we want and drive the impact we seek. We’re proud of our team and joyously celebrate each individual’s unique perspectives and contributions. However, we know we still have work to do to get our team and culture to where we want it to be. Below you will find our honest and transparent thoughts on where we currently are, where we wish to be, and how we plan on getting there.

Our Aim

We know that having diverse teammates and an inclusive work environment makes us a smarter, more creative, aware, whole team. We aim to continuously push one another’s thinking, challenge long-held beliefs and assumptions, and leverage our diversity to explore new, uncharted areas. We are hungry to drive profound social impact in communities around the world and know that to be effective in that endeavor, we have to see ourselves in the communities we aim to serve.

We believe our team will be strongest and best positioned to realize our vision if we are:

  • Diverse—with differences in race, ethnicity, sexual identity, culture, age, gender expression, ability, economic status, education, credentials, and experience;
  • Equitable—where people from all backgrounds are treated fairly and view our firm as a level playing field; and
  • Inclusive—where all people feel complete, heard, respected, understood, valued, connected, and able to do their best work.

The closer we get to creating this team, the more value we will be able to provide to the social sector and the more impact we will be able to have on the world.

Working on Getting There

We are proud of the diversity of experiences, academic backgrounds, and skills our team has, but we are also aware that we are not yet where we aim to be. As a family and friends-owned business, our first three ‘hires’ were ourselves – white, Jewish men. We have relied heavily on our cultural and collegiate networks to build out our team and client base, and recognize that as a firm we have inherited all of the biases embedded in the demographics and credentials we bring to the table.

We’re committed to evolving to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into everything we do. To that end, we have worked with diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals to help us understand our areas of growth. We have engaged in challenging conversations about diversity as a team. And, we have put norms in place to help us create a more equitable and inclusive workplace. Still, we know there is a long road ahead and much more work we must do.

In the immediate term we are:

  • Overhauling our hiring process: we’re finding ways to make our job postings more accessible to diverse audiences; establishing protocols for blind resume reviews, and relying on values-based interview questions to mitigate our various explicit and implicit biases.
  • Rethinking how we support and manage team members: we’re curating a list of personal and professional development opportunities for our team members to better understand issues and opportunities related to DEI; finding ways for team members to explore their own identities and privilege; and revising our cultural norms, company values, employee handbook, and client work so that they include DEI frameworks.
  • Pushing ourselves to ask tough questions and not shy away from these critical issues: we’re building relationships with individuals and organization with diverse perspectives and beliefs; actively seeking out books, articles, blogs, and podcasts that shed light on various aspects of DEI; and scheduling time once a month to reflect as a team on our progress and steps moving forward as it relates to DEI.

We Can’t Do It Alone

Our current and past team has done an incredible job to get us where we are today, but to get us to where we need to go we need fundamental changes from within. As we grow as individuals and as a firm, we see diversity, equity, and inclusion as the strongest levers to create long lasting and meaningful social change for the communities we seek to serve.

We are looking to create the team and network that will get us there. People who will learn with us, challenge us, and create with us.

This isn’t about paying lip service to diversity, equity, or inclusion; this is fundamental to who we are and who we want to be.

As part of this work we’re committed to listening to the voices of others. If you have ideas or thoughts you'd like to share on how we can best fulfill this vision, we'd love to hear from you.