At Honey, we are firmly committed to doing our part to fight systemic racism in our community, our industry and the industries we serve — food, beverage and agriculture. Through our own research and in conversations with incredibly thoughtful and generous friends, we are learning (and unlearning) ways to participate in and support the pressing issues at hand within the social justice and anti-racism spaces.
We are actively working on implementing practices to ensure our next phase of growth — whether internal staff, interns, clients, or partners — is more diverse and equitable. We know that we are going to make mistakes on this journey and we’re open to feedback along the way. This work is not a sprint, but rather a life-long effort to stay engaged and active. Here are some of the changes we are starting with:
Recognizing our privileges and consulting with professionals in social equity to learn and listen. We know that our first step is to listen now and always. We have been connecting with our community and experts in equity to identify our deficiencies and determine where Honey as a company can make the biggest impact in driving real change both internally and within our industry.
Directing our pro bono efforts toward opportunities to partner with social justice-driven organizations. We take on 2-3 pro bono projects per year with the goal of utilizing Honey’s areas of expertise to support entrepreneurs, organizations, and businesses whose mission and values we believe will make a positive, long-lasting impact in our community. We are currently working on building a new framework for identifying and connecting with potential clients to ensure we are the best fit in supporting their particular vision for contributing to a more equitable and just society.
Dedicating mentorship and internship opportunities for emerging professionals. We are beginning a partnership with Sacramento State Career Center’s Economic Gardening Fellows Program* to provide internships to students interested in gaining experience with a design and marketing studio. Late this summer, we will be offering our first internship to a student with a focus in Ethnic Studies. As much as this program is a part of Honey’s commitment to providing mentorship to young professionals, it is equally as important for our team to learn directly from students who are currently studying the history and culture of ethnic groups in the United States. This program will not be our only avenue for mentorship and professional growth, rather part of our ongoing efforts.
*If you are interested in this program or have any questions, please reach out.
Auditing our internal hiring and partnership processes to ensure our practices are more equitable. It’s not enough to just post on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. Whenever we have an open position, it will be shared on a variety of platforms including AIGA, AMA, Will & Way, Where Are The Black Designers job board, and local college boards. We will be continuing to research the best placements to ensure that new opportunities are accessible to a diverse set of applicants. In addition to job posting locations, we are assessing the language used in our job announcements. We also recognize that word-of-mouth referrals are a primary source of recruitment in the creative industry — this goes for job applicants and creative partners alike (photographers, copywriters, videographers, printers, etc). Because of that, we have to continue building our network within the creative community so that it accurately reflects the diversity of our city, our state, and our country.
Reassessing speaking engagements and networking opportunities. Moving forward, we will only be promoting, attending, and participating in conferences, panels, or speaking engagements that clearly prioritize speaker and attendee diversity. We are committed to using our company’s voice and platform in these types of public settings to push for an equitable balance of professional opportunities within the design and marketing industries; it’s important that the landscape of leaders represents the different faces, stories, and backgrounds that make up the fabric of our creative community. Similarly, we will counsel our active clients to do the same in instances where they seek our guidance as it relates to their participation in industry-specific conferences, events, and tradeshows.