All institutions, including small businesses like us, should reflect the communities they serve. Right now, our team is all white. That is not a reflection of our community. There are talented developers and designers of color in central Kentucky who we ought to know. We’ve been discussing what we’ve tried in regards to equity in the past—where we’ve not done enough, or where we’ve been just plain wrong in our recruiting strategies.

We’ve been around as a fully-functioning agency for six years, and we have that many full-time team members—six. Given that we are only able to take on one new hire per year, this may seem like a really silly, even performative, exercise. Why bother posting a chart with more columns than team members? Isn’t posting a chart that says we’re all white admitting we’ve missed the mark?

Mediocre EmployeeDiversityData Chart

Well, yeah. We’re posting it because if we didn’t, we’d still be an all-white team. If we wait until we’re “big enough” to foster change, we’re sitting on our hands. We believe that being transparent and open to advice starting today is more important than making up for shortsightedness later, when our team has doubled or tripled in size. 

We’re vowing now, while our team is still small, to make our workplace welcoming and comfortable for all types of people from all walks of life and all different backgrounds.

We don’t see this as a number tally (e.g. “If we have X amount of BIPOC on staff, we’re good”). We want our workplace to be an environment where anyone and everyone has autonomy—where everyone feels empowered to speak their mind, share their ideas, and create their best work. We want all types of people to want to join us.

We’re actively looking for more ways to get rid of our blind spots, and to make Mediocre the best workplace it can be, for everyone. We’ll continue to share our initiatives over time, here’s an overview from the past few months:

  • In August we provided diversity training to all employees through Creative Reaction Lab. Four of our six employees attended; the other two (unable to attend for scheduling conflicts) were provided a rescheduled training opportunity.
  • Since March, we’ve encouraged daily equity education habits (articles, videos, content from resource banks like the 21-Day Equity Challenge). We’ve since shifted to sharing the same educational materials, including 2 or more weekly action items, and 1-2 monthly discussions. We intend to have no end-date for this initiative.
  • Starting today, 50% or more of interviewees for new positions will be BIPOC. Being a small team that’s not currently hiring, this may not apply to any action we take in the immediate future, but the commitment is immediate nonetheless.

We will always need to improve. We are hungry for constructive feedback and advice (in everything, including equity). Comment or DM on Instagram. Send us an email. This conversation is far bigger than us, but we want to be a part of it.

Shawn Saylor, illustration by Elizabeth Hall for Mediocre Creative
Shawn's an avid member of the Lexington creative community. He likes clean lines and bright colors. He's often distracted by conversations about music and bizarre imagery. His anecdote: we could probably fit all this lumber in the car. It'll sag a little and the guys at Home Depot may laugh, but we're not making two trips.

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