The lack of diversity in the sustainability movement has become painfully apparent and we are tired of the current âwhite savior' response to climate change. Integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into the way we work isn't just about âdoing good,' it's about redefining what success looks like and making sure our biases don't blind us from seeing the real finish line.
On one hand, DEI makes smart business sense. It's common knowledge that diverse perspectives drive innovation and accelerate growth - we can't reach our full potential if we don't create a diverse, equitable and inclusive company culture.
On the other hand, there are historically marginalized communities with certain demographic features, like color, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, that have been disproportionately affected by climate change and environmental degradation. Therefore, black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) perspectives must be centered in sustainability efforts. Period.
One of the core pillars of our platform is to focus on what matters - pinpointing the critical impact areas in each product category and helping companies target where they can have the most impact. This includes acknowledging that environmental stewardship has direct impacts on our health and well-being, and that some humans are inherently worse off simply because of existing structures and systems. We believe Finch has a role to play in highlighting where companies' efforts fail to reflect the realities of the BIPOC experience. To do this, we need to highlight the voices that have been traditionally underrepresented and, aligned with our core value, bring âmore within reach.'
If we fail to effectively integrate DEI, then we'll miss out on opportunities to collaborate, join forces with others, and maximize the positive impact we seek to make not only as a company, but also as a change agent in society. If historically marginalized communities aren't the beneficiaries of our collective work, then we can't claim we're making progress. As a white woman, Finch's founder recognizes her dominant role in society and wants to use that privilege - and Finch - to create space for others in this movement.
At Finch, we celebrate differences in gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, education, ability, religious belief, geography, economic status and more because, together, these differences enable us to better solve problems. Our commitment to DEI includes 1) how we make decisions; 2) how we score products; and 3) how we build community.
DEI in How We Make Decisions:
Our integration of DEI begins internally, where we have structured our decision-making processes to thoughtfully consider whether we are being just, equitable and inclusive at every turn. We empower team members to share their experiences, give equitable feedback, encourage them to remove the invisible cloak that is 'fitting in' to a male, white world.
DEI in How We Score Products:
We commit to openly talking about representation in and by both the products we rate and the categories we assess. For example, our algorithm is programmed to track whether businesses are BIPOC owned - if the top ten products in a given category are all owned by white men, we'll transparently share this information in our Wise Guide and product insights. By the same token, if a company has open hiring practices and proactively hires formerly incarcerated individuals or individuals from local, low-income communities, we'll proudly highlight that, as well.
Our commitment to DEI also aims to debunk the myth that sustainability has to be âexpensive.' As such, one of our five key rating factors is âBuying It,' which looks at the accessibility and inclusivity of products. Yes, we should price products to account for the cost of living wage for workers, sourcing of responsible materials, and low-impact manufacturing, etc., but no, these products should not be priced at a point where they become inaccessible to all but 1% of the population. Fighting climate change has often been depicted as a white person's movement and, for the past decade, the majority of âsustainable' consumption has been geared towards the white and the affluent. It's important that we not be disillusioned by this trend. BIPOC are often the strongest proponents of sustainable action even when such policies come with greater individual costs. We're not just talking about believing in climate change, we're talking about taking action and spending money on products that reflect their values and are consistent with their desire to mitigate climate change.
DEI in How We Build Community:
Consistent with our company value of being âreal-life approved,' we want all aspects of the Finch experience to reflect the real world, meaning we must gather and present a range of perspectives about what works and what doesn't for everyone, not just for a select few. We track the self-identified demographic characteristics of our Charm finders - the real people that give real reviews on products - and proactively build intentional partnerships with organizations like HBCUs to engage more diverse influencers and content creators.
Our Charm program also gives us a unique view of not only the breadth of people using our tools, but also the products that appeal to various audiences. With the reviews we aggregate, we can call out brands that fail to adequately represent the needs of a diverse population.