We mutually agreed, as Founders, since the inception of Element Data, that we are each personally committed to creating a workplace that equally values each individual. Each of us has witnessed in our industry behavior that was inappropriate, and we have each known the impact of limitations placed on individuals based on perception as opposed to ability or performance.
When we started Element Data, we were adamant that we would never allow any form of “isms” to interfere with our ability to create compelling technology, build great products, and create an enduring company that we and every person associated with it could be proud of. We believe that to do great things, we have to be our best selves. We have to be inclusive, respectful, and recognize that our differences provide the collective insight to accomplish our goals…together.
We can’t do that in a company that tolerates sexism, racism, ageism, gender bias, or any other form of discrimination. We need to be at our best for each other, to do our best…for each other.
We know there are individuals and organizations within our industry where such behavior has been overlooked, tacitly or implicitly condoned, or at times, has even been encouraged. We believe organizations that do not commit themselves to embracing diversity, especially within the leadership of the organization, enable a culture of marginalization of others.
Marginalization is so intensely painful, as we know from personal experience. It is exhausting to start from a position of having to overcome bias in addition to being recognized for your contribution and performance. This is especially true in the hyper paced tech world.
We believe, as Founders, that we set the tone and lead by example. We also believe that if any of us were to engage in discriminatory behavior, that our employees, shareholders, and customers deserve better, and that we don’t deserve to be a part of the company. Victims of this behavior lose their dignity. We believe as Founders we have and must set an example, not only for our company but for the industry as a whole.
Therefore, we mutually agree and commit to the following:
- Element Data has an absolute zero tolerance policy regarding all forms of discrimination.
- Any report of discrimination will be thoughtfully reviewed consistent with the guidelines found within the Element Data Employee Handbook
- All such reports of discrimination will be brought to the attention of all three Founders.
- If it is determined, through internal and/or external investigation, that any Founder has personally engaged in discrimination in violation of this pledge (or to have knowingly condoned such action by others), such Founder will voluntarily resign from employment at Element Data, AND will forfeit their unvested equity and options.
Hopefully, what we have agreed to can serve as a framework to others to take this matter seriously. Our willingness to sacrifice significant equity can’t restore the dignity of a victim of such mistreatment, but it does serve as an internal deterrent to be vigilant and defend against such behavior.
Geoff, Chuck and Cyrus