A people-first mindset & DEIA: Curating a safe and thoughtful environment

Colorful collage of women's faces

At Alley, we believe that diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds fuel our best work and are essential for our future. And as an employer with over 70 teammates worldwide, we want to provide an environment where our diversity is respected, valued, and embraced. This begins with setting an internal standard of inclusive language, mindful business practices, and a learning mentality. 

What does a people-first mindset have to do with DEIA? 

Companies — like communities — are built by people. In the workplace, the human element is often lost or neglected in favor of other priorities. That’s why curating a people-first mindset is one of five key areas where we focus our diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) efforts. We want our initiatives to remain centered around the people behind our diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds — and that our DEIA program is never reduced to a checklist. 

Taking actionable steps

Setting goals and taking clear, actionable steps helps us uphold our values of quality, transparency, and accountability in everything we do — including in the DEIA space. To that end, we’ve outlined some specific goals and action items we’ve set around implementing and modeling a people-first mindset at Alley. 

Our Goals

  • Model an environment where feedback is accepted with open-mindedness and thoughtfulness. 
  • Define a standard of inclusive language to maintain consistent and thoughtful messaging across all our initiatives and platforms.
  • Implement policies that empower team members to grow both personally and professionally. 

Steps we’ve taken

  • Launched a partner-endorsed, employee-led DEIA working group where employees can gather weekly or asynchronously to collaborate on DEIA initiatives, ask for support, or share experiences as a community. (Q1 2020)
  • Established a process for formal affinity groups at Alley, which are driven by direct requests from Alley team members. (Q2 2021)
  • Made Juneteenth an official company holiday to properly recognize this profound turning point in the emancipation of enslaved people in America and provide time to reflect upon this history, the progress that has been made, and the remaining systems that continue to oppress Black Americans. (Q2 2021)
  • Developed an Alley Style Guide with a section dedicated to outlining best practices around DEIA language, accessibility standards, and representation across our content and social channels. (Q1 2023)
  • Expanded our employee handbook to include an assistance program for employees who may need additional support or accommodations during challenging times. (Q3 2021)
  • Incorporated Radical Candor into our training and onboarding materials, which offers a framework for delivering empathetic feedback that is still direct and constructive. (Q1 2016)

What the future holds

Putting our people first has been a priority from day one — we intend to continue to build a culture of mutual respect where diversity is treated as an asset. At Alley, we recognize that DEIA exists in a shifting landscape that requires us (as individuals and as a company) to be ready and willing to evolve with the dynamic needs of our teammates and our community at large. Keeping people at the center of our initiatives ensures that we never lose sight of who our DEIA program serves.