Diversity & Inclusion ~ A Focused Journey for Spell
We are committed to ensuring the unique lived experiences and perspectives of our local and global community are acknowledged and championed; it’s these lived experiences and perspectives that form the tapestry of our organisation.
We strive to build and nurture a business culture that is open, honest, and inclusive.
We understand that a diverse and inclusive culture does not happen without effort and commitment to continuous learning. We acknowledge our responsibility to play an active role in dismantling the racial, physical, mental, sexual and gender inequalities in our society, and we take our responsibility as modern story tellers seriously, striving to always represent a broad spectrum of community in our messaging – from age, race, ability to gender identity and beyond.
A Note from Co-Founder Elizabeth Abegg:
Since Spell’s founding in 2009 we have operated our business from the Northern Rivers, Australia, on Bundjalung Land. As a white-owned business, we acknowledge our extraordinary privilege and hold ourselves accountable in the wider Reconciliation movement – that is, to play our part in strengthening relationships between our First Nations Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples to the benefit of all Australians.
We are committed to using our platform to amplify the voices of our Bipoc communities – and share what we learn to raise others up. We’re committed to doing the work required to walk a path of anti-racism, (knowing at times we will get it wrong).
We are committed to engaging with more women and men of colour, men and women of all ages, gender and abilities across our business. This will mean broadening the reach of our current recruiting processes and creating more opportunities for individuals seeking experience within our industry.
We are committed to engaging with experts, as well as working internally, in areas of diversity, inclusion and cultural awareness to help us identify areas in our policies that need work.
So what does this mean? Since June 2020 we have been working on lots of different areas in our business. Admittedly, initially our approach felt a bit ‘scatter-gun’ but over the years we have honed our awareness and built meaningful relationships with First Nations organisations and individuals in our community. We invite you to let us know how/where you believe we can be doing better and what you’d like to see into the future.(Email Us).
OUR ACTIONS AND COMMITMENTS:
1. Continuing robust learning with experts in Diversity and Inclusion + D&I Board
We are employing experts across a spectrum of fields within the D&I space, so that we may operate from a best practice framework. We are engaging in facilitated learning across different areas and functionalities within our business. In 2020 we took steps to create a Diversity and Inclusion Board (approaching members in our community who offered expertise in race, gender, disability status etc) however this has been put on hold as we have prioritized more learning, engaging in a robust protocol with experts on Diversity & Inclusion infrastructure within our business.
2. Implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan
Respect, educate and immerse ourselves in the culture of our First Nations Peoples and continually explore how we can honour the traditions and creativity from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program contributes to advancing the National Reconciliation movement by supporting organisations to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We have formed our RAP working group and are in the 1st stage of our RAP which is the ‘REFLECT’ stage. This stage can take up to 18 months to complete, and we are using this time to reflect, produce and implement an immediate action plan. This plan is underway and will be made public shortly.
3. Policy Updates
Update and continuously revise our policies to ensure they reflect progressive, inclusive views;
- Implement Code of Conduct that incorporates and recognises the Traditional Owners.
- Review and publish our Modern Slavery Policy/Statement. Although this is a voluntary statement, we have followed the structure outlined by the Australian Modern Slavery Statement Act legislation.
- Update Anti Discrimination/Anti Bullying and EEO Policy.
- Incorporate a recruitment framework outside of our usual recruiting processes that enables us to connect with talent within local communities that include Indigenous groups, those with disabilities and transgender, thus working to improve diversity of candidate pipeline for all roles, and foster a recruitment process that does not include systemic barriers to entry for people from underrepresented groups.
- Work toward completing Cultural Awareness Workplace Accreditation.
- Implemented an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to encourage our team to acknowledge the importance of checking in on their mental health, mood, resilience and emotional intelligence and support those who experience personal hardships.
A note from founders on use of the term ‘sisters’ in our communication.
As we continue to learn in areas of Diversity and Inclusion, language is very important. Over the years our Spell community have often used the words ‘sisters’ when speaking about each other. We adopted the term for one of our Facebook groups, ‘Spell Sisters’ and sometimes use the term in general communication. Our founders Isabella and Elizabeth are sisters and the kindred relationship between them has been a big part of the founding of this brand. However, the term, when used by our brand is extended to all our community regardless of gender identity.