Defining DEIB at TXI
At TXI, our product is our people. To deliver the best solutions, we need positive, inclusive environments with as much diversity in the room as possible. We need to be able to learn from each other. We also believe that to be seen for who you are—and to have the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging—is a universal human need. We believe it is our responsibility and duty to create the conditions for belonging for every team member and space to bring their authentic selves to work. That’s why we’re working to create an inclusive environment for everyone.
To start, that means understanding what diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging mean at TXI. The first step is ensuring we are all using the general words in the same way. We understand that to embody these definitions as an organization, we all have to recognize our unearned privilege and power, hold each other accountable, and distribute that power equitably.
Diversity refers to who is in the room and how many different social identity groups are represented.
Equity provides equitable access based on the needs of oppressed groups to resources and recognizes the individual needs of groups that have been historically exploited, for example, Black and Indigenous people of color within the context of the US.
Inclusion refers to our responsibility to welcome others, listen to their input and perspective, and provide tangible support for their diverse needs so that all are able to participate meaningfully.
Belonging is about building community, specifically making people feel that they belong by leveraging, valuing and celebrating all that they are. This means accepting that belonging takes on different meanings for different people, and being curious about how to engage with their needs.
This document outlines our company's DEIB history. From its roots in a conversation to the current team that meets weekly, we wanted to document the varied paths we took to get here.
Creating the DEIB Team
In 2016, we had four people leave the company within a few weeks of each other. While each individual story could be explained by circumstances outside of TXI, all four of the people leaving were women. It pushed the mostly male leadership to step back and ask: “Is there something going on we don’t see?” We brought in an external advisor to do our first culture audit, which resulted in the creation of our first DEIB team.
Taking the conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging company wide
By 2017, we were looking to scale conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion company-wide. That meant establishing dedicated time for training and making changes to our benefits to better support a broader group of our team members.
Making the implicit explicit
Our company-wide work in 2017 made clear that everyone needed the same access to information for our team to grow without bias. We put a big focus on explicitly documenting things that had historically been implicit, and in making sure everyone could understand the ways TXI made decisions and rewarded team members.
Making more things equitable
In 2019 we continued working to make the implicit explicit by adding with further clarification around salary expectations and implementing more formal training to support our initial DEIB work. We published our first annual roadmap as a company in 2019, so everyone could better understand the path forward.
Making DEIB core to the company mission
Guided by 2019’s roadmap, we made significant investments in sustainable change at TXI. 2020 was our year to make DEIB goals central to TXI’s long-term growth. This year we formalized our DEIB company budget, created a new seat on the leadership team to guide these efforts, got an external coach for our CEO and leadership team, and established new company rituals for company wide discussions.
Activism and justice pillars
To make DEIB happen at TXI, each and every one of us has to begin a process of unlearning, uplifting and supporting each other, and working against being complicit in white supremacy. This year introduced our core justice pillars and designed a community outreach chair, helping to organize our company activism in the community and critical discussions internally.
To make change happen, we expect all of us to actively embrace and uphold our guiding principles and tangible practices around DEIB. To guide those efforts, we create an annual roadmap to prioritize our investments and help us make decisions as an organization.
In 2021, we focused our collective energy on three initiatives:
- To engage community organizations that support our social justice pillars: racial justice, disability justice, and environmental justice.
- To conduct our first equity audit of internal policies, tools, and approaches.
- To apply an equity lens specifically to recruiting and promotion.
As an organization, we want to sustain our commitment to change, both internally and in the community. So in 2021, we established our Sustainable Giving Fund, an endowment to fund and sustain our investments for the next 15 years.
Action and undertakings
- Conduct our first internal equity audit
- Apply equity lens to recruiting and promotion
- Engage organizations that support our justice pillars
- Establish TXI Sustainable Giving Fund endowment
At TXI, we make space for curiosity and imperfection. We embrace and encourage curiosity and recognize we will all make mistakes and that imperfection is natural. So in order to make DEIB core to our culture, we value constanting learning. We are always enriching our DEIB vocabulary, understanding by hosting ongoing education programs, and bringing in outside DEIB educators. It’s our responsibility to be constantly learning more about the space, especially as new ideas emerge.
And as we learn, we strive for continuous improvement and individual growth. This means seeking diverse input and opinions beyond our own while staying open to occasional conflict and non-resolution.
We want to hold ourselves accountable for DEIB within our community. In doing so, we set a baseline against which we can measure change and seek to apply new insights and personal learnings we gain toward meaningful organizational growth.
Action and undertakings
- New accountability metrics to track trends and changes
- Strategic plan and targets to correct for overrepresentation
- Equity audit on hiring, recruiting and promotion
- Foster an environment of curiosity, learning and growing
- Remain open to non-resolution and occasional conflict
We believe equal access to information is the cornerstone of our equity work. We commit to identifying what beliefs, ideas, processes, and practices are implicit and making them explicit so that everyone can understand, engage, and/or utilize them.
By transparently documenting our culture, organizational history, process, and policies there is no hidden agenda and no specialized privileged access to information for those who have been here the longest to maintain any power or privileged insight.
Action and undertakings
- Document everything about our culture to make the implicit explicit
- Equitable access to resources and information across the company
- Equity audit on our tools, process, and approach—especially with hiring, growth, and promotion
We promote inclusion in the workplace by understanding the people both inside and outside our community.
With our clients, we help companies build transformational products. And those products are used by all types of people. The more we reflect on that audience, the better we’ll be at doing our job as designers, strategists, and engineers. That’s why we focus so much on diversity of social identity groups and enacting practices that promote equity to support them.
Specifically at TXI, when we make decisions, we ask who will be impacted by them. We invite those who will be impacted to have a voice in the room. We know that sometimes we will miss who is impacted, which is why we collaborate with the DEIB team and ask ourselves who we are missing, to determine both who is impacted and how to include them.
Inclusion starts with actively listening and engaging with the team to make sure everyone—not just the loudest or most privileged people in the company—have a voice.
At TXI, we need to be able to learn from each other. To promote that learning and connection, we believe that to be seen for who you are—and to have the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging—is a universal human need. We believe it is our responsibility and duty to create the conditions for belonging for every team member. That’s why we’re working to create an environment that is inclusive for everyone.
We care about the individual and want to create a space for each individual to bring their authentic selves to work. As a result, we want to better understand and dedicate support to each person at TXI.
Action and undertakings
- Cohort onboarding is designed to foster a sense of belonging
- Regular connection opportunities between team members
- Resources to know and support each team member
We’re a group of inquisitive musicians, foodies, researchers, artists, entrepreneurs, writers, and parents who take tremendous pride in the culture we’ve created together.