At Sphero, we stand with, and support, the Black community. We know that systemic racism exists in this country. We acknowledge we all need to do better. We acknowledge that Sphero needs to do better.
Recently, we intentionally paused our external communication. We did this to focus our efforts on listening purposefully to the powerful voices that needed to be heard but which have been marginalized for far too long.
While we waited to make a public statement, the Sphero Team has been anything but passive. We are taking our responsibility in this matter seriously. We have been having tough conversations as a company, looking inward individually and as a group, educating ourselves on how to actively be anti-racist, reviewing our shortcomings in diversity, and planning how we will turn these words into actions.
As leaders in STEM education it is our responsibility to help teach, influence, and shape young minds. We believe our teaching needs to include recognition of the problems in our society, and the shaping of the next generation to address them better than the generations who have come before. We are dedicated to increasing Black representation in STEM, robotics, and computer science. There is room for us to do more. We must do more.
So, what are we going to do? The following list demonstrates how we plan to create change through immediate action. This list is not finite and reflects a foundation that we will continue to build upon as we educate ourselves and discover more ways that we can help make positive and needed change.
Actions We Will Take:
- Actively recruit diverse candidates for all open roles and internships. In the past, Sphero has at times prioritized recruiting within our personal networks or on platforms that are more often used by non-diverse candidates, and we realize this contributes to institutional racism. We hope this will serve two purposes: not just providing more opportunities for diverse candidates currently in the workforce, but providing more role models for children so that they can believe their goals can be accomplished, no matter the color of their skin.
- Conduct ongoing, company-wide training on diversity and unconscious bias, as well as revise our company’s core values to better reflect our renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Continue to ensure all brand imagery and messaging are inclusive and diverse.
- Donate product, registrations for Sphero Global Challenge competitions, teacher training, and devices to predominantly Black underprivileged schools. Our goal is to reach at least five school districts by the end of 2020 and double that effort in 2021.
- We commit to meeting at least quarterly to evaluate our progress on these efforts, and to identify additional ways we can work toward ending systemic racism.
Through these actions, we hope to continue to provide equity of access to STEM learning for Black communities, especially children, so that we can support and encourage a diverse and inclusive future of leaders in America.
This is a journey. We recognize and understand that this will take time, but we’re committed to educating, evaluating, and iterating on our actions to do the work and make a difference.