In the eleven years since we founded Alley Interactive, it has grown from a niche technology consultancy into the go-to strategic digital partner and tool creator for some of the largest and most influential media companies, think tanks, foundations, universities, government agencies, and enterprises. Our incredible team has executed complex and high-profile site launches for
You’ve heard Alley is a company committed to building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, and are wondering what actions we’ve taken.
Over the past year we have focused on supporting equity at all intersections and improving team member learning and development as part of a long-term sustainability plan to embed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts in all areas of Alley’s business.
We don’t believe in one-hit, DE&I wonders. We don’t believe in empty gestures of allyship. We believe in “praxis”—acting and reflecting on the world in order to change it.
When we say we are going to take action, we act transparently, we iterate for quality, and we hold ourselves accountable to continuous improvement.
Here’s what we’ve done this year as initial steps towards change:
- We formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion internal working group, meeting weekly and guiding the future of all DEI efforts at Alley in collaboration with the company.
- We began educating ourselves and teaching each other within the DEI working group. You can join us by reading a few of our favorites including:
- Audre Lorde’s The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House
- On Being podcast: Resmaa Menakem ‘Notice the Rage, Notice the Silence’
- Facing History & Ourselves: Inventing Black & White
- Interview with Isabel Wilkerson, author of “Caste: The Origin of our Discontent”.
- We chose 5 key focus areas for taking action to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at Alley including: retention, outreach, hiring, demographics, and education.
- We expanded our partnerships and sponsorships to include Out In Tech, and Women’s Leadership Accelerator. Out in Tech is a group of tech leaders creating professional opportunities for LGBTQ+ communities in our industry. We volunteered for their Digital Corps by providing web services to LGBTQ+ activists and social entrepreneurs. Women’s Leadership Accelerator is a program through the Online News Association focused on empowering women in digital journalism by providing leadership and management skills.
- We established a #belonging Slack channel to share and discuss our unique perspectives and experiences of belonging or a lack thereof in our personal and professional lives at Alley.
- We embarked on a partnership with Culture Cipher— a consulting firm founded by Nadia Jones focused on building inclusive environments across industries.
- We invested in antiracism and unconscious bias training for all staff, including additional training for Alley leadership related to their responsibilities in recruiting and hiring, client engagement, team dynamics, and professional development.
- We commenced work on an external developer education program, which will form an integral part of our efforts both to recruit a more diverse workforce, and provide the support and training necessary to allow that workforce to succeed.
- We conducted qualitative research to evaluate our Coaching Program and have begun rebuilding it with a focus on equity and honoring the diversity of all Alley coaches and coachees.
- We launched a professional learning group for Alley employees focused on strategies for equity-minded leadership and facilitation. You can read strategies that we teach and implement for practicing equity minded leadership and team development in my previous post, 10 Strategies for Cultivating Psychological Safety at Work.
This is only the beginning.
Websites are not built by robots, they are built by a diverse team of people—people for whom we must create the systems to recruit, retain, and support. The values we instill in our support systems—the values we want to see changed in our industry—will be the same values that guide our client relationships and, in turn, are woven into the fabric of our products.
We are thoughtfully and consistently taking actions that demonstrate our solidarity with women, Black and Indigenous peoples, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and people with visible and invisible disabilities every day. We are honoring the intersection of what makes each of us unique—the identities that simultaneously privilege and oppress us. At Alley, we are committed to change, and we hope you’ll continue to join us on this journey.