At Renaissance our mission is: “To accelerate learning for all children and adults of all ability levels and ethnic and social backgrounds, worldwide.”
Many of us choose to work at Renaissance because we are driven by this mission. Inherent in a mission that strives to serve “all children and adults” who represent “all ability levels…and backgrounds,” is the need to recognize the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in our culture, in our work, and in our products.
In 2020, Renaissance began to reckon with the impact systemic racism has on our communities, our employees, and our customers. Being passive in opposition to racism was no longer an option and did not align with our company values or mission. It also began to publicly prompt difficult questions – How representative is our team of the districts and students that we serve? What voices may be missing from important conversations? What voices may be here at Renaissance already but aren’t being heard?
Our CEO, Chris Bauleke, and Director of People and Culture, Sana Rahim, hosted a company-wide All Hands to center the voices and experience of Black employees and begin prompting conversations about the importance of DEI at Renaissance.
The All-Hands was the first moment in a DEI movement at Renaissance. Since then, we launched a learning and discovery process to better understand the current state of equity and inclusion within Renaissance’s culture, including:
- Hosting ongoing roundtable discussions with underrepresented groups within the company to understand their experience and foster psychological safety;
- Facilitating over 50 DEI dialogue sessions for every Renaissance team with the help of external experts;
- Conducting the company’s first Inclusion Survey to provide a complete view of the employee experience across race, gender, LGBTQ+, and other identities; and
- Comprehensively analyzing internal data on representation and turnover to assess how best to focus our DEI efforts.
Renaissance will be defining a DEI roadmap focused on building an inclusive and equitable workplace where employees from all backgrounds can thrive and help accelerate learning for all.
This work is not easy, a true commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace requires ongoing evaluation, accountability, and action woven into every corner of our company culture.
As Chris Bauleke recently reminded all employees:
“… Black Lives Matter at Renaissance and to me. As a company, we still have a lot of work to do to build a truly inclusive culture. And that work will continue to challenge us.
In the meantime, our company values can help guide each of us. At Renaissance, we believe that doing what is right and communicating openly with one another – to Trust Each Other – is foundational to supporting inclusion and equity at Renaissance and across the communities we serve. We also recognize that we come to these conversations with different lived experiences and there will no doubt be some growing pains, and perhaps even conflict, as we learn to navigate these topics and conversations – as we Grow and Evolve – together….”
Accelerate Learning for All by Building a Renaissance for All