January 2021 to December 2021
To our Maisonette family,
One year ago, we published our first DEI Report as a step in our ongoing effort to support, grow, and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion within our company and community. And although we have so much more work to do, we are proud of the commitment and progress we’ve made together. We’ve outlined this good work below, in our second DEI Report.
We thank you, our community, for your continued support and feedback as we continue to learn and grow. We trust that through our collective education and action, we can make the world a better place for our families today, and generations to come.
Sylvana + Luisana, Co-founders, Maisonette
The second Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Report includes all progress since January 1, 2021, and outlines Maisonette’s progress to deliver measurable results on our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will continue to publish these reports to our website, where our community can continue to hold us accountable and provide feedback.
18-month Strategy and Roadmap
In December 2020, we hired Dream Forward Consulting for a 6-month engagement to help assess our current state, determine our DEI goals, and develop an 18-month strategy and roadmap.
We are committed to approach DEI work with the same rigor and focus on impact that we bring to our other business initiatives. We have established a long-term vision and a roadmap. Each roadmap initiative has a clear objective and key result (OKR) that allows us to evaluate success. We will take on two to three roadmap initiatives each quarter. Every six months we will evaluate performance to measure the impact, and determine if we should modify our roadmap of initiatives based on new learnings.
The initiatives on our roadmap are divided into 3 categories: People, Culture, and Market. The impact of our People and Culture initiatives will be measured by employee surveys, workforce diversity, employee retention and internal mobility by race. The impact of our Market Initiatives will be measured by customer diversity, vendor diversity and marketing impressions.
Our People Initiatives are:
- Set department and organizational level employee racial diversity goals, in addition to our current company wide goals
- Develop an internal sponsorship program for BIPOC employees
- Create and publish talent acquisition process to boost consistency in hiring process
- Develop standardized promotion process to reduce bias
Our Culture Initiatives are:
- Increase participation in the internal DEI Mixed Media Club
- Create a DEI events calendar to track and celebrate heritage months and other culturally significant events
- Develop a clear internal and external communication strategy that guides us on when and how to respond to DEI events
- In service of recruiting and retaining people of color, strengthen the onboarding process to set employees up for success
Our Market Initiatives are:
- Increase the number of Black-owned brands on our site
- Highlight brands with non-white founders on our site
- Implement a process to audit the products from our brand partners for cultural appropriation
- Publish public DEI reports every 6 months
- Improve diversity in our marketing campaigns considering concepts, photographers, stylists, crew, models, locations, and styling
- Improve diversity in our content considering both the content and the contributors
Insights & Analysis Report
Dream Forward Consulting conducted a survey and focus groups with our employees that analyzed five areas important to DEI Health within a company: Belonging, Visibility, Organization Structure, Power & Influence, and Growth Pathways. In total we had 63 respondents (90% participation) and 50+ open-ended responses indicating a high engagement rate with the assessment.
The results of the survey are represented in the below:
- Over 85% of participating employees said they feel they belong at Maisonette
- Over 90% feel proud to work for Maisonette
- Over 90% feel they have a place in the organization
- Over 80% believe they have the power to make decisions about their work
- Nearly 80% believe their team’s management structure supports team success
- Over 70% believe leaders create opportunities to connect and bond
The survey highlighted 3 areas of opportunity:
- Clarity of our ongoing commitment to DEI initiatives in parallel with company growth, and of how our DEI commitment relates to the specific experiences of under represented employees
- Pace of Change that balances the desire to progress quickly with the the need for employees to understand and be part of the change (change with them versus at them)
- Internal Mobility for under represented groups with clear growth pathways, consideration for stretch opportunities and mentorship
On April 15th 2021, we completed our first self-identification survey with employees. The survey allows us to determine progress on the workforce diversity goals specified in our last report, as well as set a baseline for future progress. Currently, our workforce diversity goals, as shown below, reflect the racial demographics of the United States of America—the country in which we operate.
We still have more work to do in this area. In addition to total employee goals, an upcoming initiative on our DEI roadmap is to add specific department and organizational level goals. This is to ensure a more even distribution of race throughout the entire organization and prevent pockets of non-diversity.
Current Employees (as of the April 15th 2021 self-identification survey):
- White: Goal: 58% or less; Actual: 51%
- Black or African American: Goal: 13% or more; Actual: 17%
- Asian: Goal: 6% or more; Actual: 14%
- Latino or Hispanic: Goal: 18% or more; Actual: 8%
- Two or more races: Goal: no specified goal; Actual: 10%
- Middle East and North African: Goal: 3% or more; Actual: 0%
- Native American and Pacific Islander: Goal: 2% or more; Actual: 0%
Since January 1st, we have hired 57 new employees, of which 72% are non-white.
Executive Team: Our eight-person Executive Team consists of our CEO & Co-Founder, President & Co-Founder, Chief Business Development Officer, Chief Customer Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Chief People Officer and Chief Technology Officer. They identify as:
- White: 50%
- Latino or Hispanic: 25%
- Black or African American: 13%
- Asian: 12%
Our co-founders, Sylvana Durrett and Luisana Mendoza de Roccia, are Latina. Sylvana is second-generation Mexican-American. Luisana is Venezuelan. She grew up in Caracas and at the age of 12, moved to New York City, where she completed her studies and began her career.
Our DEI partner Dream Forward Consulting completed executive coaching with our CEO & Co-Founder, President & Co-Founder, Chief Business Development Officer, Chief Customer Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Operating Office, Chief People Officer, and VP of Creative. Coaching ranged from 2 - 4 hours and was customized for the needs of each executive on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Internal & External Communications
We created a DEI calendar of multicultural holidays, awareness days, and other important events. With this as a guide, we acknowledged and celebrated an array of holidays and cultural moments, days and months, internally with our employees and externally with our community, including:
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Black History Month
- World Down Syndrome Day
- Autism Awareness
- Black Maternal Health Week
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- Rosh Hashanah
- International Day of the Girl
- Indigenius Peoples’ Day
- Hispanic Heritage Month
- Dia De Los Muertos
- National Adoption Day
Below are two examples of how we acknowledged and celebrated these moments internally at our company-wide All Team meeting:
- For Juneteenth, a group of employees prepared an engaging presentation and conversation on what Juneteenth is and how it was a pivotal moment in history for the Black community & people of color. We also had a company-wide day-off on June 19th for reflection and remembrance.
- For Pride Month, a group of employees shared important moments in history for the LGTBQIA+ community and how it got our country to where we are today. During this sharing, individual employees at the company who identify as LGBTQIA+ or an ally shared their own personal stories of `What does Pride mean to them?”
The “Content and Creative” section below provides information on how we acknowledged and celebrated these moments externally.
In the midst of the rise of hate crimes against the AAPI and Jewish communities, we offered support to our internal team, and shared resources to support these marginalized groups.
We worked with Dream Forward Consulting to understand when and how we will respond to external DEI events. We clarified specific topics of focus for Maisonette, our desired tone, and our decision-making process to create thoughtful and informed communications. To start, we will focus our external and internal DEI communications on the following topics: human rights, LGBTQIA+ issues, and anti-racism. We aspire for our tone to be informed, welcoming, approachable, trustworthy, and consistent.
Content & Creative
We continue to include the experiences of under-represented groups and perspectives at the center of our content and creative.
Using our new DEI calendar as a guide, we created content to educate, support, and celebrate the range of diversity that exists in our country. We published these stories on our blog and shared them through our social and email channels.
We increased the diversity of our creative collaborators as well:
- For our in-house produced imagery: 48% of the individuals featured were non-white. 40% of the production team on set (photographer, stylist, hair and make-up, etc.) were non-white.
- For our social channels: Over 50% of the children or families we featured were non-white.
- For our blog Le Scoop: Of the articles written by contributors, 33% were written by writers identifying as POC. 46% of our commissioned illustrations and photos were from contributors identifying as POC.
Vendors & Marketplace
We are committed to diversity in our marketplace, which means supporting POC-owned businesses, with a specific focus on Black-owned businesses, as well as featuring products that celebrate diversity.
In support of this goal, we conducted a survey with our brand partners in August 2021 to gather information on how the founders and/or CEOs self-identify across many factors. This has helped us understand the diversity of our brand partners today, and provides a baseline for setting future goals. This survey is now a part of our onboarding process for new brand partners so we can continue to gather this data.
Since launching the survey, ~40% of our brand partners have completed the survey. Below are some highlights:
- 81% are small businesses with 25 employees or less
- 80% have a giveback or donation component in place
- 79% are based in the USA
- 76% are female led brands
- 30% are POC led brands
Further details on POC led brands:
- Asian (South or East Asian): 13%
- Hispanic or Latino: 9%
- Black or African American: 4%
- Middle Eastern or North African: 3%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 1%
- American Indian or Alaskan Native: <1%
With this information in hand, we are currently focused on:
- Growing Black-owned or led businesses to 15% of our brand partners
- Providing ways to shop on our site based on these identifiers
- Highlighting the stories of these diverse founders/CEOs in our marketing channels
Additionally, we continue to prioritize the discovery and onboarding of brand partners that feature diversity in their products, in particular in the categories of dolls, games, and books. Below are some of our new brand partners that support this goal.
We set up a process to identify and address products from our brand partners with potential concerns regarding cultural appropriation. For current and new products that have links to a specific culture, we use a set of questions to engage with our brand partners and help all of us understand cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation.
- Below are a sampling of those questions:
- What are the origins of the symbol, name or designs?
- What is the design intent and how is the brand partner paying homage to the culture or symbols they are representing?
- Who designed the product and is this person being compensated fairly for their work?
So far, this new process has lead to:
- 270 products identified for further investigation
- 31 brand partners contacted to further discuss the background on products
- 122 products updated or in progress to be updated to meet our standards
- 148 products removed from the site
Current & Upcoming Collaborations:
We are proud of the progress we made since our first report in January 2021. At the same time, we recognize there are many steps ahead to achieve our goals and look forward to sharing more progress in our next report.
We greatly value feedback from the community on our DEI efforts. If you'd like to share feedback with us on this report, or anything else, please contact our Customer Care team. Contact details are in the footer of our site.
Report compiled by Kyle Rush (Chief Technology Officer & DEI Executive Sponsor) in collaboration with our full team.