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Equity and Human Rights are Non-negotiables

Heather Craft

Co-President, North America | ESG

Between the war in Ukraine, a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, multiple horrific hate crimes in cities across the US as well as anti-LGBTQIA+ and voter rights legislation being debated across the country – not to mention latest COVID variants – Spring 2022 has been heavy.

And as we approach the 2nd anniversary of the death of George Floyd, which sparked a global social justice movement and reset expectations when it comes to the intersection of business and human rights, we felt it critical to take pause and acknowledge just that.

The role of communications

While each of these crises are large and complex enough to warrant individual consideration, today, diversity, equity and inclusion are table stakes in business strategies and organizational values. This means as leaders and professional communicators, we cannot lose sight of how interconnected these crises are or underestimate the combined weight they carry within our organizations.

As you evaluate your own organizations communications and action plans tied to these topics or any others that are anchored in equity and human rights:

  • Align with your brand purpose, mission, and value. And use those as your north star for decision making when it comes to how and when you communicate
  • Engage a diverse group of experts from both inside and outside your organization to educate, inform and help pressure test your plan
  • Plan for ‘mixternal’ communications. That means begin with your employees, but be confident and comfortable with any of those showing up externally, even if it’s not planned.

Regardless of the topic, authentically communicating a position that is anchored in your brand’s core-values is the only way to meet the rising expectations of employees as well as external stakeholders.

Where we sit

At Hotwire, this is where we sit. We recognize that the country and our Hotwire community is composed of many viewpoints. But as a team of female leaders, who have built careers learning and leading through change, we firmly believe equity and human rights are non-negotiables. We know that diversity only makes us stronger and will continue to strive to do our part to make the world, and our community within it, a more inclusive place.

With that, we are actively having open conversations with our staff, offer a variety of employee assistance programs and services, and are taking action individually and as a team. We are committed to transparency about our own progress, and recently published our first DEI progress report which outlines our commitments, our progress and where we’re focused in the year ahead. If you want to collaborate with us and/or discuss our or your communications and actions plans tied to these topics, please reach out to us.