The brutal murder of George Floyd and so many other black Americans has served as an intensely painful reminder of the social injustice and institutionalized racism that exist in our country. Simon humbly stands beside black Americans and people of color within the four walls of our business along with the rest of the country.
As we look outward at the broad social injustices that our fellow black Americans have suffered, we must first look inward at ourselves and at our own business. At Simon, we’ve spent the past week reflecting on where we are – and to put it bluntly, we’re nowhere near where we need to be. The tech industry as a whole has major problems with diversity — specifically with black representation, engagement, promotion, and retention. Simon is no different and it’s unacceptable in 2020. We are looking inward to make a change, and we are committed to making change.
As founder & CEO of Simon, responsibility for change starts with me. And here’s our beginning:
We’re donating $10,000 to supporting educators in underserved communities. We are supporting projects that bring the Black Lives Matter movement into young classrooms, as well as projects that promote diversity education and professional development. We are also matching donations up to $5,000 from our team to over a dozen charities that support Black Lives Matter, ACLU, NAACP, local and national bail funds, and many others.
Change starts with learning. We are bringing in better training immediately for anti-racism and sensitivity, starting with our leadership.
We are also immediately allocating more resources to our Diversity & Inclusion group with stronger involvement from leadership.
We are committed to building full visibility and tracking for recruitment & engagement, with a dedicated support system within our organization.
We can and we will do better. There is a future in which tech companies do not lag so far behind real-world representation. There is a future at Simon where the points of view, excellence, and voices of black people are heard at all levels of business and not suppressed by what we accept as “cultural norms.” We have a lot of work to do, but that won’t stop us from starting.