Equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people—including those who have been historically marginalized based on race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, educational background, or religion—are represented in social sector leadership and empowered to lead.
At GoodCitizen, we recognize that systems of power and privilege limit the ability of many people to obtain and succeed in leadership roles at organizations focused on social change. As search practitioners, we acknowledge the unique role we play in identifying and recruiting candidates for these positions, as well as the unique responsibility we have to improve hiring conditions and help break down barriers. As such, we continually challenge ourselves to confront our own biases and identify the ways in which we may perpetuate inequities in our work. Holding ourselves accountable to a set of internal commitments compels us to become more accountable advisors to our clients.
We understand that every organization is at a different starting place with respect to their understanding of equity and commitment to dismantling dominant power structures. We help clients recognize what changes they may need to make to hire leadership that more equitably represents the full spectrum of lived experiences. We also help clients identify what conditions they may need to create to support a new leader’s success. This work provokes honest introspection and may expand the horizons of what is possible for an organization. It is up to the client to decide how far they want to go.
We believe that everyone deserves equitable access to career opportunities in leadership at organizations tackling society’s biggest issues. To achieve this reality, we strive to:
- Build and maintain firm-wide cultural competency by participating in continuous learning and ongoing trainings, regularly revising internal policies, and creating new practices that reflect our commitments to growth, equity, and inclusion.
- Commit time and resources to maintaining an inclusive and diverse staff, board of directors, and pipeline of search talent whose unique experiences and perspectives add value to an organization and inspire a broader commitment to equity.
- Set clear expectations and engage in ongoing dialogue with clients about their capacity and willingness to confront and mitigate implicit biases, uphold equitable practices, and dismantle systems of oppression within their organizations.
- Challenge conventional thinking about professional backgrounds, experiences, and characteristics by embracing differences in candidate profiles and reviewing applications through a holistic lens.