Sowing Seeds of Inclusion: How Mathison's DEI Platform Transformed Bowery Farming's Organization

April 17, 2023

Sowing Seeds of Inclusion: How Mathison's DEI Platform Transformed Bowery Farming's Organization

Despite being one of the most important business functions, the concept of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in corporate spaces is relatively new, dating back only to the 1960s. Over time, businesses and people leaders have come to realize the importance of DEI programs in order to build more inclusive and sustainable organizations. Because this is an emerging space in the corporate world, leaders sometimes require strategic and tactical support implementing their DEI initiatives. Oftentimes, an experienced third party’s perspective is required to advance diversity within the organization. 

Take a look at the case study below from Bowery Farming, one of our Equitable Employers, to see how they were able to leverage Mathison’s platform to advance DEI in their organization. 

Challenge: Setting Goals and Sharing Accountability

Bowery Farming is a vertical farming and digital agriculture company that is reimagining modern farming by delivering pesticide-free lettuce, and leafy greens. They turned to Mathison to help their team prioritize their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. Fortunately, when we initially started working together, they already had support for DEI in the company. However, they were looking to increase accountability for senior leaders, get smarter data-backed goals, and give leaders the tools & opportunities to improve.

We meet companies where they are by helping in various ways based on their specific needs. We met Bowery Farming where they were, and provided insights to uncover gaps in their DEI systems, a road map to help them prioritize key goals, and live training to help them achieve those goals. 

Methodology: Empowering with Tools and Actions for Change

Bowery Farming used Mathison to help its leaders assess their systems and make adjustments based on the priorities of the business. They used Mathison’s Equity Index to uncover gaps and identify biases. The Employee Survey provided representation data, inclusion & belonging sentiments, and helped gauge how well the systems and policies were received. Then based on that information, they were able to support conversations and goal-setting with actionable data.

We all know that having a DEI strategy is great, but it’s nothing without execution. That’s why we helped Bowery Farming take the actions required to make change happen. 

Results: Skill Development, Opportunities, Inclusion & Belonging

The results of the Employee Survey led Bowery to immediately build out initiatives for all employees in the areas of skill development, navigating internal opportunities, as well as inclusion & belonging.

Skill development is a crucial aspect of growing teams that thrive. Creating the opportunity to develop new skills may help the company overall. Bowery led focus groups to explore the types of development activities their workforce would be interested in. Based on functional results, teams designed different experiences like a “Development Day” to improve their employees’ access to new skills. Leaders hosted workshops on a variety of topics and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. 

In order to bring more attention to internal opportunities, a process was created for internal mobility, which included building awareness and a clear way for employees to approach learning about new roles. Through a detailed analysis of their Employee Survey, Bowery Farming leaders noticed that some employees indicated that more inclusion and belonging programming may be necessary. 

That’s a key reason that their marketing team launched a new initiative called Bowery Bites which gathers important voices across the spectrum to discuss important issues like food, justice, and insecurity while celebrating underrepresented groups and a wide diversity of viewpoints. After implementing that and additional programs, their Inclusion and Belonging score increased by five points.

According to Devin McElhenny, DEI Director at Bowery, Mathison’s data-backed approach helped her get internal buy-in for DEI initiatives: “The tools and checkpoint results help me reach a very data-driven organization. For me to be able to meet them with the format with which they learn and are motivated, that’s so powerful.” 

Continued Change for Focused Improvement

With Mathison’s support, Bowery Farming did the work required to enhance its DEI initiatives systems. Mathison’s holistic approach to DEI work is both impactful and sustainable because it provides organizations with tailored resources based on their specific gaps, as well as helps them make informed decisions. Over time, Bowery can continue leveraging the Equity Index and Employee Survey to assess their progress on the DEI journey, and the impact it’s having on their workforce. 

If your organization needs help developing its DEI strategy, connect with Mathison here to learn more about our platform. 

Follow us here on Linkedin for more DEI best practices.

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