Diversity at Wiper and True: A Work In Progress
As we begin planning our 2022 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work, now feels like a good time to update you all on our activities from 2021. In this blog we set out our EDI progress over the last year and a half, before setting out our key focus areas for 2022.
We’d like to say from the very start that we have one really big thing we need to act on: increasing the diversity of our team. We love our team, and are very proud of everyone who works at our company, but like many breweries Wiper and True is a group of predominantly white, male people. Increasing our diversity is something that all the goals and actions we outline for 2022 work towards improving.
2021: an overview
In the summer of 2020 Wiper and True joined the network of breweries that signed up to become a Work In Progress (WIP). This was our public commitment to redouble our efforts to proactively address equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) issues in our workplace, whilst also examining our role in the industry more widely.
As part of our Work In Progress we established a series of pledges, which we shared publicly last summer. We feel proud of the work we’ve achieved in the last year around several of these commitments, plus some additional steps which evolved as we worked on these pledges:
- The entire Wiper and True company have undergone a really thorough, clear, and informative EDI training, from which we all learned a lot.
- We’ve increased our EDI meetings to 90 minutes every month, rather than 60 minutes every quarter, so that we can keep up momentum on our work and not let things slip through the cracks in the daily grind of brewery life. We also now have representation from every team across the business participating in these meetings.
- We conducted an inclusivity and diversity survey to better identify and understand areas for improvement within Wiper and True, which provided useful information and helped us develop our 2022 focuses.
- We conducted an additional survey around gender equality in our industry and workplace. We are currently analysing our findings from this survey, and working on a set of focuses for 2022.
- We’ve built in more rigorous processes to try and avoid any kind of cultural appropriation across our products and marketing.
- We have formalised routes for flagging any kind of EDI issue that arises at Wiper and True, and shared these across our team so that everyone knows exactly what the process is for raising concerns. Further training is needed to really embed this into our business.
What’s next for Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity at Wiper and True?
In 2022 Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity will continue to be a key part of our work at Wiper and True. We have made our EDI work a core aspect of our company’s strategic objectives, marking it as equally important for our business as our beer quality, sustainability and growth plans.
Our 2022 mission statement for EDI at Wiper and True can be summarised in one clear goal:
Wiper and True prioritises and focuses on constant learning and improvement in EDI practice, with the ambition to be a safe inclusive and accessible company for all.
Working from this overarching goal, we’ve drilled down to create four key areas of focus - each explained in more detail below.
Our four focus areas:
- Policy and procedure review
- Safe, inclusive and accessible experiences of Wiper and True - every time
- Allyship for people with protected characteristics
- Ongoing evaluation and learning
1: Policy and procedure review
We have policies and procedures in place across all areas and teams within our company (office team, warehouse, production, taproom and can kiosk) to ensure that we are operating in a safe, inclusive and accessible way. In 2022 will continue to review these policies and procedures regularly to look for opportunities for improvement. These policies include, but aren’t limited to:
- Targeted placement of job adverts to help us reach a more diverse pool of applicants and open up access to our industry
- Data collected and analysed from applicants to inform our recruitment progress
- Non-bias training for those involved in the interview process
- Internships and apprenticeships
- Data collected and analysed on results of intervention
- Employee journey: appraisals, payment reviews
- Induction of new employees: policies and procedures training, escalation and reporting, EDI expectations at Wiper and True
- Day-to-day life in our workplace, for example:
- The fair sharing of administrative tasks across our team
- Period products in all of our toilets
- Support to get home safely from events and taproom shifts
2: Safe, inclusive and accessible experiences of Wiper and True - every time
Through the systematically reviewed policies and procedures outlined above, we want employees and customers alike to have a safe, inclusive and accessible experience interacting with the Wiper and True brand - every single time. We want this to be the case whether you’re visiting us, or we’re out and about at an event somewhere else. Some ways we we will look to ensure safe, inclusive and accessible experiences of Wiper and True in 2022 include:
- Mapping a customer’s experience of visiting our taproom, from ensuring our bar height is accessible to providing period products in the toilets
- Communications – ensuring that our external communications make clear that everyone is welcome to visit our taproom and can kiosk, as long as they don’t negatively impact anyone else.
- Providing conflict training for anyone in a customer or trade-facing role, so they feel safe and equipped to deal with any issues that may arise.
- Carrying out quarterly risk assessments around the taproom, and sharing these with our team.
- Mapping a customer’s experience of interacting with us at beer events, from the communications ahead of the event through to risk assessments, information about help zones and safe spaces, conflict training, and getting home safely - whether you’re working for Wiper and True or enjoying our beer as a customer.
3: Allyship for people with protected characteristics
We are working hard so that Wiper and True’s actions and internal and external communications consistently demonstrate that we are an ally for people with protected characteristics. Some key areas of focus for this goal in 2022 include:
- An accessibility audit of our website, newsletters and social media channels to inform actions that include:
- Improving the diversity of imagery used in all outbound communications
- Ensuring all fonts are accessible
- Including our EDI commitments, objectives and progress on our website
- Providing training and information for all staff, including:
- Sharing advice around inclusive language
- Training around anti-cultural appropriation processes
- Setting up an internal communications channel to share EDI resources and host discussion
- Printing and placing physical versions of key messages around our buildings, which state Wiper and True’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
- Adding signage to our taproom to clearly state our allyship goals and lack of tolerance for any kind of inappropriate behaviour/remark towards our customers or staff. This will be actioned once our relevant teams have completed their conflict training, so that they feel equipped to deal with any (hopefully very unlikely) potential negative responses this signage may provoke.
4: Ongoing evaluation and learning
In 2022 Wiper and True will continue to monitor and evaluate our EDI practice, applying learnings as we go to improve and inform our future objectives so we continue to improve.
This will follow a clear structure to help us maintain momentum and focus:
- Regular surveys and baseline studies into key EDI areas
- Annual benchmarking around EDI
- Responding promptly to any ‘identified issues’ or topical discussion points that arise in our industry, for example the discussion of gender inequality in the beer world in summer 2021.
- Ongoing team training:
- On various feedback routes for any issues that need raising, either via external partners or through internal routes.
- Annual EDI training, plus additional training where necessary in response to ‘identified issues’.
- The EDI team will continue to meet monthly, to monitor our pledge work against key quarterly focuses.
And that concludes our EDI update for this quarter! As always, if you have any questions, suggestions or thoughts we’d love to hear from you. Please contact our People and Culture Manager, Jamey, on firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat.