WELCOME TO THE DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION (DEI) DIGEST!
Increasing representation of underrepresented talent and creating a space for all employees to thrive continues to be an industry challenge. As we strive to build more diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities within our company, industry, and cities, we are committed to sharing best practices, learnings, and insights through an ongoing series. Below, you’ll find our first issue of this series, the DEI Digest.
CELEBRATING HOLIDAYS INCLUSIVELY
The winter season is upon us and so is the time between Halloween and New Year’s Day when many U.S. employees celebrate several religious and secular holidays. There is no doubt a lot to celebrate, but it’s also a time of year that can leave many employees feeling isolated and excluded. As we head into Q4 and hopefully take some well-deserved time off, there are several easy ways to make this season feel more inclusive and ensure employees feel seen and supported regardless of their background, religion, upbringing, or culture.
A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Here are a few important considerations that can help you better understand what your employees may be experiencing this season.
DOORDASH’S FALL AND WINTER OBSERVED HOLIDAYS
HALLOWEEN AND CULTURAL APPROPRIATION*
Halloween is a fun opportunity to dress up as someone or something other than yourself, but it’s also a holiday riddled with racism and cultural appropriation. So what exactly is cultural appropriation?
Cultural appropriation is when a more dominant (often white) culture adopts or exploits another culture for their own benefit. For example, dressing up in a “Native American costume” wearing feathers and braids, or “Mexican costume” in a sombrero and poncho.
Appropriation disproportionately benefits the dominant culture with no intent to direct resources or support back to the appropriated culture. Appropriation fuels misrepresentation, stereotypes, and distortion because we often see inaccurate interpretations without any true understanding, education, or awareness of that culture and its history.
If you plan on encouraging your team to dress up during Halloween, please also use this as an opportunity to remind them that costumes should never turn a person’s identity into a stereotype. If folks aren’t sure whether their costume is offensive, they can start by asking themselves the following questions (if the answer is yes to any of these, then it’s not a good costume choice):
THE REAL HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING**
Growing up, many of us were taught a peaceful story of Thanksgiving that included English pilgrims and Native Americans coming together to break bread and celebrate a successful first harvest.
However, in reality, the first official mention of a “Thanksgiving celebration” is in 1637, after the colonists brutally massacred an entire village of Pequot people. What followed was 200+ years of genocide of Native peoples and theft of Native land.
For many Native and Indigenous employees, Thanksgiving is a painful and devastating reminder of a history that is not often accurately told and the racism and oppression Native peoples continue to experience today.
Many Native peoples participate in the National Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving or celebrate Native American Heritage Day which honors and celebrates Native history, ancestors, and culture.
So how can you honor Native peoples on Thanksgiving this year? Try these four things:
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Q4 is still a time to acknowledge and celebrate the team’s hard work and commitment to DoorDash throughout the last year. Small adjustments to your communication and approach this season can go a long way in making all employees feel welcome and connected.
INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY CELEBRATION BEST PRACTICES
*”What is cultural appropriation? Here’s why the practice is so harmful – and how you can avoid doing it;” Health.com; August 2021
**”The true story behind Thanksgiving is a bloody one, and some people say it’s time to cancel the holiday;” Insider.com; November 2020