At Maakola, we are heartbroken to see that in 2020 anti-racism and social justice are still not a given. In our ethos we address financial discrimination and celebrate meritocracy, but that’s not enough. We’ve been taking the time to understand how we got here and to explore what we, as a business and as individuals, can do to change.
As the founder of Maakola, I want to improve our business practices to build an inclusive company that gives equal opportunities to everyone. I’m listening, learning, and seeking a network of people who can walk this road with me.
It will be a long and difficult road. But we are fortunate to be a very small, self-funded startup, which means that we can make a commitment to anti-racism from the very beginning of our journey. Here are the steps we are taking in the first instance:
- Appoint a Chief Diversity Officer. We are actively looking for a CDO so that diversity and inclusion goals are built into Maakola’s DNA from the start.
- Appoint an advisor who can help us create an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), specific for our Ghanian tailors. We want to set the foundations for the transition to an employee ownership model.
- Build a bigger, more diverse team at every level. If you’d like to join us, please get in touch with us here.
- Extend our network of ambassadors. As a company that celebrates women and fosters inspiration in our community, our ambassadors play an important role in sharing their personal stories. If you’d like to become one of our ambassadors, or if there’s someone you’d like to nominate, you can drop us a note here.
- Amplify the stories of women, particularly women of color, who have made their mark on history by naming our garments after them and sharing their stories on our platforms. If one of your heroines is not getting the credit she deserves, please let us know.
- Expand our network of artisans. If you’re interested in working with us as a tailor, you can get in touch here.
- Include more women of color in our photoshoots, both as models and ambassadors, and behind the camera.
- Consciously recruit people of color to our board and leadership team as we grow.
This is just a start. I’m open to your ideas, and would love to hear your thoughts on how the Maakola community can help to make this world more equal.