Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Fireclay Tile
At Fireclay Tile, we don’t just take pride in what we make. In fact, how we make our handmade Tile is equally important to us as the finished product. Diversity, equity, and inclusions are at the heart of our efforts to support the people responsible for all we do. Today’s guest blog comes from Laura Martinez, our Director of People here at Fireclay. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Laura’s lived experiences fuel her passion for her work and help us achieve the best results for our team and our community. Read more from Laura below.
Meet Laura Martinez, Director of People
As the Director of People at Fireclay Tile, part of my job is growing a culture where individuals of diverse backgrounds feel empowered to collectively reflect the communities around us and foster an inclusive environment. It's also a personal passion of mine!
Meet our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leaders:
We Operate for Good
At Fireclay, we know that our People are our biggest advantage. The collective sum of our individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, and unique capabilities represents our values, culture, and success.
Our Inclusion Indicators are positive, however, we have work to do:
We believe that "Equity" is the hardest area of DE&I to get right, as it involves the most tangible action that impacts the financial welfare of our teammates. At Fireclay, we strive for an equitable outcome for all through pay, benefits, and ownership.
Since 2013, we've offered all Teammates ownership through our stock option plan. In October 2020, we took this to a new level, going from 4% to 30% Teammate ownership with reserves to help get us to 40% over time. Sadly, only 3% of private companies in the US offer Employee Ownership.
All Teammates at Fireclay are paid at least a Fair Living Wage, based on MIT’s Fair Living Wage Calculator. We conduct Gender Pay studies that are shared with our Board annually to ensure fairness across roles. All teammates are eligible for our annual bonus plan, and in addition, benefits are equal across the entire company. We believe we offer some of the best benefits in the design industry; they are available to publicly view at Fireclaybenefits.com.
Inclusion at Fireclay Tile
Inclusion is a state in which all teammates feel a sense of belonging, valued for their differences, and empowered to participate and contribute freely; We also view inclusion as a shared responsibility to unlock innovation, allow people to show up as they are, and demonstrate to surrounding communities that we will stand up in solidarity and advocate for what's right. Our teammates recognize that we are stronger together, and we strive to create an inclusive environment that promotes diversity of thought & action while embracing our values of:
We are dedicated to making things the right way. How? By investing in our local economies, paying our people fairly and using business as a force for good. We support a culture of transparency in all areas of manufacturing as well as business. It’s how we keep ourselves honest, and why our customers choose us.
Measure twice. Cut Once
Details matter. Taking the extra step to ensure we’ve made the right measurement or communicated the right message, ensures that we take care of our customers and of each other. We must constantly work towards being our strongest team by never making assumptions, speaking up when things go wrong, and holding ourselves and each other accountable to excellence.
Tread lightly on our Earth
There’s only one earth, so we treat it that way. This means a ruthless examination of our materials and how we manufacture. We buy used, we repurpose, we take care of what we have, and we use recycled materials whenever possible. It’s not easy, but it’s the challenge that makes us all the more creative, innovative, and self-reliant.
We can only do right by our clients, our community, and our planet if we lead with kindness. When we support one another in times of change and lift each other up when the going gets rough, we’re reminded of the things in life that matter most. It’s the glue that makes us a team, and our company is all the stronger for it.
Spanish for “Desire,” Ganas is the force that propels us forward. With an artisan’s expertise and a revolutionary’s drive, we’re here to change the world one tile at a time. Fueled by our need for continuous improvement and boundless learning, every team member sweats the small stuff so we can achieve big dreams. Call us obsessive. Call us passionate. We call it Ganas.
Teammate Resource Groups
Fireclay recognizes the strategic value of teammates with common interests to formalize their professional relationships by creating Teammate Resource Groups, or "TRGs."
TRGs are voluntary, Company-endorsed employee groups dedicated to fostering a diverse & inclusive work environment within the context of Fireclay's values, business practices & objectives.
TRGs form around a specific dimension of diversity e.g., ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities, or network groups. At Fireclay, we are forming TRGs through leadership, general membership, and allyships to Womxn, BIPOC, LGBTQ, and Fireclay Family communities.
A Code of Compassion
As we climb, we aim to create change that will endure for our teammates and communities in all aspects of our business.
Fireclay's diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are applicable to our practices and policies on recruitment and selection; compensation and benefits; professional development and training; promotions; transfers; social and recreational programs.
Respectful communication and cooperation between all teammates
Teamwork and teammate participation, permitting the representation of all groups’ and teammates’ perspectives
Supportive practices for work/life integration to accommodate teammates’ varying needs
Teammate participation in the communities we serve to promote a greater understanding and respect for diversity
In communication with clients, vendors, colleagues, community partners, industry partners, and others, we commit to using unbiased and unassuming language.
All teammates have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect; All teammates are expected to demonstrate conduct that reflects inclusive work practices, at work functions on or off the worksite, and at all other company-sponsored and participative events. As part of a continuous learning experience, all teammates will be expected to complete periodic training intended to raise awareness, sensitivity, and understanding of diversity and inclusion practices.
To ensure we hold ourselves accountable, we commit to appropriate transparency and will disseminate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity information annually.
Why is all this so important to making Tile? Simply put, because it's the right thing to do. We are much more than Tile. We are a team of individuals with lives, families, homes, and communities who come together each week to offer more than the sum of our parts and make the world a more just and beautiful place. This work is not fast or easy but as we always find, when we come together as one, there is no limit to our ambition.