At Bulldog Drummond, we committed to a journey of learning and critical self-examination of our internal practices, our language and our work product to ensure that we clearly model anti-racism, inclusion and equity in all that we do.
As a team, we created an internal guidebook intended to align our expectations for equity across our studio. We outlined practice-specific expectations for each discipline, considering things like inclusive language for our strategists and representative photography for our design team. This tool was built collaboratively by internal working teams with guidance from our friends at BILD. We’ve been using the guide for the past several months and have gained valuable insights in the short time that we’ve been referencing it in our work.
Going through this process helped to formalize our existing intentions and elevate them within our work process and outputs. It pushes us to go beyond what we already know and ask questions when we aren’t sure or when something seems off. When we do have concerns, we now have a codified agreement to refer to, as well as a framework for criticism when needed. The document and process have expanded our understanding of inclusivity and bias beyond the basics, including greater awareness of ableism, gender expression and intersectionality. It has enabled us to compassionately question ourselves and each other more, ensuring the best approaches and outcomes.
This journey allowed each of us to reflect as individuals, together in our teams and as an organization. While there is no one solution, this process and guidebook have empowered us with a foundation for continuous assessment and improvement. Knowing that there isn’t a tidy resolution or a sweeping change we can make is perhaps the most significant outcome of this work—we must keep trying, keep questioning, and hope to be a little bit better all the time.
This journey will be different for everyone. Other companies will have different ways into this work and create their own systems to address these issues and affect meaningful change. We encourage each of you to look within, look at your workplace, do the research and the outreach, and create a plan that works best for your organization.
This journey has led all of us to learn new things, open ourselves to different perspectives and become better at what we do. We are now more informed, aware of the progress we’ve made and know that the journey is ongoing. We plan to revisit and update this tool on a regular basis to better ourselves and our company as a whole. We’re excited to continue to see the impact in the work we do for our clients—and ultimately, the customers and employees they serve.