In summer 2020 a spotlight was placed on racial inequality and the institutionalized racism experienced daily by Black people around the world. The global Black Lives Matter protests highlighted just how important it is for people and organizations to raise their voices and take action with, and for, those who have been historically oppressed.
Last year 1Password and its employees donated $85,214 to Black Lives Matter causes, including matching employee donations to help support causes important to our team. But while donations are important, we know there is so much more work to be done. As an individual, an employer, and a leader at a large organization it is my and others responsibility to help increase awareness around important issues that speak to our values.
By taking the Juneteenth pledge we at 1Password are taking another step forward in our commitment to improving the lives of our employees, our communities, and society as a whole.
The Juneteenth pledge
Last year was the first time I, like many others, became aware of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
This important historical date in America’s history is often overlooked, and so I suppose it sadly isn’t surprising that as a Canadian I’d never heard of it either. But this lack of education about such an important, historical date is a failing – both locally and globally, and is something the Juneteenth pledge is working to rectify.
The Juneteenth pledge calls on CEOs and companies worldwide to publicly observe, honour, and celebrate Juneteenth. While we missed Juneteenth last year, we want to make sure we are working to elevate this celebration of freedom every year going forward.
A day for action
Here at 1Password there are only two days of the year when everyone is off at the same time – Christmas and New Year’s Day. Juneteenth will be our third. While Juneteenth is pending legislation to become an official US holiday, we believe the celebration of emancipation of enslaved peoples should not be restricted to one geography.
We want everyone at 1Password to have the opportunity to reflect and learn about racial inequality, so we’re making Juneteenth a paid holiday for our team of 400+ people, across the globe – our (virtual) offices will be closed on Friday, June 18, 2021. In an effort to educate and inspire action, we shared information on the history/heritage of the holiday and ways 1Password employees can make a difference in their communities.
Making the Juneteenth pledge will look different for each company, but we’re all committing to fundamental actions laid out on the Juneteenth Pledge website:
- Making Juneteenth a paid holiday for our employees.
- Identifying a relevant day in our international offices to recognize the emancipation of enslaved people.
- Encouraging other leaders in business to sign this pledge, and join in making Juneteenth a recognized paid holiday.
- Supporting our employee’s ability to learn, reflect, and encourage continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.
Moving forward, together
We want to be clear – this isn’t about giving ourselves a pat on the back – we know we have plenty more work to do.
At 1Password we’re consciously working on increasing the diversity of our team at all levels. We recognize that a talented team is a diverse group of people that embraces different perspectives and experiences. We encourage everyone at 1Password to challenge our ways of working so that we can all rise together and be an active force in driving change forward.
By signing the Juneteenth pledge we want to set a positive example and encourage other leaders in the private sector to also recognize and acknowledge the importance of Juneteenth.
As we look to the future we’re dedicated to continue building momentum around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at 1Password.