Narrative Box 4

1. Get your own house in order.  Early in 2023, Jones worked with a consultant to help us examine ways to improve our practice relative to leadership, career development, pay equity and ensuring an explicitly inclusive culture. As a result , the firm established a robust performance review process that ensures people’s background and skills are recognized and valued in ways that promote equity. We also created a formal mentorship program that creates a variety of types of conversations so that everyone in the firm has opportunities to talk about career goals and establish development paths that capture individual needs and strengths.  We also created the Jones Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging and Justice (EDIB (J)) Council with a rotating cohort of 6-8 members. The EDIB(J) Council’s vision is to build a more inclusive culture at Jones with goals that include diversifying staff and leadership, creating equitable performance metrics, refining the firm’s onboarding process, community outreach and evaluating projects the firm takes on. Each year, half the members rotate off the council and new members join.

Finally, we recognize that a more diverse set of lived experiences among designers themselves would enrich design outcomes. We are working toward building a more diverse pipeline through outreach, including the development of what we call “pre-professional” mentorships , wherein we invite high school students (two at a time) to join the office for up to six weeks. Our first “class” will convene in summer of 2024 for a group project.

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