Small steps towards improving inclusiveness

Published on by Pat Ramsey, Director of Technology

It’s important to us that our company culture is one of honesty, transparency, excellence, diversity, professionalism, inclusiveness - all factors that contribute to a cohesive team that also works well with clients, and attracts good talent. But building that culture isn’t a one-time job. We can’t just walk away and leave it on autopilot, hoping for the best. At Crowd Favorite, we actively take small steps towards improving inclusiveness and building a good company culture.

Good company culture takes “care and feeding” and must evolve over time. We regularly review it to ensure we’re not straying from the values that make up our company culture, especially as teams grow, as people learn, and as the world changes.

Making Changes in How We Work

In light of seismic cultural shifts in the US and after some reflection on our core values, Crowd Favorite is making a change in how we work and the terms we use, in order to remove any racist, colonialist references from our work - backend and front end.

Github allows users to set a default branch for a repository, which gives more flexibility to shape workflow to the project needs. By default, though, until Github rolls out a system-wide change (which they’re working on), new repositories come with a single default branch named “master.” We are going through our active repositories and renaming this branch as “primary.” Our template repository, used for new projects, has also been edited so it does not include a “master” branch.

Terminology Matters for Inclusiveness

The term “slave,” historically used alongside “master” when referring to hard drives, servers, or databases, is something we haven’t used in our development documentation in recent years. Going forward, where we have to reference a secondary or fall-back system, we will use better terminology that is contextual to the project or technology.

When it comes to terminology like “blacklist” or “whitelist,” indicating allowed or disallowed items, these carry a racially negative connotation. We can do better, both in being sensitive to the society we live in and towards being more inclusive and in simply being more specific in our terminology. We are dropping these terms for more contextual labels, such as “Excluded terms,” “Block list,” or “Allowed values.”

Good Mobile Experience

Small Steps Towards Improving Inclusiveness

These are small steps - let’s not think a simple technology label change is going to solve racism. But words matter; even the smallest labels used where our audience never sees them. As a company, if we want to call ourselves inclusive and attract a racially and culturally diverse team, we have to be mindful of our impact and intentional in our efforts to improve.

Hopefully, as more leaders in our industry join this movement to stop perpetuating the language of oppression in our naming conventions, we can play a part in making significant social changes to our society at large. The world is watching; let’s keep the progress moving forward.

At Crowd Favorite, we are actively taking small steps towards improving inclusiveness with our team and for our clients.  Our team brings established and scaling brands to digital optimization through our renowned digital strategy, design, development and digital support services. If you’d like help with getting started or need a partner to work alongside you through your digital transformation, please reach out to us.