[Issue 075] What radically inclusive hiring looks like


It's so good to see you. (SEE what I did there??)

Last week I had the pleasure of being a speaker at the 15 year anniversary event for UC Berkeley's Center for Responsible Business. I was one of four alumni invited to share my reflections on the evolution of responsible business over the last 15 years and my thoughts on the future.


The lineup included the VP of Sustainability and CEO of Autodesk Foundation, the Director of Strategy for Sustainability at Levi Strauss, and the Product & Sourcing Manager at Patagonia Provisions. (Did you know Patagonia launched a food company?!)

In my talk I walked through some of the key moments we've witnessed in corporate activism over the past two years and the recent wave of employee activism within tech companies. From Amazon employees demanding a more diverse Board of Directors to 20,000 Google employees staging a protest in response to the company's protection of executives accused of sexual harassment, employees are demanding that companies live up to the values they claim to hold.

I also had a lot of fun sharing my experience creating Above the Botton Line.


I was grateful and overjoyed to see so many ABL supporters in the room. 🙏 🏾Shoutout to Lauren, Laksmi, Leniece, Sonya and Liz!

Equally exciting is the publication of my latest article in the Berkeley-Haas alumni magazine, which gets mailed out this week but you can also read online here: The Trouble with Taking Sides: It's not enough for companies to publicly take a stand


What we know is that:

  • 78% of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues

  • 87% say they would purchase a product because the company stood up or advocated for an issue they care about

  • 51% of employees say they won't even work for a company that doesn't have strong social and environmental commitments

I launched Above the Bottom Line after the immigration ban in 2017 with the intention of tracking which companies were taking a stand on important issues. At the time I had no idea just how much CEOs would step up and create a new normal for corporate engagement.

However, despite how positive that step is, I just don't think it's enough.

The pressure to say something is so high that companies are speaking up for values even when they haven't done the work to ensure they are living up to them. As a result, I think the wave of employee activism we are seeing is going to gain even more momentum in 2019.

Click here to read some of my thoughts on this, and let me know what you think!



I few weeks ago I wrote a post on Patreon sharing my love for a company in Yonkers, NY that makes delicious brownies, Greyston Bakery.

Other than making the brownies that go into Ben and Jerry's ice cream, what makes this company so special? It's their "Open Hiring" policy through which they hire on a first-come, first-served basis with the goal of eliminating barriers to employment. No background search, no criminal history inquiry, no resume. 

As the CEO says:

You put your name on a list and when you get to the top, you get a job. It’s that simple. We trust that everyone, if given an opportunity, has the potential to succeed. We provide people with the tools and support to be successful on the job, without regard for their previous education, skills or background.

Greyston's motto is, “We don't hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.”

Read more here about the company's radically inclusive hiring practices.


Marriott Hacking Exposes Data of Up to 500 Million Guests 

On Friday Marriott International revealed that hackers had breached its Starwood reservation system and had stolen the personal data of up to 500 million guests, including date of birth, gender, trip and reservation information, credit cards, passport number and more. // NYTIMES

SIDEBAR: This is bigger than Equifax, so please read this Wired article for tips on how to protect yourself. // WIRED


France Prepares to Get Tough on Firms That Pay Women Less

France is introducing a new law that will require companies to report how much they pay their women vs men, and if there is a gap they have 3 years to close it. If they fail, there will be a fee of 1% of the company's total payroll. [Paywall] // WSJ

This Town is Running an Experiment That Could Help Bring Internet To Millions of People

There are millions of people living in America who do not have the ability to get a connection to the internet due to where they live. This is because the local population is too low for it to be profitable to build towers and other infrastructure to support internet and cell service. Now that is changing as Microsoft and FCC researchers are finding ways to use radio frequencies that are not currently in use to deliver internet to people living in these areas. It is a part of Microsoft and Packerland’s Airband Initiative which hopes to bring internet to 2 million people in rural America by 2022. // QUARTZ

The Crash and Burn of Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabanna released video advertisements earlier this year in Asia that were widely seen as racist due to the pandering to stereotypes they contained. They featured a Chinese model being taught to eat spaghetti and other italian foods with a pair of chopsticks- meant to advertise their show in Shanghai. Furthermore, Stefano Gabbana, one of the founders of Dolce & Gabanna, insulted and name-called a Chinese critic on his instagram account. Since this, the brand has been forced to cancel the show in Shanghai, has been removed from Alibaba’s TMall, JD.COM, and Secoo.com, as well as led to many former supporters to burn their D&G products. // NY TIMES

Government Scientists say Climate Change Will Cost the US Hundreds of Billions a Year

In the fourth National Climate assessment, a Congress mandated study about the economic devastation climate change has had on the US, as well as projections for the future, it was estimated that by the end of the century productivity loses in jobs like agriculture and construction- which require you to be outside in the sun for long periods of time- could result in $160 billion in lost wages a year, by 2100 there could be a $87 billion a year increase in the cost of power, and over $507 billion in lost infrastructure and housing from flooding. // QUARTZ

The 50 Best Workplaces for Parents

This article lists the 50 companies believed to have the best benefits and culture for parents, highlighting companies with flexible scheduling, supportive coworkers, and an emphasis on balance. // FORTUNE


As always, the headlines were curated with the help of ABL's badass intern, Lora


"No single business can eradicate our social problems, but if corporate America comes together, taking steps to address social injustice, we can improve the lives of millions of people while generating massive economic impact." 

– Mike Brady, president and CEO of Greyston

Above the Bottom Line is funded by dope community members like you who pledge $1 or more per month to support its sustainability and growth. *In my best NPR voice* Consider pledging today!


Nikita T. Mitchell