HoneyBee is an Integral Part of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commitments
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives (DEI) are top of mind among corporate leadership teams today. On the heels of the Me Too Movement, Black Lives Matter & more recently, hate crimes against my own LBGTQ and AAPI communities; companies are becoming acutely aware that DEI initiatives matter if we are to start chiseling away at the structural inequities in our society. We cheer the increasing number of forward thinking companies where C-suite attention around DEI has resulted in decisive action & impactful change.
For example, increased commitment to workforce diversity has expanded talent sourcing & recruitment efforts — — challenging the flawed argument that there’s just not enough qualified pools of women, LBGTQ or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) out there. Still another exciting example are the much publicized corporate initiatives that seek to remove & erase gender & race biases in compensation — — “normalizing salaries” combined with increased transparency around performance reviews, raises & pathways to career advancement. The institutionalization of regular unconscious bias training in the workforce also gives us hope.
Closer to the work that we do here at HoneyBee, we see renewed and intentional focus on expanding core employee benefits with DEI in mind; whether an expansion of subsidies around health insurance, increased matching of employer contributions to retirement programs, bringing on more targeted benefits that support new parents, subsidize day care or assist millennial employees pay down their student loan debt faster through matched payments.
But what’s missing. Companies have sourced & recruited talent with diversity in mind. Eliminated compensation bias to advance equity initiatives. Expanded benefits to address inclusion. But are employees ready? Are they aware, capable & fully-empowered to take advantage of what companies have put in place? How come people are still leaving their current employ for other jobs elsewhere? Even worse, some companies are not retaining the talented women, LBGTQ & BIPOC employees they painstakingly recruited!
At HoneyBee, we believe that companies must also acknowledge that each of their employee comes to work with life skills, knowledge and education that either prime them or disadvantage their ability to fully avail of the compensation opportunities & expanded benefits carefully implemented from a DEI lens. Some folks are indeed already 10 steps ahead, while others are 10 steps behind when they clock in — — even in an environment that has consciously acted to mitigate for gender & race bias in recruitment, compensation & benefits.
An equity-inspired & Inclusion-focused benefit ecosystem requires more. Let’s take retirement benefits for example. An employee who enjoyed privileged access to a world-class education and a family with generational access to wealth is in a much better position to optimize such benefits. They could educate themselves quite quickly, tap into a deep personal network for help & act to make sure they’re “all in” around what their companies have to offer. But are all employees privileged this way?
Acknowledging that employees come from diverse financial education backgrounds that inform how they view & act on a company’s DEI-aware compensation & retirement benefits is recognizing a fundamental fact of American Life — — that varying shades of financial illiteracy are real & that such inequity in levels of financial education hamper & malign employees’ ability to fully take advantage of DEI-inspired benefits put in place. An authentic equity-inspired & Inclusion-focused benefit ecosystem requires empowering folks with the knowledge & resources to level the proverbial playing field.
HoneyBee is a financial education company with the tools to make financial education stick. As an employer-sponsored financial wellness benefit, employees have access to services that qualitatively help them fully take advantage of what companies have in place regardless of where they are in their financial journey. First, unfettered, confidential access to financial therapists provide employees with nonjudgmental opportunities to discuss financial goals or simply express bewilderment & confusion around options that move them forward. Second, our webinar series reinforce these conversations by de-stigmatizing the act of openly talking about finances & highlighting paths to common financial objectives — — budgeting, debt cleansing, education financing, retiring. And third, our credit-blind, no interest loan programs help employees gap temporary cash flow issues, accelerate paying down debt and even supercharge savings goals.
HoneyBee, we believe, complements any effort to build a truly equity-inspired & Inclusion-focused benefit ecosystem around financial capability, readiness & education. We have seen results. In a recently-completed study of HoneyBee users by the Social Policy Institute at Washington University of St Louis, 89% of the employees who use us are Black, Hispanic or Asian and the majority of them are women.
We look forward to continuing the conversation.