A LETTER TO OUR STAFF FROM OUR CEO & COO
Sexism, harassment, and abuse are never okay in any shape or form against any person, by any person. We recognize that this week has been exceedingly difficult specifically for women in the craft beer and hospitality industries. Hundreds of stories have been sent to and shared by Brienne (aka @ratmagnet on Instagram), a production manager at Notch Brewing. If you have not seen these stories, we encourage you to read through them as soon as possible (warning: these stories describe sexual harassment and abuse).
We realize it took a while to send this message. We felt it important to thoughtfully respond, not just react, but acknowledge that saying nothing in the meantime left many of you frustrated, and for that we sincerely apologize. We have been reading and reflecting on these stories, including ones that Creatures have shared with us over the past few days. We also began having candid conversations with women and individuals in the BIPOC community both inside and outside the company. We are grateful for the time, conversations, and input that we received over the last few days.
At the time of writing this letter, Creature has not been named in the Instagram stories, but we are acutely aware that just because Creature has not been named does not mean that we have not failed at times. Creature, including ourselves personally, have not always taken appropriate actions or with the swiftness they deserved, and for that we are deeply sorry.
We recognize that all women have experienced some form of sexism or abuse, and that Creature Comforts must always be a safe place to work and visit. Starting last summer, as we began our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) work, and again now, Creature must continue to come to terms with past mistakes.
Some of you may be unaware of the work done by our DE&I Council group, made up of a diverse cross section of our company, along with us, which began in late summer 2020. The DE&I group crafted the following mission statement: Creature must create opportunities and cultivate a culture where any person can thrive.
Furthermore, they set the following values, which serve as guardrails by which Creature must operate to ensure this mission is upheld:
- Expand Perspectives: Educate yourself, extend respect, avoid stereotypes
- Embrace Discomfort: Resist complacency, examine bias, address blind spots
- Intolerant of Intolerance: Advocate for equity at all times
- Safe by Design: Intentionally create safe space and welcoming spaces
- Open Arms: Welcome new voices, listen to their stories, grow together
Lastly, they put in place actionable priorities under the following 6 Plan Buckets: Difficult Dialogue, Educate Leaders, Invite Insights, Diversify Workforce, Evaluate Constantly, Increase Influence.
While we do not claim to have all the solutions to these societal problems, Creature can and must continue to make it better for not only our employees but all whom we encounter through our products. Beyond the existing priorities that came out of the DE&I work, we are also committing to the following immediate actions:
- Creating resources that make it easier for employees to give feedback and report incidents anonymously.
- Ensuring a safe workplace and that people can bring forward concerns without fear of retaliation, retribution, or judgment.
- Practicing empathetic listening to become better allies.
- Rebuilding any lost trust with employees or others.
- Working only with other breweries who are formally committed to inclusion, equity, and safety for all.
Maintaining the respect of our employees, customers, and our industry hinges on these actions and values. We have set a purpose to Foster Human Connection, we have set out to be a B-Corp, it is who we claim to be, and we must always be striving to improve.
We also encourage all employees to take advantage of our existing Employee Assistance Program or contact The Cottage assault crisis center hotline (1-877-363-1912) if you need additional support.
We recognize that making statements is not an answer and we are still at the beginning of our efforts. There is much more work to do, and we are committed to that work. We will keep you informed along the way.
-Chris and Adam