Greetings from One Acre Fund. I am pleased to share our first annual People and DEI Report, which outlines our goals for our staff and publicly reports on progress, in the same way we do in our work for farmers.
Our job is to make farmers more prosperous, and our ability to deliver on that promise depends entirely on our team. We do our best work for farmers when we bring out the best in our people.
We have the privilege and responsibility of employing more than 8,000 talented staff from 37 countries. Every member of our team — regardless of their identity or circumstances — deserves an equal chance to succeed and belong here, to show up fully and to do their best work.
Yet we have not always lived up to this vision. In our early years, we were led largely by Americans and Europeans. Like too many organizations, we originally had two teams — one international and one national — and we created systems that were largely separated by nationality. While we started addressing this in 2016, our progress was far too slow. It is not enough to make small changes; we must be proactively antiracist for our multicultural team to fully thrive.
We openly acknowledge and own this legacy, and the harm it has caused, and this fuels our passion for transformative change. We have top-to-bottom alignment on the moral and performance urgency of building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive One Acre Fund.
To accelerate progress, we did a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) review in 2020 with support from Ernst & Young (EY) and with input from more than 4,600 staff. Building from that foundation, we wholeheartedly commit to the following goals for DEI and antiracism at One Acre Fund:
- Diverse leadership: Diversity strengthens business decisions. We are stronger when our senior leadership reflects the diverse identities of our staff, with a balanced representation of genders and a mix of nationalities. We develop rising leaders in our ranks, plan for internal succession, and hire staff with a broad range of experiences and a deep understanding of the communities we serve.
- Equitable advancement: Each staff member feels like part of an equitable meritocracy. We fairly define strong performance, support career growth, and reward good work. We focus more on what gets done than on how work gets done. We regularly review pay and promotions data to ensure equity across all staff groups.
- Inclusive culture: We build on the full strengths of our talented, multicultural team. All staff feel valued and encouraged to contribute, regardless of their identity or seniority. We invite participation in decisions; provide DEI, anti-bias, and anti-racism training in our ongoing curriculum; and hold our leaders and ourselves accountable for upholding our Culture Code and creating a culture of belonging.
We’re not there yet: we must now turn these goals into real changes in the day-to-day staff experience. We seek to approach this challenge with as much ambition and focus as we do in our field operations.
In the spirit of continual growth, we commit to sharing data on our ongoing process of transformation around these commitments in our Annual People and DEI Report. We hope this both increases transparency in our efforts and invites healthy challenge and accountability.
Together in Service,
Andrew Youn, CEO
One Acre Fund Leadership Council
One Acre Fund DEI Council