From our Co-Founder and CEO, Brian Williams:
“Viget’s culture and sustainability has always combined two seemingly contradictory ideas: we must be firm and unwavering in core values that never change, while simultaneously open to and seeking change, growth, and progress as individuals and a team. A company culture isn’t formed by strategic plans, expert consultants, and founder decrees. Rather, culture reflects the values and behaviors of the people in an organization. This makes authentic, lasting improvements challenging. We’ve always been up for a challenge.
When we committed in 2020 to maturing into a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company, we didn’t know what to expect. Would closer reflection reveal irreparable flaws or toxic elements we’d been blind to all these years? Would the change required be unattainable given our inherent limitations of size, resources, and expertise? Would we try and fail in an unrecoverable way, risking the company we’d spent two decades creating?
Our DEI journey has been humbling, inspiring, and encouraging. It has no deadline or destination. Our DEI work is increasingly woven into every aspect of our business, from how we recruit, hire, manage, and promote people to how we market, sell, and deliver client work, to how we share, support, and engage with our industry and communities. Through a mix of broad strategic shifts in our mindset and approach, as well as tangible, tactical improvements, we’re working to truly live up to our mission of building a better digital world for everyone.”
Culture & Inclusion
We want everyone at Viget to feel included and heard by providing ways for employees to engage with each other and with leadership. We have two initiatives that encourage discussion and/or action around company culture, policies, and procedures:
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
At Viget, ERGs are employee-led initiatives that help Viget staff connect through shared experiences by encouraging supportive conversation and fostering personal, professional, and organizational development. Ultimately, ERGs create a sense of belonging to help people thrive in the workplace. Our current ERGs include:
Employees of Color: A community aimed at fostering meaningful connections in a safe space between those who identify as people of color at Viget.
LGBTQIA+: LGBTQIA+ Vigets and allies focused on building a community that equips employees to be their authentic selves.
Mental Wellness ERG: Providing a safe space for Vigets to support each other in taking better care of our mental and emotional health.
DEI Advisory Committee (DEIAC)
The DEIAC is designed to tackle DEI initiatives and advise leadership. The DEIAC is employee-led and time is reserved during the work week for participating employees. All employees at Viget are invited to participate in DEIAC-led initiatives.
In progress and upcoming initiatives:
Researching creative mentorship guidelines and pathways to support diversity in design & tech
Outreach to school-age students interested in design & tech
Developing a "DEI 101" resource library / training hub
Hosting internal DEI conversations to enable challenging, supportive discussions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Followed a 2 year DEI Strategic Plan informed by our DEI consultant
Developed trainings on Peer Feedback and Difficult Conversations
Defined a career progression framework for every role at Viget
Hosted a UX portfolio review session geared towards underrepresented groups
We often write articles related to completed initiatives or topics raised by our ERGs. For example, we recently wrote about inclusion and collaboration after a deep dive into the concept of psychological safety. We published tips for preparing for portfolio reviews ahead of the portfolio review session we hosted.
Community & Outreach
Our commitment to DEI expands beyond our business. We’re also working toward a more equitable future for our industry and the communities where we live and work. To that end:
- The Viget Pro Bono Program seeks to provide non-profits actively involved with supporting underserved communities with no-cost access to Viget’s digital skills and resources. We aim to complete one pro bono project per quarter, or four projects per year. In the average year, we complete ~1,000-2,000 hours of pro bono work. We’ve recently worked with Code the Dream, Hill Family Farm and a number of organizations throughout North Carolina.
- As part of the Employee Engagement perks we offer, we make an effort to support Black-, women-, or locally-owned businesses (sometimes all three!) with products that delight our team. Some of our favorites include Cookie Society, A Dozen Cousins, Trade St. Jam Co., and Wonderpuff.
- Since our founding in 1999, everyone at Viget is granted two paid community service days per year to use as they see fit. Some recent volunteer work has been Community Food Share, Bluestem Conservation Cemetery, and Keep Durham Beautiful.
Every person at Viget is unique, with their own story, background, and perspectives. That said, as a data-informed organization, we realize that data can help provide tangible, objective understanding. The following demographic data was collected in June 2023.
Our DEI Journey
Our diversity, equity, and inclusion journey will continue to evolve. As we learn from our peers, hire new people with new ideas, and broaden our understanding, we will update our approach. We hope that by sharing along the way, we can learn from and inspire other organizations to join us in the hopes that together we can make lasting change.