Reflecting on my time at Spark: Jeff’s message to Team Spark
“While my time at Spark is coming to an end, I cannot wait to see what this team does next.”
Dear Spark Team:
Over the past few weeks, many of us have turned inward and reflected on the social injustices and racism that has pervaded our neighborhoods, communities, and our nation – asking ourselves what we can do, how we can help. Last week, the Corporate Management Team and I did the same. Together we are listening, learning, and reflecting on our need to do more to improve diversity at Spark. We acknowledge that we must do more.
Spark’s values have always called for mutual respect and valuing diversity and inclusion and we strive for a workplace where employees can be themselves free of discrimination of any kind. This is the bedrock of all of the measures we will take moving forward.
As I have mentioned, we will hold roundtable discussions to focus on the pressing issue of racial and social injustice. We will approach the roundtables in the same way we approach all of our efforts: With a commitment to listening, curiosity, collaboration, humility and appreciation for our team members’ unique experiences and perspectives. We believe the focus of these discussions should be informed by the lived experiences of our Black employees so that we can identify priority areas for discussion. To that end, our first roundtables will be open to employees who self-identify as Black. Once our focus for the discussions is clear, we will open roundtables discussions to all Spark employees. We want and need everyone to lend their diverse perspectives and individual voices to these conversations.
And we won’t stop there. We will focus our efforts in the areas that we can have the most impact – on Spark itself, and on the Philadelphia area community where many of us live and work. We commit to working to identify additional concrete and measurable steps we can take to move our company forward on our journey to a more diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace for all of us.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot discriminate against LGBTQ+ workers based on sexual orientation or transgender status. The ruling is a further evolution of a landmark 1964 civil rights case that bars discrimination on race, religion, national origin and sex. This is a victory for the LGBTQ+ community, and one of many more I hope to see in the future.
At Spark, we envision a world where no life is limited by genetic disease, but let’s also work towards one with no racism, discrimination or social injustice. Together, I believe we can make meaningful changes right here within Spark and the communities where we live and work.