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Just Label Certification

Feldman Architecture is happy to announce that we’re officially a Just certified organization! The Just Label, run by the International Living Future Institute, functions similarly to a nutrition label that scores organizations on socially just and equitable operations and policies. As a voluntary disclosure tool, it’s a transparency platform for organizations to disclose specific information about their operations, from employee demographics and benefits to financial and community investments. It requires reporting on a range of operational indicators that outline accountability metrics for each organization to be recognized at four levels of performance.

See Feldman Architecture’s complete Just Dashboard here, which provides information on each of our 24 performance indicators, as well as our company policies individually addressing each indicator.

Since Feldman Architecture’s inception 20 years ago, we’ve been dedicated to creating a workplace that acts as a force for good in the world and values, promotes, and supports its people. We continually strive to create a vibrant, thoughtful studio dedicated to sustainable and regenerative design, and therefore have always been in search of likeminded clients, consultants, programs, and initiatives. As a growing small business, we’re constantly adapting and redefining our policies and operations, with our clients, staff, and communities in mind.

The Just Label provides a holistic template with which our firm can continually assess, rethink, and improve our operations. The efficiency of using such a thoughtful scaffolding to navigate tough questions and topics has provided a shortcut to fully auditing the value-based practice we’d like to uphold and maintain. The 24 Just indicators allowed our studio to measure our employee engagement, inclusion, demographics, and diversity. Templated handbook policies helped us put language to intangible ideas and clarify previously muddled, undefined policies. It’s also helped us set one-, three-, and five-year goals, and allowed us to transparently track and share our progress.

To complete this in-depth, self-reporting process, Feldman Architecture’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) committee spent a year reviewing and discussing our studio’s operations and policies, reflecting on where we wanted to focus our efforts and allocate resources to create a more equitable practice. After conducting a survey addressing inclusion, engagement, and firm demographics, we were satisfied to learn that 85% of our staff felt included and engaged. We felt proud of our gender diversity, with 51.4% of our employees self-reporting as female, 45.7% as male, 2.9% preferring not to answer, and 55.6% of our Senior Leadership identifying as women. We’ve audited our pay scale ranges to ensure gender pay equity – with a pay variance below 5% per job title. The process opened our eyes to areas in which have room to improve, including our firm’s ethnic diversity in relation to our county’s demographics - 74.3% of our employees self-identified as White, 22.9% as Asian, and 8.6% as Hispanic or Latino. Out of our 9-person Senior Leadership team, 33.33% self-identified as Non-White and 66.67% White.

After reviewing our handbook, we solidified policies we’re proud of, such as a comprehensive 6-8 week Family/Medical Leave policy, 8 paid hours of volunteer time per staff member annually, a comprehensive healthcare, vision, and dental plan that covers 90% of total costs, and $1,000 of Continuing Education benefits per employee annually.

Overall, the Just Label process spurred worthwhile conversation in our studio, allowing us to think critically about a range of topics - from responsibly and thoughtfully sourcing the products we use in our office, to our studio’s fully pescatarian/vegetarian catering options. We’re proud to be accredited by this thoughtful organization, and happy to share more about our process. Please reach out to learn more about the process or to ask about any of our policies specifically, we’d love to chat!

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