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January 30, 2020
HED Recognized as a JUST Organization
HED is proud to announce that it has joined JUST, a program of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). JUST serves as a tool to help organizations measure their progress on a range of indicators about social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. The firm is embracing this transparency tool as a way to communicate its intentions and commitments in these realms with the firm's 470-person team, its clients, its communities, and its industry peers.

HED's organizational mission is to create positive impact for its clients, the community, and the world. The firm seeks to achieve these goals through maintaining a company culture that supports happy, healthy, engaged people, and one that fosters social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. "The JUST program felt like a perfect lens for the measurement of these core organizational goals," says Petrina Gooch, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Assoc. AIA. Gooch is a Principal with HED, the firm's Corporate Human Resources Leader, and a member of HED's Board of Directors.

The JUST label gives firms a "grade" on a number of indicators -- such as gender and ethnic diversity, pay equity, and others -- and the grades are made publicly available by ILFI. The overall label offers an annual snapshot of the firm's progress on a number of measures.

According to Gooch, "JUST is a valuable tool that helps us measure and transparently share -- with our team and the world -- how we are doing on key measures that at the core, impact the reality of social justice for every worker," she says. For example, HED excels in the Worker Benefit category: HED scores three of three possible stars in two topics in that category: Worker Happiness and Continuing Education.

Tania Van Herle, AIA, is a Principal with HED and serves as the Corporate Systems Leader. "JUST creates a way for us to have meaningful, transparent dialogue about the impact of social justice in our workplaces and in our world," she says. "We expect the dialogue to advance our own contribution to these critical topics in the communities we serve. We welcome the opportunity to help other companies in this journey to make improvements along with us to better the whole."

Gooch adds that she is encouraged by this step because "it is helping us demonstrate that our policies and efforts on these fronts are not just talk or short-lived optics that will quickly vanish," she says. "We are actively engaged in continuous improvement of this growing organization, which is something we want our people and our community to see and experience as they work with us."

JUST is a "nutrition" transparency label and voluntary disclosure tool for socially just and equitable organizations. JUST is not a certification program, it is a transparency platform for organizations to disclose their operations, including how they treat their employees and where they make financial and community investments. Organizations can use the label on their website or marketing to demonstrate their commitments to these issues. The International Living Future Institute also transparently posts the detailed information in the publicly viewable JUST database. This approach requires reporting on a range of organization- and employee-related indicators. Each of the indicator metrics asks for simple yet specific and measurable accountabilities in order for the organization to be recognized at a One, Two, or Three Star Level, which is then summarized elegantly on a label.
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