We are delighted to announce that AASHE has been recognized as a JUST Organization by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). AASHE is the first organization working in the higher education sector to achieve JUST recognition.
ILFI describes JUST as a “nutrition label” for socially just and equitable organizations. The program is a transparency platform for organizations to disclose information about their operations, and requires reporting on a range of organization- and employee-related indicators. Each of the indicator metrics is rated at a One, Two, or Three Star Level, which is then summarized on a label. AASHE has elected to participate in the program because of our deep commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability, and our desire for continuous improvement on these issues in our own operations.
Our new JUST label highlights many organizational strengths, as well as a few areas for improvement:
- Gender Diversity. JUST recognizes gender balanced workforces (e.g., ~50% women and ~50% men). AASHE’s staff is predominantly female, which we feel is a strength, but results in a gender imbalance according to JUST’s definition.
- Gender Pay Equity. We opted out of this indicator because AASHE does not currently have a written policy on gender equity pay scales and some of our pay classes only have 1-2 people in them. We will, however, explore ways to pursue this indicator in future assessments.
- Family Friendly and Employee Benefits. Although JUST includes ambitious goals that are quite challenging for a small, non-profit organization to achieve, we are committed to improving our performance in future assessments.
- Local Benefit. The local metrics in JUST are not particularly relevant to AASHE because we are a distributed organization. We will, however, explore ways to measure local purchasing so that our next label better reflects our local, inclusive and sustainable purchasing efforts.
- Community Volunteering. AASHE recently began offering eight hours of paid time off each year for employees to volunteer in their local communities. We will be exploring ways to expand that benefit.
The JUST label is valid for two years, during which we will be working to improve our tracking and performance as outlined above. AASHE plans to re-submit for an updated label in 2020.