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Space and place for social impact: This month we take a special look at ‘The Workplace’

July 9, 2019 Category: FeaturedPurposeShort
Walk into a social impact organization’s space for the first time and whether you intend to or not, you will immediately draw conclusions about it as a workplace.

Like:

  • Public Health Management Corporation‘s space is streamlined and efficient, and as expansive as its corps of social service providers.
  • Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia‘s decor projects stability and  substance.
  • Taller Puertorriqueño puts books and folk art (and the only Latinx bookstore in El Barrio) at the center of its art education and program spaces.
  • New Sanctuary Movement is homey; Juntos allocates the lion’s share of its space for its community gathering room; and both are situated conveniently near public transit in their working-class, immigrant neighborhoods.
  • Little Giant Creative envisions a commonwealth of enterprise that unites for-profit, nonprofit and social enterprise from a shared space that looks out on Billy Penn.
  • The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce permanently assigns a corner of its office as a makerspace that independent community media (Dos Puntos internet radio streams from there) and other Latinx entrepreneurs and creatives can use.

Greg DeShields, the executive director of Diversity PHL noted, at a one of Generocity’s recent Power Breakfasts, that the design of a work space can become the workplace’s culture.

He gave as an example open office spaces which can, ideally, make evident the organization’s commitment to diersity in staffing, encourage efficiency and create more inclusive and accessible environments — all elements that would readily translate into company culture.

As part of this month’s editorial calendar focus, we will look at how a workplace’s design can affect its culture (and vice versa). But, of course, more than just space anchors a workplace.

At the same Power Breakfast as DeShields, Elicia Gonzales, the executive director of the Women’s Medical Fund, said we should look at which workplaces are dismantling structural inequities — everything from wage disparities to who gets paid family leave —and see if some best practices can be formulated on the basis of that work.  Likewise, workplaces that are focusing on other ways of “doing good” for their staff while doing good for the community.

From our Partners

We’re planning to bring you stories like those as well, and data stories of workplaces that accurately reflect the city where they are headquartered, and multi-platform pieces about the organizations and leaders who are redefining the workplace.

As always, we invite your input! Tell us which organizations you believe we should highlight in a list of the the best mission-driven workplaces in the Philadelphia area.

Suggest a workplace we should write about in July

 

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The Workplace Month 2019

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