StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
1/14 SLIDES © Bianca Bagnarelli for Insider

Sustainable finance is poised to fund the future of the planet, addressing climate change, equity, and governance

This article is part of the “Financing a Sustainable Future” series exploring how companies take steps to set and fund sustainable goals.

Explore the power of sustainable finance

Insider, in partnership with Bank of America, is launching the Financing a Sustainable Future editorial series to help business leaders and their stakeholders — including employees, customers, shareholders, and board members — understand the opportunities and uncertainties that come with this secular change to the capital markets.

Over the course of the next five months, Insider’s reporting will bring to life the people, organizations, and coalitions that are driving progress.

While much of the focus of conversations around sustainable finance is on the climate crisis, Insider is taking a holistic approach, with content dedicated to each of the four pillars of stakeholder capitalism as defined by the World Economic Forum.

People: Reflects a company’s equity and its treatment of employees. Metrics include diversity reporting, wage gaps, and health and safety.Planet: Reflects a company’s dependencies and effects on the natural environment. Metrics include greenhouse-gas emissions, land protection, and water use.Prosperity: Reflects how a company affects the financial well-being of its community. Metrics include employment and wealth generation, taxes paid, and research and development expenses.Principles of Governance: Reflects a company’s purpose, strategy, and accountability. Metrics include criteria measuring risk and ethical behavior.

A pivotal phase in sustainable finance

The series is incredibly timely. A key moment in the world of sustainable finance occurred during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (otherwise known as COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, during the first two weeks of November 2021.

A consortium of some 450 banks, insurance companies, and asset managers from 45 countries called Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), which had launched the previous April, announced that it had committed $130 trillion in assets to transform “the economy for net zero.”

“The architecture of the global financial system has been transformed to deliver net zero,” Mark Carney, the coalition’s leader and a former head of the Bank of England, said in a statement. “We now have the essential plumbing in place to move climate change from the fringes to the forefront of finance so that every financial decision takes climate change into account.”

GFANZ has its detractors, with one criticism being that the coalition has made no mention of divesting from fossil fuels. Regardless, the sustainable-finance juggernaut is already in motion and is becoming an increasingly important consideration for companies looking to raise capital.

To extend Carney’s plumbing analogy, imagine a reservoir of $130 trillion in financial capital that’s ready to be piped in the form of lower-cost borrowing into companies that meet sustainability goals.

In order to tap the benefits of this lower-cost liquidity, companies have to demonstrate their sustainability credentials. That’s where another abbreviation comes in: ESG, which stands for environmental, social, and governance. Companies are adapting ESG standards to signal to investors and financial institutions alike that they’re attaching targets to sustainability statements and adopting a recognized facility for investors to monitor how they’re doing.

Sustainable finance is bigger than just ESG, though the terms are often conflated. It’s the new ecosystem that’s emerging from the legacy investing and finance structures that have capitalized on companies for generations.

A lot of the finance conversation is focused on capitalizing big industries in transition. It’s also about driving innovation from the ground up. The opportunities to fund renewable energy and electric industries, and to invest in emerging technology and climate solutions, are at a scale never seen before.

A community of experts to help us tell these stories 

To help us with this ambitious project, we have convened the following advisory council to contribute thought leadership and insights into how their organizations are setting goals and driving toward measurable outcomes. We will also feature our council in a series of virtual events, with the first one taking place on March 8 on the topic of how investing in people transforms economies.

Advisory Council for ‘Financing a Sustainable Future’

Ezgi Barcenas, Chief Sustainability Officer, AB InBevKaren Fang, Managing Director, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, Bank of AmericaEunice Heath, Corporate Director for Sustainability, DowBob Holycross, Vice President, Sustainability, Environment, and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor CompanyRavi Kumar, President, InfosysKathleen McLaughlin, Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart Inc. and President, Walmart FoundationSophia Mendelsohn, Chief Sustainability Officer and Global Head of ESG, CognizantCaroline Roan, Chief Sustainability Officer, Senior Vice President, Global Health and Social Impact, PfizerDurreen Shahnaz, Founder and CEO, Impact Investment Exchange and Impact Investment Exchange Foundation Megan Starr, Global Head of Impact, Carlyle Jennifer Steinmann, Global Climate and Sustainability Marketplace Leader, DeloitteEvan van Hook, Chief Sustainability Officer, HoneywellMartin Whittaker, CEO, JUST CapitalRead the original article on Business Insider

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
2/14 SLIDES © AB InBev; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Ezgi Barcenas, Chief Sustainability Officer, AB InBev

In February 2021, AB InBev announced a $10.1 billion revolving-credit facility tied to sustainability, including its goals to improve water efficiency, increase recycled content in packaging, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Ezgi Barcenas, who became the company’s chief sustainability officer in August 2021, talked about how the changes occurring in finance enabled the company to consider taking this path.

This [achieving net zero by 2040] creates a shared sense of ownership right from the beginning.

“The recent rapid maturity of the sustainable finance market, in particular the sustainability-linked loan structure, combined with our need to refinance our revolving credit facility because of the upcoming maturity, were the conditions that presented an opportunity to put this in place,” she said in an email.

Since joining the company in 2013 through the global MBA program, Barcenas has held key roles within the corporate affairs and procurement departments and most recently served as the global vice president of sustainability.

Barcenas advises companies setting sustainability goals to engage with business partners across procurement, logistics, operations, and corporate affairs. “This is what we’ve done back in 2017 to set our 2025 sustainability goals,” she said. AB InBev announced in December 2021 that its goal is to achieve net zero by 2040, and that the finance team was involved in building the strategy and road map from the outset.

“This creates a shared sense of ownership right from the beginning,” Barcenas said.

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
3/14 SLIDES © Bank of America; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Karen Fang, Managing Director, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, Bank of America

In December 2021, Bank of America announced its second Equality Progress Sustainability Bond, for $2 Billion, with proceeds designed to advance racial equality, gender equality, economic opportunity, and environmental sustainability. The news followed the bank’s November 2021 rollout of its framework for green, social, and sustainability bonds. Bank of America is also part of the GFANZ consortium.

It’s all part of the bank’s broader sustainability commitment, announced in April, 2021, to marshal $1.5 trillion by 2030 towards environmental and social goals.

“Our mission statement is to mobilize and scale,” said Karen Fang, managing director, global head of sustainable finance at Bank of America, and member of the bank’s ESG committee.

“If we issue our own racial-equality-themed social bond, we want others to follow,” Fang said. “So we have to scale capital development through client engagement and through all the alliances we’re in, whether it’s the UN or World Economic Forum or the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative, we want to lead by example.”

You can’t be binary on these issues. You have to think about societal issues and societal goals.

“We also want to follow other people’s example. We want to be the first mover in some things, and we want to be learners and followers in other things,” she added.”

The reality is that a search for solutions to many of these critical problems is complex. Fang emphasizes that it’s essential to be mindful of issues of fairness and the unintended consequences of environmental policies and plans that fail to consider negative outcomes to local populations around the world.

“You can’t be binary on these issues,” Fang said. “You have to think about societal issues and societal goals.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
4/14 SLIDES © Dow; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Eunice Heath, Corporate Director for Sustainability, Dow

As part of its 2025 Sustainability Goals, Dow talks about “valuing nature.”

“The way we’ve considered nature in the decision-making across our global business, on the scale of our 2025 Sustainability Goals, has never been done before,” the Dow website says. “These goals will create new value for Dow and for society, by helping companies understand and value the benefits that nature can provide to their bottom lines.”

That ambition is tied to financial targets. “By 2025, Dow will deliver $1 billion in NPV [net present value] through business-driven projects that enhance nature.”

Leaders need to consider the full life cycle of a target, decide what’s actually achievable during the timeline and create a concrete plan of how to reach it.

Eunice Health, Dow’s corporate director for sustainability, leads the coordinated planning and implementation of the 2025 sustainability goals, integration, and next-generation strategy development.

“I think it’s important to be realistic when setting sustainability goals. Companies often commit to aggressive — even aspirational — goal setting but fall trap to the action-plan gap,” Heath said via email. “Leaders need to consider the full life cycle of a target, decide what’s actually achievable during the timeline and create a concrete plan of how to reach it.”

Heath said Dow uses a range of tools to help it prioritize, “including a sustainability materiality assessment, a stakeholder engagement process, and our enterprise risk-management process,” she said. “Through these assessments, we’re able to map our sustainability goals against the topics and areas that are material for our company across economies, the environment, and society, as well as with our stakeholders.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
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StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
5/14 SLIDES © Ford; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Bob Holycross, Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company

Just as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, was underway in Glasgow last November, Ford Motor launched a new sustainable-financing framework that included issuing a $2.5 billion green bond and buying back up to $5 billion in higher-cost debt to increase its flexibility.

“The framework [is] part of our strategy to enhance financial flexibility and return to investment-grade credit ratings that will allow for expected broader access to capital,” Bob Holycross, Ford’s vice president of sustainability, environment, and safety engineering, said via email.

We’re putting our money where our mouth is, directing our capital to what’s good for people and the planet.

Holycross is responsible for implementing sustainability best practices throughout the company and leading the global environment and safety strategy, policy, and performance.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is, directing our capital to what’s good for people and the planet,” Holycross said. Part of that is a focus on electric vehicles, and Ford, along with its partner SK Innovation, is investing $11.4 billion to build auto and battery manufacturing facilities.

Transformation on that scale means that working in the automotive sector will continue to change. Holycross said that Ford’s sustainability strategy extends beyond cars to the communities and workers that depend on the company. “Ford doesn’t want to be a part of the transformation in our industry, we intend to lead it,” Holycross said. “We are helping to expand mobility and access to cleaner transportation, creating jobs, and upskilling and reskilling the next generation of auto technicians.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
6/14 SLIDES © Infosys; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Ravi Kumar, President, Infosys

As digital innovation has moved to the forefront of business strategy, reskilling is a critical component for ensuring that people have opportunities to progress in good jobs and viable industries, and that communities can grow and prosper.

In July 2020, Infosys launched “Reskill and Restart,” a platform that aims to help American workers develop the skills they need to transition to digital jobs.

“Essentially, what I’m working on is the great reshuffle of human capital,” Ravi Kumar, president of Infosys, said.

To create a sustainable human capital pool for the future, you will have to bring in more diversity, like anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists into these workplaces.

Infosys was once known as a leader in outsourcing technology jobs to India. But that was a different era, Kumar said. “Technology was not core to every business the way it is today.”

Since 2017, Infosys has been on a mission to foster technology talent in the US. “We committed at first to 10,000 jobs, and then we upped that in 2020 to 25,000 jobs,” Kumar said. The company has set up six education centers in the US, choosing communities in Texas, Indiana, Rhode Island, and Connecticut that are not current tech hubs.

The growing number of AI applications will mean that the skillsets required for technology-adjacent jobs will become even more diverse over time. “To create a sustainable human capital pool for the future, you will have to bring in more diversity, like anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists into these workplaces,” he said. “So I work with Trinity College in Hartford [Connecticut], and we build data scientists from liberal-arts majors.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
7/14 SLIDES © Walmart; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Kathleen McLaughlin, Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart Inc. and President, Walmart Foundation

Walmart closed its inaugural $2 billion green-bond issuance in September 2021, the first program in its “green financing framework, which was rolled out earlier that year. The goals of the framework include 100% renewable energy by 2035 and zero emissions in operations by 2040.

“We first started talking about a green bond back in 2019,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart Inc. and president of the Walmart Foundation. “We wanted to do it as a way to demonstrate not only our own commitment to sustainability in a very tangible way, but also providing an opportunity for investors to participate alongside us.”

Over the past five years there’s been an increasing realization that financial value creation is impossible without addressing environmental and social issues that all of us in society face.

Walmart first set out sustainability goals back in 2005, and some of its most innovative programs have been related to its supply chain. Walmart launched Project Gigaton in 2017, a partnership and toolkit for its suppliers with the aim of cumulatively avoiding 1 billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gasses by 2030.

Last year, Walmart added a program with HSBC and non-profit disclosure organization, CDP, in which participating suppliers can set science-based targets to reduce emissions. In exchange for demonstrating progress, will earn financing benefits such as early payment on invoices, and lower pricing on financing.

“Over the past five years there’s been an increasing realization that financial value creation is impossible without addressing environmental and social issues that all of us in society face,” McLaughlin said. “I think it’s a secular, permanent transition, with a long way to go.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
8/14 SLIDES © Cognizant; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Sophia Mendelsohn, Chief Sustainability Officer and Global Head of ESG, Cognizant

In the company’s 2020 ESG report, Cognizant CEO Brian Humphries outlined initiatives on global employee health and access to COVID-19 vaccines, as well as DEI and social-justice initiatives. He also announced that the company had hired its first-ever global head of ESG and chief sustainability officer.

That hire was Sophia Mendelsohn, and she is responsible for leading the integration of ESG considerations into the technology consulting company’s thinking, decisions, and actions. Prior to working at Cognizant, Mendelsohn was the first chief sustainability officer at JetBlue.

It [sustainable finance] needs to be global. It needs to be systemic. It needs to allow nation states and enterprises that work through multiple countries to be able to talk to each other.

Mendelsohn has a clear perspective on what sustainable finance needs to be to drive action. “It needs to be global,” she said. “It needs to be systemic. It needs to allow nation states and enterprises that work through multiple countries to be able to talk to each other.” She added that sustainable finance needs to expand from being just a conversation about the environment.

In October 2021, Cognizant committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030. Mendelsohn has seen an acceleration in commitments over the past several years that have been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think of 2018 to 2019 as the buildup and momentum to large commitments of relevancy — going from recycling in the office to net-zero portfolios,” she said. “COVID is part of this story. This is about the fragility of what we take to be so concrete. And boom, you come out of it with more energy, more financing for sustainable outcomes, because COVID just shot across the bow. We’re moving from commitments to tools.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
9/14 SLIDES © Pfizer; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Caroline Roan, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Health and Social Impact, Pfizer

In August 2021, global health giant Pfizer announced pricing of its second sustainability bond, having completed its first 10-year bond in March, 2020.

Pfizer was the first biopharmaceutical company to leverage these financial instruments. The goals of the first bond were to help the company manage its environmental impact and to increase access to medications and vaccines in underserved populations.

Our experience with COVID-19 brought our purpose squarely in line with our ESG strategy.

“We have been on a journey to more intentionally connect our purpose — that is, ‘breakthroughs that change patients’ lives’ — with our ESG efforts in order to better understand and address the needs of our patients, colleagues, partners, shareholders, and communities,” Caroline Roan, Pfizer’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice president of global health and social impact, said in an email. “In 2020, we took a new approach to align with the evolving landscape of ESG reporting and stakeholder expectations about our impact on society and the environment.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic looms large over the second bond, with net proceeds intended to help with research and development related to the virus, and capital expenditures in connection with vaccine manufacturing and distribution.

“Our experience with COVID-19 brought our purpose squarely in line with our ESG strategy,” Roan, who also is president of the Pfizer Foundation, said. “We have continued to advance priority ESG issues into key elements of our core business and decision-making and we remain steadfast in our commitment to investing in programs that enhance our ability to favorably impact the health of society.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
Slideshow continues on the next slide
StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
10/14 SLIDES © Impact Investment Exchange; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Durreen Shahnaz, Founder and CEO, Impact Investment Exchange and Impact Investment Exchange Foundation

In December, 2021, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), priced a $30 million Women’s Livelihood Bond for Climate, the fourth bond in a series, which is now listed in Singapore. The offering supports women-focused enterprises, enabling the creation of sustainable livelihoods and an ecosystem of climate-friendly small- to medium-size companies, predominantly in South and Southeast Asia.

Durreen Shahnaz, a former investment banker, academic, and media executive, is the founder of IIX and IIX Foundation, which is also the home of the world’s first social stock exchange and one of the world’s largest crowdfunding platforms for impact investing.

I do think that it’s wonderful to see that the world is waking up, but also it’s our responsibility to make sure that as all these conversations are happening, we really don’t forget what this is all about.

Shahnaz is originally from Bangladesh, where she witnessed the frustration of investment and development without community engagement. “I saw the power of who has money, and how they can actually dictate how others can behave. That really shaped me.” she said.

After a stint at Morgan Stanley, she returned to Bangladesh and began working with Grameen Bank, which was giving microloans to women to help them start small businesses. “Seeing the power of finance literally from Wall Street to the “last mile” at Grameen, she recognized the scale of the opportunity, she said.

Shahnaz is focused on ensuring the changes brought to communities around the world are relevant to the populations that need them. “I do think that it’s wonderful to see that the world is waking up, but also it’s our responsibility to make sure that as all these conversations are happening, we really don’t forget what this is all about.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
11/14 SLIDES © Carlyle; Edited by Kazi Awal/Insider

Megan Starr, Global Head of Impact, Carlyle

One of the biggest obstacles to ESG is a lack of consistent standards for measuring and reporting progress toward goals.

Megan Starr was a leader in the development of the ESG Data Convergence Project, a partnership announced in September 2021 with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and other private-equity partners. The goal is to create standards around collecting and reporting ESG data that will allow portfolio companies and general partnerships to benchmark sustainable outcomes.

If you want to attract and retain the best people, you need to demonstrate to them that the company they work for is aligned with their personal values.

Starr, who is global head of impact at Carlyle, designs and executes the firm’s cohesive, long-term impact strategy. She also oversees the dedicated ESG team, which leads the firm’s investment diligence and portfolio engagement work on material issues.

While environmental investments are prevalent, Starr says she thinks the social portion of ESG is the next frontier, not least because it’s a differentiator for hiring and retaining the best people. “I think it is the least well-understood and often the least visible for value creation,” she said, especially in a world where hiring and retaining people is so challenging.

One of Carlyle’s portfolio companies, a digital agency called Dept, did a huge amount of work to become certified as a B Corp. “When I asked Dimi Albers, Dept’s CEO, about why they undertook such a significant body of ESG work, the answer was talent, talent, talent,” Starr said. “If you want to attract and retain the best people, you need to demonstrate to them that the company they work for is aligned with their personal values.”

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation
12/14 SLIDES © Deloitte; Edited by Kazi Awal/In

Jennifer Steinmann, Global Sustainability and Climate Practice Leader, Deloitte

C-level leaders are concerned about climate change, and under pressure to act. Deloitte’s 2022 CxO Sustainability Report revealed that some 79% of executives “see the world at a climate change tipping point” — a significant increase from 59% in 2021.

Survey respondents acknowledge barriers to progress as well. One of the top 5 barriers to climate action according to the survey, is that it’s “too costly”.

We need to turn the conversation on its head and demonstrate the direct connection between taking immediate and aggressive action on climate change and the potential for future economic prosperity and growth.

“We need to challenge the preconceived notion that the “do nothing” approach comes without cost,” Jennifer Steinmann, Deloitte’s global sustainability and climate practice leader, said.

“In fact, we need to turn the conversation on its head,” she added, “and demonstrate the direct connection between taking immediate and aggressive action on climate change and the potential for future economic prosperity and growth.”

She said the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero represents a move from abstract to legitimate progress. “For example, banking institutions are developing real financial instruments that promote environmental initiatives,” she said. “There’s less experimentation and more actualizations now.”

Steinmann also sees the insurance industry undergoing a sustainability shift, for example in helping companies assess risk in relation to weather trends. The common denominator across all these sectors is the need for data management and modeling. “Data is going to become a big question for all of the innovation accessing it, and then really being able to understand it and tease out the important findings,” she said. “That’s the next wave of innovation that we’re likely to see.”

  • The co-founder of StockX said the key to driving innovation starts with adaptable leadership and integrity. 
  • Greg Schwartz said the company has spent a lot of time trying to inspire and incentivize team members.
  • As a first step, managers must realize they don’t always have the answers, Schwartz said.
  • This article is part of a series called “Culture of Innovation” exploring how companies are setting the stage for innovation, transformation, and growth.

Whether it’s by rethinking their approach to professional development or soliciting feedback from team members, StockX co-founder and COO Greg Schwartz told Insider it’s important for all companies, but particularly startups, to have a strong culture rooted in integrity and innovation — and to know that managers don’t have all the answers.

“For me, there’s this lesson of making sure that you know what you don’t know,” the $3.8 million Detroit-based tech apparel startup executive told Insider.

Schwartz said fostering a culture of innovation at StockX starts with adaptable leadership. Team leads at weekly meetings encourage employees to present ideas and raise questions about areas they can be better in.

“You’re simply trying to put the best players on the field, create the best team, [and] constantly be learning — and that transitions from thinking it’s not all about me, [to] realizing it’s all about what’s best for the company,” Schwartz told Insider.

Team-building is crucial in a hybrid and remote work environment

At the quarterly all-hands meetings for the company — the first marketplace for consumer goods modeled after the stock market — all 1,500 employees gather virtually. Company values are read aloud, and employees receive a custom pair of sneakers if they have embodied those values in their work.

“I think the important part is not just the sneakers, of course; it’s the importance of making sure that we’re recognizing and amplifying work that’s being done to live those values,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said StockX also recognizes employees who are taking risks by bringing insightful, innovative ideas on a weekly basis during the company’s leadership meetings.

“We’ve always encouraged our team to bring new ideas to the table and to not be afraid to fail,” Schwartz said.

When it comes to burnout, PTO is not enough

As burnout continues to drive employees, particularly younger employees, into leaving their jobs in what’s become known as the Great Resignation, Schwartz said StockX continues to stay in conversation with its workers about their mental and physical well-being. And while StockX has always had unlimited PTO for all its employees, he doesn’t believe that it’s enough.

The company has “No Meetings Day” every other Wednesday, and in one-on-one meetings, Schwartz encourages team leaders to ask their employees how they and their families are doing — to find out how people are doing as human beings first and then get to work second. If it’s been a few months since an employee took PTO, managers are instructed to tell employees to take a few days off.

Overall, Schwartz believes this way of connecting ultimately leads to team members being mentally engaged — which fuels new ideas and innovation, he said.

“That makes all the difference in the world,” Schwartz said.

Innovation isn’t possible without inclusion

According to Schwartz, StockX understands that inclusion, not just diversity, is integral to company culture and cited by experts as a key to retaining talent rather than just another box to check. The company hired a chief impact officer (CIO), who reports to the company’s CEO and whose job is to come up with ways StockX can weave diversity into every aspect of the company.

One of the things Schwartz said he’s most proud of in this area is the company’s Candid Conversations initiative, where the entire company is invited to participate in a talk about a timely cultural topic; their latest conversations were about Juneteenth and Pride month. Leadership will often invite guests — such as Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor-in-chief of, and Jane Elliott, an internationally known teacher and diversity lecturer — to come in and speak to employees.

Schwartz said StockX is constantly tweaking its practices by working through a feedback loop that includes both company surveys and quantitative data like team member engagement.

“We combine the traditional metrics with the importance of us as a leadership team and our peers, making sure that we’re constantly talking, listening, and taking the feedback from our team members — because it’s their feedback,” Schwartz told Insider. “It’s gonna help this company continue to grow.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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