Why Mightybytes is an LGBT Certified Business Enterprise

Posted by in B Corporation, Business Strategy

The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has recognized Mightybytes as an LGBT-Certified Business Enterprise since 2019. In 2022, we re-certified. Here’s what this means for the company and its stakeholders.

Why We Became an LGBT Certified Business

Organizations undergo this or similar certifications for many reasons. They may want to win more business. They might want to build community with like-minded partners. Or perhaps they want to create a safe space where employees, customers, or other stakeholders can be their true selves.

For us, it’s about all these things. However, it’s also about fighting oppression:

  • In the U.S., LGBTQ+ people still don’t have universal protection from discrimination on the basis of employment, housing, or public accommodations.
  • Anti-transgender, “religious freedom”, and other discriminatory legislation is on the rise in many U.S. states and around the globe.
  • From mass shootings to individual hate crimes, this climate fuels bigotry and oppression.

Our commitment extends beyond the LGBTQ+ community to fighting oppression in any form: racism, ableism, misogyny, ageism, classism, and so on. Here’s how.

What Being an LGBT-Certified Business Means

At Mightybytes, we want our clients, our community, our team, and all company stakeholders to know that there is no place for any form of discrimination, exploitation, or oppression in how or with whom we conduct business.

Day to day, this certification doesn’t change much about how we operate. From an organizational governance perspective, we already have many inclusive practices in place:

  • We have been a Certified B Corp since 2011, earning Best for the World recognition for the past six years.
  • We established a clear Code of Ethics that centers digital responsibility and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) principles in our work.
  • Our impact business models for education, accessibility, and sustainability enable us to incorporate JEDI principles into the company’s DNA.
  • Finally, we engage in political advocacy for progressive causes that align with our values. We do this by signing petitions, making donations, and meeting with politicians to educate them on important issues.

You can read more about how we incorporate these principles into our business model in the company’s annual benefit report. However, there is always room to improve. Continuous learning is key to the process.

National LGBT Chamber of Commerce LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) certification for Mightybytes.
#ID: The company’s LGBTBE certificate from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Embracing Our Identity

Also, by putting our certification front-and-center in company communications (and the footer of our website):

  • Mightybytes can be a role model for people who want to work for, buy from, partner with, or invest in LGBTQ+-friendly organizations.
  • We can serve as a resource for organizations that want to partner with LGBTQ+-owned businesses on social impact projects. Owning our identity helps us align with other people and organizations that have a shared commitment to end oppression in its many forms.
  • And yes, sometimes the certification does help us win new business.

Understanding Intersectionality

The earth shouldn’t be taken for granted, nor should its people, and the drivers of this exploitation—greed, racism, capitalism, and other systems of oppression—should be rejected and dismantled. If we combine social justice efforts with environmental awareness efforts, we will harness enough power, representation, and momentum to have a shot at protecting our planet and creating equity at the same time.

— Leah Thomas, The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet

As a company with a deep commitment to protecting the environment, this certification also lives at the intersection of social and environmental justice. Representation of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian, low-income, LGBTQ+, disabled, women, and other marginalized voices is currently lacking in the mainstream global environmental community. We add our voices in order to stand for the liberation of all people and our shared planet.

Living Our Values

Running a business by JEDI principles requires us to foster deep respect for people with different diverse perspectives of all kinds. This translates to our day-to-day operations as well as the work we do.

Ultimately, incorporating these principles into our company’s DNA helps us design better solutions and create more successful and inclusive products, services, and programs for our clients. 

Designing an Inclusive Supply Chain

Finally, we work hard to fill our supply chain with stakeholders who share our values. We vet clients, team members, vendors, freelancers, and other suppliers based on their ability to help us meet key impact goals.

For example, 90+% of the work we do for clients comes from other purpose-driven organizations working on issues related to equality, the environment, accessibility, and so on.

Creating Collective Impact

The efforts above are a start. However, they won’t be enough to affect real, large-scale change. To do this, we need organizations from all sectors committing to shared prosperity for all. 

This requires that organizations move beyond Pride specials, rainbow-themed products, and flags hanging from office windows during the month of June. Instead, they must work together in solidarity to advocate for policy and systems change. When organizations band together with like-minded and values-aligned people across sectors, change will happen on a larger scale.

That is why our certifications are important. They’re a step in the right direction toward larger change.

Tim Frick founded Mightybytes in 1998 to help mission-driven organizations solve problems, amplify their impact, and meet business and marketing goals. He is the author of four books, including Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services from O'Reilly Media. Follow Tim on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.