B Inspired in Philadelphia

Last week I had the privilege of attending the B Inspired event in Philadelphia – tag-lined, “A celebration for People Using Business as a Force for Good.”

As the co-owner of a Philadelphia web dev/design agency, I almost decided to work instead and am so grateful that I took the time to pull myself out of my own business for a few hours. On Friday morning when, despite the massive DDoS Attack on the US East Coast, I came across two news stories that further solidified our 20-year mission as a triple bottom line company.

The first from a CareerBuilder survey found that 35% of people polled “called in sick when they felt just fine.” Down 3% from last year, I suppose that’s the good news.

What struck me as co-owner of a B Corporation is that no one here has to make up excuses to miss work. Our sick policy is simple – if you are sick stay home. If you need to take care of someone who is sick, stay home, including your sick iguana. The requirement: Slack, text, email so that we know you will be out. We believe in transparency and honesty.

The second article study

The inclusive speakers all shared their experiences and provided thought-provoking insights. I feel inspired to mention brief takeaways.

Juan Pablo Larenas provided energetic hosting for the afternoon of talks. @JPLarenas

“No emails on the weekend policy.” @EILEENFISHERNY
Eileen Fisher described a realization.

“Young people create your own ripple.” #BInspiredPHL @LaureateIntlU
Lebo Sekhotla

“In 2015, Laureate Education became a benefit corporation.”
Esther Benjamin

“A sustainable economy needs to be an inclusive economy.” @gerryval
Gerry Valentine

“It’s okay to leave and go for a bike ride on a beautiful day.” @MaryGPowell
Mary Powell

“Profits with a social benefit are better.” @kevintrapani
Kevin Trapani

“When we invest in women, they in turn invest in the community.”
Juliana Pasqualini

“We believe that the people you spend your time with are the people you become like.”
Lorna Davis

“Not selling out but selling up.”
Shazi Visram

“Talent is everywhere.” @KarimAbouelnaga
Karim Abouelnaga

“I am me all the time.”
Kenyatta Brame

In 1996 I was one of three women who decided to start YIKES. Our goal was to create a company where we wanted to work while sharing incredible emerging technology – the Internet and the World Wide Web. YIKES was founded as and continues to be, a socially responsible business. In the early days, we tried to network with different organizations and chambers. People thought we were crazy. Four weeks vacation, holidays, birthday and Halloween off? We had no idea that other businesses like our existed until we happily stumbled upon the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia in 2005 and became a B Corporation in 2010.

On January 22, 2013, YIKES, Inc. was among the first companies in Pennsylvania to become a Benefit Corporation, filing its amended articles of incorporation at a ceremony. By law, Pennsylvania Benefit Corporations must produce a “material positive impact on society and the environment.”

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