The Pet Sustainability Coalition, a nonprofit organization that accelerates sustainability in the pet industry, announced that it has partnered with the innovative technology platform WeSpire to create a 30-day Challenge to drive a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) pet industry. The Challenge, which will run during the month of September, will inspire 1,000 small actions that lay the groundwork for long-term improvement.

In preparation for the Challenge, Caitlyn Dudas, Executive Director of the Pet Sustainability Coalition said, “Big changes start with small actions, and we believe that the 30-Day Challenge will be a great platform for our industry to identify tangible ways to make a difference. As an organization whose vision is for a vibrant and collaborative pet industry that has a positive impact on the community and environments where we do business, achieving diversity, equity and inclusion are foundational to reaching our vision. “

Businesses in the pet industry who participate in the Challenge will join the WeSpire platform as an individual and then join their company team. Each participant will then choose small, brief actions to foster awareness and action around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ways to take action include topics like allyship, diversity, anti-racism, and inclusivity. When the Challenge expires in October, The Pet Sustainability Coalition will report on the industry’s improvement and continue to serve as a resource for the industry by offering access to vetted DEI specialists, tools, project support, and education throughout the year.

Industry transformation starts with each of us doing our part.

The Why

Today more than ever, consumers and communities are demanding that businesses become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We know that we can do better, and the moral imperative calls us to action. Join PSC, our members, and hundreds of other pet businesses for the month of September to collectively take 1,000 mini-actions that ignite transformation for ourselves, our companies, and our industry.

Pet ownership among people of color continues to grow. In 2017 69% of Hispanic families and 44% of African American families owned pets. Despite this growth, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the animal food manufacturing sector does not come close to mirroring the demographics of pet ownership. Animal food manufacturing is 84.5% white (while the US as a whole is 60% white) and only 30% female. Our industry is also not immune to wage disparities between women and men. In the US, women earn 80 cents on the dollar compared to men. This pay gap gets larger for women of color: African American women earn 62.5 cents on the dollar compared to white men.

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