TLM’s VP of Partnerships and Innovation, Genevieve Martin, Explains Fair Chance Employment for Second Chance Month

As we celebrate Second Chance Month, we reflect on the transformative power of hiring the best person for the job regardless of background. Today, we are honored to share the inspiring journey of Genevieve Martin, affectionately known as “G,” and the pivotal role she has and continues to play in championing fair chance employment initiatives.

The Genesis of Fair Chance Employment
Genevieve Martin’s journey into the world of fair chance employment was shaped by her early experiences as a child navigating the family courts system and her desire to amplify the voices of those impacted by the legal system. After pursuing a career in hospitality and management, she found herself at Dave’s Killer Bread, where she witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of hiring justice-impacted talent. This experience ignited her passion for social impact and set her on a path to advocate for and equip employers on how to implement fair chance employment.

In 2014, Genevieve embarked on a journey to establish a social mission for Dave’s Killer Bread. Recognizing the company’s unique culture of employing  individuals with criminal backgrounds, she proposed the idea of promoting “second chance employment.” Despite initial skepticism, Genevieve’s vision gained traction, leading to the creation of the Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation and the formalization of their commitment to fair chance employment.

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Navigating Challenges and Seizing Opportunities
Over the years, Genevieve faced numerous challenges in promoting fair chance employment, from overcoming stigma and misconceptions to navigating the complexities of corporate philanthropy. However, she remained steadfast in her belief that everyone deserves a fair chance and tirelessly worked to equip employers with the knowledge and resources needed to embrace inclusive hiring practices.Genevieve’s efforts extended beyond the walls of Dave’s Killer Bread, as she spearheaded initiatives such as the Second Chance Business Coalition, bringing together employers committed to advancing fair chance employment. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, she helped cultivate a national movement focused on expanding opportunities for talent with records.

Equipping Employers: Five Takeaways for Fair Chance Employment
As advocates for fair chance employment, we recognize the importance of equipping employers with the tools and knowledge to create inclusive workplaces. Here are five key takeaways for employers looking to become better fair chance employers:

  • Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about the benefits of fair chance employment and the legal considerations involved. Seek out resources and training programs to deepen your understanding of inclusive hiring practices.
  • Challenge Assumptions: Challenge preconceived notions and biases about justice-impacted talent. Recognize that past mistakes do not define a person’s potential or character. Embrace a mindset of empathy and open-mindedness.
  • Implement Human Centered Practices: Develop clear and transparent hiring policies that provide guidance on how to assess candidates with criminal backgrounds. Consider factors such as the nature of the offense, its relevance to the job, and evidence of rehabilitation. Develop internal policies for employee training to shift the culture and foster an inclusive environment for justice-impacted people.
  • Provide Support and Resources: Offer support services and resources to assist employees with criminal records in their transition to the workplace. This could include mentorship programs, access to job training, and connections to community organizations.
  • Lead by Example: Lead by example and demonstrate your commitment to fair chance employment within your organization. Encourage equity, and inclusion at all levels and celebrate the contributions of employees with diverse backgrounds.

Join Us in Creating a Fairer Future
At The Last Mile, we are dedicated to promoting fair chance employment as a pathway to economic opportunity. By equipping employers and fostering inclusive workplaces, we can all benefit from  the full potential of justice-impacted talent  and build a more equitable society for all.

Together, let’s work towards a brighter future for everyone. Join us in our mission to create a fairer, more inclusive world.