When Meow Wolf started 13 years ago as an art collective, our hope was to simply build a community that made art and music together. We never could have imagined what it would turn into. Today we are New Mexico’s fastest-growing company, and with that success has come an elevated responsibility to be a leader in corporate responsibility, employee relations and community impact.
A lawsuit filed recently against Meow Wolf by two former employees challenges our ethos as a business and reminds us that the journey to being a better company is a never-ending one.
While we unequivocally deny the allegations against us and will be defending against them through the proper legal process, we don’t want to ignore the opportunity this provides for additional conversation and further growth.
We are very aware that gender bias plagues our society and permeates through corporate cultures in America. We have taken steps toward ensuring that this systemic bias does not have a place within our own walls. Over the course of the last year, we have proactively worked to educate our team on the signs and impacts of gender and cultural bias. We are proud to be a company that is not only talking openly about these issues, but taking actionable steps toward preventing them. This work has come from the courage and tenacity of our own employees, who are actively engaged in these discussions, along with our leadership, and have created a company culture where there is always a focus on being better. And yes, there is absolutely room for us to be better.
Meow Wolf has been a company for only four years, having grown to nearly 500 employees in that time. When we chose to become a business, we also chose to become a Benefit Corporation, which carries a much higher standard for corporate responsibility. We are proud to have been certified as a B Corp on our first attempt. During this process, our employment practices were evaluated by an independent third party assessor, and we scored well-above the national average (https://bcorporation.net/directory/meow-wolf). That score is now a barometer that can be used to track our progress in the many years to come. It holds our feet to the fire and provides a solid point of publicly accessible data that we can reflect against and can transparently share with the world.
We score the highest in the ‘Worker’ category, which evaluates employment practices. We pride ourselves on being one of the highest-paying employers in New Mexico, having recently increased our minimum wage from $15/hr to $17/hr. We’ve continued to expand our employee benefits, providing free college classes to all employees, free gym and spa memberships, paid-time off, bonus plans, flexible schedules, biannual performance reviews and full health-care coverage. In 2019, we are proud to begin offering our employees a comprehensive 401k plan.
Our employment statistics reflect progress as well. Company-wide, Meow Wolf is currently staffed by 50% women, with 19 of our company’s 35 leadership positions – director, vice president, executive – held by women. Even though we’ve made incredible strides as a company, we still view this as a constant work in progress. Being a better company is a lifelong pursuit.
Bottom line: We are fully committed to fair employment practices, equitable pay and supportive treatment of all employees no matter gender, race, sexuality or beliefs. This is our commitment, and we understand this will take ongoing work to uphold this commitment.
As Meow Wolf grows, we will carry greater responsibility, and we will face greater scrutiny. We accept that this is part of becoming a successful business. But we are not satisfied with merely financial success. We are dedicated to becoming something that New Mexico can be proud of for years to come, a company that is a leader in the corporate responsibility movement.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the 500 employees of Meow Wolf and thank them for all of the incredible work they put into this company. I also acknowledge the tight-knit community of Santa Fe and how amazing we have been to each other even in our differences. This may be a difficult moment for our company and our local community as we navigate these legal claims, but I am confident we will come out the other side of this even stronger.