Clients, Prospects, and Ethics

Human Made is a broad and diverse company, with humans located all over the world. We get approached by many different types of organisations who want us to develop their CMS, build tools, or provide cloud hosting services to them. Everyone at Human Made should feel safe and supported to raise ethical concerns regarding potential incoming or current clients.

Ethical decisions can be a deeply personal consideration. These guidelines help us make decisions at the company level across a broad range of personal opinions and backgrounds, and come to the best decision for Human Made.

If you have an individual ethical issue with a client, prospect, vendor, or partner: Normally no one should be expected to work on a client that they have legitimate ethical concerns with. This should be agreed and discussed with your squad, taking into consideration the impact on others within the squad. If no one on the squad wants to work on a client then this should be escalated using the below process. 

If you have an ethical concern and you think that Human Made as a company should not work with a client, vendor or partner, you should answer the following questions, providing evidence, and open a Github ticket in the company repo with the title Ethics:[Client name]

  • Have any human rights issues been logged or reported on from a reputable source?
  • Are there any political positions or publicity that are strongly misaligned with Human Made’s values or that could bring HM into disrepute?
  • Does the organisation engage in discriminatory practices against minorities, for example based on gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation?
  • Are there any supply chain issues reported on, for example poor working conditions or modern slavery?
  • Are there any legal issues that have either been resolved or that are open that could bring Human Made into disrepute?
  • Are there any environmental issues that could bring Human Made into disrepute?
  • Are there any potential safety issues that could be caused by the project or client?

Answering yes to any of these will not immediately disqualify a company. The Executive Team will investigate further and make a decision, which we will share with everyone, including the reasons for that decision. 

Note that this should not block any exploratory work or introductory calls that happen as part of the sales process. Except in extreme circumstances where it is clear that we wouldn’t work with a client, we should be able to make an assessment while the initial sales work is going on.