In Good Company: HigherRing

In Good Company: HigherRing

March is Women’s History Month and B Corp Month – so we’ll be featuring women business leaders and B Corps in every issue this month.

As entrepreneurs and companies adapt to new ways of working more flexibly and managing overhead to account for fluid market conditions, they often turn to outsourcing. That’s a word – outsourcing – that has elicited a “YUCH” from many of us, as historically it has leveraged an arbitrage that favors employers while paying workers unfairly and without benefits.

Well, what if there was an opportunity to outsource “ethically”? 

Meet HigherRing, a certified B Corporation that provides ethical outsourcing services for socially responsible companies and nonprofits, including customer support, executive assistance, financial operations, marketing ops and sales support, and supply chain support. 

(Full disclosure: I’m a dual citizen of sorts, providing brand strategy to HigherRing for its recent rebrand and receiving bookkeeping help as a customer as well – shoutout to Barbara Turner for her assistance and patience!)

It helps to understand the lay of the land when assessing “ethical” in the outsourcing industry. Many outsourcing companies trumpet their impact as bringing employment opportunities to those in nontraditional work situations. Which is good, but just table stakes in my mind.

HigherRing takes this basic fare and elevates it by prioritizing an employee-centric culture that provides livable wages, benefits, training development, and employee stock options. Beyond the traditional benefits, HigherRing provides financial coaching and 0% loans, mental health assistance, paid time-off for volunteering, and last year began offering medical travel benefits as part of its advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality.

That’s what allows HigherRing to attract and retain its team of service superstars, which translates to higher-quality assistance and consistency for clients.

Michelle Hirons

Co-founders Michelle Hirons and Susan Hopkinson started HigherRing in 2017 as a public benefit corporation with this ethical ethos baked in from the beginning. They’ve upped the ante ever since, becoming a certified B Corp, joining 1% for the Planet, certifying as a women-owned business, and achieving climate neutral last year with the Climate Change Project.

Here’s a cool little backstory that frames the inspiration for starting and operating HigherRing as a higher-purpose company.

“I was raised in a family business with employees who worked their whole lives for us but lived very different lives than we did.  My family actively fought against and won the one labor action that would have unionized the workers,” says Michelle. “When I first heard about B Corps and their holistic and careful treatment of workers and the environment, it galvanized me to leave my job and start HigherRing and then make sure every employee is an owner and can take part in our long-term success.”

Be still, my beating heart – this is a company that truly walks the walk, not only helping customers succeed but demonstrating that business truly can do better for the world.

So, yes, the times, as Bob Dylan sang, they are a changin’, and high-wire act of adroitly balancing fixed and variable expenses demands that we in business change with these financial realities. If you, like many, are employing outsourcing, or are contemplating it, please check out HigherRing. You’ll get a true outsourcing partner you can really feel good about.

Godspeed, friends.


P.S. Shout-out to Polina Pinchevsky of Roundpeg for the fab visual identity she crafted as part of the HigherRing rebrand.

💬 Quote of the Week

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." Desmond Tutu.

💥 Quick Hits

Holding Fashion Accountable Remake released its Fashion Accountability Report 2024, which assesses traceability, wages and well being, commercial practices, raw materials, environmental justice, and governance for leading fashion brands.

🤔 Trivia Time

Attention car drivers! How much time will your car spend parked during its lifetime?

• 45%

• 66%

• 80%

• 95%

Today's trivia answer can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.‌‌‌‌‌

Find the Most Meaningful Work of Your Career

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Trivia Answer

Ding, ding, ding - if you guessed 95%, we have a winner! Source: Donald Shoup, The High Cost of Free Parking.

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