Mission statements—those few little choice words in a dark corner of a company’s website—aren’t simply aspirational. They can actually have a real impact on company performance and not always for the better.
In a study for research journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, professors Dana Kanze, Mark Conley, and E. Tory Higgins found that companies that use language with an “act first, ask questions later” mentality in their mission statements wind up with more Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints against them. On the other hand, companies that embrace thoughtfulness over quick action see fewer complaints. Imagine that.
So basically, you should think carefully about the language you use in your mission statement—you always want your external-facing message to reflect the core values of your company and show your audience what kind of brand you strive to be. And if you’re a job seeker, you can use mission statements to clue you in to company culture.
Here are eight impactful company mission statements that set good examples, from companies with top scores on InHerSight:
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Patagonia’s mission is to save the planet through smart business. The brand is all about minimizing their environmental footprint, all while creating the highest quality sports equipment and tools for nature enthusiasts. Plus, they donate at least 1 percent of their sales to help hundreds of climate crisis grassroots organizations all over the world. Patagonia ranks high on InHerSight for maternity and adoptive leave, paid time off, and family growth support.
“We work hard every day to make American Express the world's most respected service brand.”
American Express believes strong communities help people and businesses to thrive. Because of this belief, it’s their mission as a company to use their service ethic to help others accomplish their own goals. On our site, American Express is rated most highly for maternity and adoptive leave, paid time off, and equal opportunities for women and men. It also regularly crops up on our dynamic list of the top 50 best places to work, according to women users on InHerSight.
3. Warby Parker
“To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.”
Glasses can be super expensive. So, Warby Parker set out on a mission—create quality eyewear at a fraction of the price while being socially conscious. Around one billion people around the world don’t have access to eyewear, so to help fix this staggering statistic, Warby Parker partners with nonprofits like VisionSpring, a company that gives a pair of glasses to someone in need every time they sell a pair of glasses. On our site, Warby Parker ranks high for management opportunities, maternity and adoptive leave, and female representation in leadership.
“Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.”
IKEA aims to offer a wide variety of home furnishings that balance great design and function with reasonable prices so that people from a variety of backgrounds can afford them. They recognize that high-quality furniture is often only available to the wealthy, so they’ve vowed to accommodate people with all kinds of different needs and wallet sizes. They rank high for maternity and adoptive leave and paid time off.
“To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
As one of the largest online social networks in the world, Facebook’s mission is to empower people, foster community-building, and connect the world. This mission is focused on the user itself, which speaks to their commitment to helping friends and families build connected communities online. On our site, Facebook ranks high for family growth support and wellness initiatives and often appears on our list of best companies to work for, according to women.
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Since its conception, Google has been a leader in organizing online information and making it more accessible all over the world. The company is constantly innovating and improving—they continually develop proprietary algorithms to better the user experience and ensure people’s access to the information they need. That’s real dedication. Google ranks highest on wellness initiatives and maternity and adoptive leave.
“To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity.”
L’Oreal emphasizes beauty for all—they’re already in 130 countries around the globe. Since their mission is driven by diversity, they’ve set up research platforms in regions all over the world to observe cultural beauty trends and design innovative products. They’re also dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint and between 2005 and 2018, they reduced their distribution centers’ CO2 emissions by 77 percent. L’Oreal ranks highest on management opportunities, maternity and adoptive leave, and equal opportunities for women and men.
“Squarespace empowers people with creative ideas to succeed."
Squarespace believes design shouldn’t be a luxury. They’re empowering millions of people, from amateurs to experts, to run with their wildest ideas with a promise of success. And they truly believe in the quality of their developing resources themselves—Squarespace was built using, gasp, Squarespace. On our site, they rank high on social activities and environment, paid time off, and the people you work with.