The topic of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D,E&I) has grown in popularity with many organisations recognising the need for diverse talent within their workforce. There have been studies, articles and even TikToks on the positive impact of implementing D,E&I initiatives in a business.
Read on for 3 ways to promote D,E&I in your workplace:
1. Collaboration is Key
In the world of marketing, collaboration is key. Bringing together different perspectives works even better when the perspectives are from people who think in a unique way. Neurodiversity in a team is said to boost creativity, innovation and lateral thinking.
The default method of putting ideas together is often brainstorming. However, there tends to be a split between dominant speakers and people who may have lots to say but are too anxious to share their thoughts. Alternative methods could be to ask for further ideas over email or even a suggestion box in the office.
At Walk-In Media, we have things in place that encourage different ways of working. Trained members of our team run workshops with creative exercises which help to get the best out of everyone’s skills, as well as drop-in sessions for anyone with questions or concerns.
2. Step Outside the ‘Office Culture’ Box
Bringing your true, authentic self to work can be a pretty much impossible task when working around people that you can’t relate to. This goes beyond work and can be applied to the other aspects of office culture.
To combat this, you may want to think about your office environment – Is it accessible to all? Simple additions such as alcohol-free social events, flexible working hours for those with childcare needs or religious observations and quiet work areas can make a big difference.
As a member of MSQ’s DE&I council, I was part of a team who launched an initiative called Mosaic during Black History Month last year. Mosaic is a safe space for people of colour across MSQ agencies to network, collaborate and support each other professionally. This year, we plan to host a series of networking events catered towards people of colour, as well as keynote speaker events for all MSQ employees that cover topics relating to ethnic diversity.
3. Inclusivity in Decision Making
Cultural awareness is essential and helps to avoid marketing mishaps such as the below from Burger King. The fast-food chain faced backlash after its UK Twitter account posted a thread on International Women’s Day 2021.
The first tweet stated, “Women belong in the kitchen.” followed by an announcement that they were launching a new scholarship programme aiming to reduce the restaurant industry’s gender pay gap. The attempt at click-bait didn’t work in Burger King’s favour but instead, overshadowed a positive and progressive initiative because of a seemingly sexist tweet. The thread has since been deleted and an apology has been made.
So, how can we avoid this? Include minorities in the decision-making process and introduce regular cultural awareness training. Not only at junior or executive levels, but across the board. Studies show that improving the diversity of a team can even increase financial returns by 36%.
While it’s important to have a diverse pool of talent during the hiring process, creating an inclusive workforce does not end here. Executing diversity initiatives throughout the year, providing a welcoming environment for all and supporting marginalised groups with career progression are just some measures that can be taken to promote and retain diversity in the workplace.
1. Neurodiversity in the workplace: Understanding is key – Inclusive Employers
2. Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters - McKinsey & Company, 2020
3. Women Belong In The Kitchen’: Burger King’s International Women’s Day Tweet Goes Down In Flames - Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Forbes
Written by Mwika Bulaya, Senior SEO Executive at Walk-In Media