Communications functions can play a major role in celebrating and promoting Diversity & Inclusion. But they don’t have to stop there!
They are in a unique position to influence the practices of their own organisations. Being authentic with communications and linking diversity and inclusion (D&I) to its potentially huge impact on business performance can have a powerful effect.
Getting it right can be hard.
We invited senior communicators from a range of industries to a discussion on the barriers and opportunities for good communication and engagement in this space.
They told us there were 3 major barriers to communicating their D&I agenda.
- Misunderstanding what D&I is
How diversity relates to inclusion is often misunderstood. An organisation’s diversity is reflected in the profile of its employees but without a culture of inclusion, which accommodates the different needs and preferences of those employees, diversity is difficult to sustain. It’s important to have a common understanding of both and to continually reconcile the two.
- Individual discomfort
Many people aren’t clear about what to say or do in the D&I space and can often be fearful of saying the wrong thing unintentionally. Outlooks range from: ‘this is political correctness gone mad’ to ‘being all for positive change but not clear about what to do’.
- Organisational misconceptions and lack of coordination
Organisations are complex and diversity and inclusion is not often owned by one particular function and can tend to be siloed off as an adjunct. The knock-on effects of this include small budgets, rushed decisions, inappropriate targets and lack of senior support. There is a need for a dedicated effort to affect long-term structural change. If there is a D&I function, their role is to facilitate everyone’s ownership of the issue, driving it from the top down and connecting it with grassroots interest from the bottom up.
Many organisations are at different stages of D&I. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, so it’s helpful to look around and learn from how others are tackling this topic.
We selected a range of creative D&I communications, some aimed at employees, some external-facing. We looked at national and international companies based in the UK, and the US. We covered finance, software, communications, consulting, retail and consumables. We looked at websites, reports, ads, videos, internal campaigns and paid particular attention to the words and images that were used.
We found that doing creative justice to D&I communications happens when it is authentic, ownable and actionable to you.
We created a unique diagnostic tool for assessing authentic, ownable and actionable D&I communications and built a report on our findings.
Contact us to find out:
- The top 5 visual clichés used in D&I communication that you should avoid
- Which two major telecoms companies we caught using the same stock footage
- What true transparency looks like in financial services
- How good D&I reporting can make a multinational more personally endearing
In a world where organisations are all reaching for the same clichés and tokens, and their people are stumbling over the right things to say and do we’ll help you define an approach to diversity that is right for you. As well as helping you communicate this in an inclusive way that adds real value to who you are and the impact you have.
To register your interest and talk to us about the issues you're facing email Chris, here.