Inside Diversity and Inclusion in the Creative Industry

People-based marketing is important but what about enriching diversity within the workforce? A recent article by AdNews got us thinking: Why is diversity and inclusion (D&I) the creative industry’s new 100-year-old baby?

Easy: It’s not just the right thing to do, a corporate D&I plan is now essential to the future success of any business (and client happiness), especially in the marketing and advertising realm. As we look internally here at Proper Trends to solidify our commitment to D&I, we also work together with our clients to develop authentic and meaningful campaigns.

This industry is uniquely positioned to shape how people think and should use that position to create positive change.

Diversity has many different facets: gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status or physical abilities, religious beliefs – the list goes on. But collectively, we still have a long way to go in the creative industry.

The number of women in creative leadership positions globally, for instance, is now up nearly 50%, which is an encouraging sign in a discipline that’s been notoriously slow to change – ironically. In strategic planning, the number of women in leadership positions has risen only 10%, with a 13% increase at the executive level – but creative and digital are still struggling.

Many firms make an effort (especially in the tech industry) by changing policies, creating working groups, joining third party organizations for help, as well as hiring diversity-focused creatives that can spearhead and lead change. Focusing on this issue is only going to benefit an organizations’ people, partners and communities. “When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become a wiser, more inclusive, and better organization,” said Pat Wadors, Head of HR at LinkedIn. Not only will employees have a sense of inclusion, their standards as decision-makers and will evolve to produce diverse creative strategies.

According to Deloitte’s most recent Human Capital Trends report, companies with inclusive talent practices can generate up to 30% higher revenue per employee and greater profitability than their competitors.

One-size-fits-all rarely works in any scenario, so why would it work in marketing?

So we’re a lot more powerful and impactful if we move as an industry, rather than at the individual level. One-size-fits-all rarely works in any scenario, so why would it work in marketing? This industry is uniquely positioned to shape how people think and should use that position to create positive change. Remember: t’s not about making sure ad campaigns feature different races, genders and ages; it’s about making sure that different kinds of people are portrayed in a fair, accurate and realistic way – instead of relying on age-old stereotypes that reinforce society’s preexisting conditions.

Companies that increase and improve upon diversity will outperform in their marketing strategies. Further, a team that reflects the vast diversity in the marketplace is much more likely to develop messaging and advertising that resonates with their audience. To change how people behave, we need to change how they think. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what marketing is all about?

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