By Betty Martinez Franco, Account Executive, FSB Public Affairs
We heard about how companies such as Ford Motor Company or PepsiCo have successfully invested in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives into their companies, but do you know what these terms mean? Let’s take a look:
- Diversity is the makeup of a group of individuals with different opinions, genders, ethnicities, way of life, economic backgrounds, and all the differences that make a person unique.
- Equity is the ability of those individuals to have the same access to equal opportunities, like access to a job or a promotion.
- Inclusion is the company’s ability to encourage and empower diverse employees to have a seat at the table.
Unfortunately, DEI initiatives have turned into a trend for some companies that tend to do the minimum just to comply with the norms society imposes:
- Hiring more individuals from minority groups
- Showing more diverse people in ads
- Jumping on the train of trendy social media activism campaigns
The reality is if these tactics are not genuine, in the long run, they will neither benefit a company or its reputation. For example, Starbucks faced a backlash from its customers when it denied its employees to right to wear “Black Lives Matter” shirts after posting their support for the movement on their company’s social media.
The first step to make a change is to make executives and managers aware of the many benefits of integrating more diverse programs into the company. These benefits include, but are not limited to, creating a more productive workplace, getting financial gains, and by establishing a culture of valuing different ideas, the company can provide better solutions for its clients.
On the other hand, if managers fail to recognize the value of diverse programs, companies could lose their reputation, face legal suits and have employee absenteeism. Moreover, organizations risk significant financial loss, as clients or big donors may decide to stay away from companies that are not walking the walk when it comes to diversity.
The solution might sound simple, but it will require every employee’s cooperation, from top to bottom. Companies need to create change and introduce policies that include minorities from different groups and invest in diversity training for all employees. During client service, managers need to leave their judgment and bias behind and consider the client’s history and background to establish a genuine connection.
Next time you are looking to hire a company that aligns with your values, check their social media channels and see for yourself if the company celebrates diversity in its posts. Talk to its CEO to find out if they take pride in providing equal opportunities for their employees and ask questions that can tell you if the organization includes every member in important decisions.
Our mission at FSBPA is to tell our clients stories, provide thoughtful and innovative strategies to win their toughest public affair challenges. Client partner with us because we amplify their voice, protect their brand, and make a positive difference in people’s lives and the communities we serve. The only way we could do this is by supporting and valuing each of the unique ideas that our team members contribute to the firm and listening to our clients’ needs.