By: Yadara Luckett
Workplace diversity is a hot topic now more than ever before in our society. Today, employers are making it a priority to diversify the pool from which they hire, create inclusion initiatives, and even provide resources for their teams’ success. By definition, diversity is a point of difference. The common misconception about diversity is that it is synonymous with race, but it is not. Gender and socioeconomic status are included in the discussion about diversity. The LGBTQ+ community is also included because it is a community of all races and genders. Diversity is understanding individual differences. Diversity in the workplace is all about being open minded about who you hire and why you hire them.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “by the year 2021, the majority of the children in the United States are projected to be a race other than non-Hispanic white” (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019). This means the United States will be even more multicultural than what it is currently. Public relations (PR) and advertising professionals need to understand this. These professionals need to know how to work with people from a variety of cultures. Appreciating and accepting who they are and not trying to change them is also key. When a business lacks diversity, those who are not represented are left unheard, and that can damage a brand or the image of a business. Uplifting those voices will only be of benefit to all involved.
The world is so diverse and is constantly evolving. This means there should be different types of people in leadership positions as well as other positions all along the totem pole. As we all know, diversity in the workplace is already a problem of its own, but diversity in leadership is an even bigger problem. Even in the advertising and PR space, there is work that needs to be done. In most cases, the role or position of leadership goes to a male, and in the majority of the cases, white males. According to USA Today, “about 85% of leadership positions are held by white males” (AP, 2018). This needs to change. It has been proven that diversity in leadership can lead to financial gain. A study performed by the Boston Consulting Group found that increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to improved financial performance (Abouzahr, n.d), therefore diversity indeed leads to success.
Hiring people from all walks of life can widen the conversation and spark ideas. This can result in increased productivity and overall improved problem solving. Having those different perspectives is necessary for success. Having a diverse group involved in decision making is also beneficial. In fact, “Research shows that diverse teams see a 60% improvement in decision-making abilities,” (Lee, n.d). Putting some focus on diversity not only improves your business as a whole but also is bettering our sense of community.
Growing up, I would have never thought I could be in a leadership role or work for an agency because I didn’t see people that look like me there. Now, it is up to me and the rest of my generation to be those examples for the upcoming generation so they can believe that they can be whatever they want to become. Recognizing that it is okay to be different and that it shouldn’t affect whether you get hired or not is important. Representation matters. Diversity matters.
Lee, S. (2020, October 12). Benefits of diversity in the workplace. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.cultureamp.com/blog/benefits-of-diversity-in-the-workplace/
O’Donoghue, Deirdre. (2020, October 12). The Importance of Diversity in Public Relations. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from learn.g2.com/diversity-in-public-relations.
Srikant Ramaswami, (2020, May 31) Diversity and Inclusion in the PR Profession: The Case for Change. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from www.prweek.com/article/1494228/diversity-inclusion-pr-profession-case-change.