How Media and Technology can drive diversity

Communications, media and technology have a big role to play in helping to improve diversity in the workplace. Most organizations today recognize the huge positive impact that greater diversity can have business-wide, whether that relates to a more innovative and cohesive culture or the strength of the employer brand. Since 2016 America’s best Employers according to Forbes have reported on average 20% higher revenue growth than non-diverse companies* Advancing the cause of diversity not only has benefits for the business but the broader community too and communications, media and technology are a big part of making this happen.

Leadership is a key part of the solution

While many organizations have demonstrated a commitment to diversity if this isn’t reflected at leadership level then it can undermine genuine efforts. Active leadership around diversity is vital to ensure that messaging is being delivered throughout an organization, and beyond. Visible, active leaders can help to drive a diversity message and provide vital disruption to the status quo, creating the space for a different approach. Organizations like Bloomberg, for example, have shown a genuine commitment for opening up conversations around diversity through media channels and providing the kind of disruptive context that allows for fresh conversations and new ideas. Bloomberg’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion has said, "What I have seen make a huge difference is the accountability of leaders to drive diversity and inclusion.”

An intersectionality approaches

We are becoming increasingly familiar with the term intersectionality, where different elements of someone’s social and political identity create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. This is much more powerful than focusing only on one aspect of diversity, especially as most humans will be more broadly affected than in a single one-dimensional way. Integrating intersectionality into strategy is vital to using communications, media and technology to achieve more where diversity is concerned.

Social platforms have a lot of power

It’s perhaps unsurprising that social platforms are where some of the biggest opportunities exist when it comes to diversity today. Many people feel part of social communities that have enabled them to feel supported in their own diversity challenges and these are key tools for organizations that want to use technology to drive more discussions around diversity. For example, platforms like YouTube are frequently used as a space for people to come out as LGBTQ+ because they are viewed as communities where people can celebrate, be bold and connect.

It’s not just about lip service

While using communications, media and technology to drive diversity can be very effective, it’s not the only necessary shift to make. Organizations like Google are now recognizing how important it has become for any business to reflect the diversity of its users or audience base in its own internal make up too. Purposeful and thoughtful recruitment is a vital diversity tool - businesses that invest in hiring intentionally, promoting well and doing the retention work are automatically at an advantage when it comes to getting a diversity message across.

Diversity is a challenge that remains for many organizations today but it is one worth solving - and communications, media and technology are key tools to help achieve this.

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*America’s Best Employers for Diversity, Forbes April 2022 Edited by Fared Council