New Inclusion Campaigns Focus on Educating Allies

New Inclusion Campaigns Focus on Educating Allies

Earlier this month, Kyle O’Brien at the Drum took a look at HP’s latest and inclusion marketing campaign, a series of videos called “Reinvent Mindsets,” which takes aim at unconscious bias by highlighting the subtler forms of discrimination black Americans and women are subject to in the workplace. The first video in the series addressed the fact that black Americans are three times more likely than their white colleagues to be rejected for a role they are qualified for, while the second touches on the sexist expectations women must navigate in job interviews:

In its latest video in the Reinvent Mindsets series, HP tackles gender bias through a powerful video pairing fathers and daughters talking about the tough process of job interviews. ‘Dads & Daughters’ pairs fathers and daughters having one-on-one discussions. The dads were asked to read generic interview tips for women that had been found online and talk about them with their daughters.

Tips included “Don’t wear too much perfume”, “Don’t be aggressive trying to negotiate your salary”, “Don’t look too hot”, “Don’t be chatty” and “Just found out you’re pregnant? Best to keep it to yourself for now”. The daughters, unsurprisingly, look exasperated. But as the dads read they spark a discussion about bias, strength and individuality.

Another company with a new D&I initiative worth noting is Accenture, whose latest video, “Inclusion starts with ‘I’,” features real employees sharing their feelings about unfair ways they have been treated at work. Fortune’s Ellen McGirt applauds the initiative, which was developed through a series of workshops and hammers home the point that inclusion means creating an environment in which everyone feels valued and respected:

Some were annoyed by being mistaken for other ethnicities. Some young employees were tired of being dismissed as entitled or unengaged. Others worried that misconceptions about their disabilities would leave them behind at work. And some expressed resentment that their accomplishments, as majority culture white males, weren’t as celebrated as those of others. All the human stuff. …

The video was shown yesterday at the company’s annual learning conference for executive directors, with nary a dry eye in the 700 seat auditorium. After the video aired, Nate Boaz, the managing director in charge of talent strategy and learning, asked each employee to turn their own feelings into a specific commitment to be a better ally.

Many organizations are frustrated with the baggage the word “diversity” has among their employees. Many traditionally “majority” employees assume that D&I initiatives are then not about them, or not something they even need to pay attention to. Organizations that have made progress know it takes everyone to change, and as such, many are finding new ways to talk about D&I and make it more personal. Other examples we’ve seen are:

  • Broadening the definition of diversity to communicate to employees that we’re all a part of it,
  • Leading with inclusion, especially globally, to allow employees to connect with initiatives before introducing the challenges of some underrepresented talent communities
  • Or as in these video, finding inroads to remind employees that we’re all connected and these are human, family, and workplace issues to which any leader should pay attention.