No doubt, diversity is not just the right thing to do but the right thing to do for effective brand stewardship. A recent survey of US marketers found that 88% agreed with the statement, “Using more diverse images helps a brand’s reputation.” Many companies are on the right track: Major corporate brand and universities have appointed a Chief Diversity Officer, including Netflix, Microsoft, Emory University, Goldman Sachs and eBay.
However, while 47% of Fortune 500 companies have a CDO, most of them are new to the role and lacking in power, according to Fortune. Thus, empowering your CDO to fully embrace a diverse workforce is an opportunity to add real value to your brand. Amazon made the move this year by eliminating an all-white board. And Walmart consistently tops the Fortune 500 50 Best Workplace for Diversity list.
Nonetheless the list of workplace discrimination cases remains long. Thus the opportunity for balanced, tolerant workforces--and subsequent stronger businesses and brands--remains immense.
Brands that genuinely invest in diversity and inclusion, and actively share their progress with the marketplace, stand to distinguish themselves from both their pasts and their competitors, not only enhancing their reputations but also attracting and retaining top quality talent.
It’s not enough to hire a CDO; CEO’s need to empower them with the wingspan to set an agenda, timelines, benchmarks and results. You’ll need to form a team of advocates, with a good mix of both young and senior leaders who are passionate about driving initiatives. And put your money where your mouth is; ADP offers health benefits that cover same-sex partners and gender reassignment surgery, for example.
Brands have an opportunity to break out of the pack by being genuinely diverse and inclusive. Is your company ready to do this and share real results? Ideon can help!