Become a Diversity Advisor for Your Organization
I was part of the planning committee for the recent Improving Disability Communications workshop hosted by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at ASU’s Cronkite School, Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and Ability360. Our agency has been involved in disability advocacy and disability affairs for several years. Thinking of disability in the context of diversity and inclusiveness was the topic of two of my presentations.
I think we can all agree that the concept of diversity means acceptance and respect for all individuals. Our society has made strides (with room for improvement, of course), when we consider things like race, ethnicity, gender, sexual diversity and orientation, socio-economic status, age, religious beliefs, political beliefs, etc.
But how are we doing when it comes to seeing physical and mental abilities when it comes to diversity?
Some interesting statistics on the topic in a recent survey of U.S. marketers:
- 88 percent agreed with the statement, “Using more diverse images helps a brand’s reputation.”
- 41 percent agreed it is important to represent modern-day society in marketing imagery.
- 9 percent said they’ve used more “racially diverse models.”
- 4 percent said they used more images featuring “nonprofessional models” in the last 12 months.
- 6 percent said they used more images during the past 12 months featuring a “nontraditional family,” while 10.6 percent used more images featuring same-sex couples.
- 10.2 percent used more images featuring people with disabilities.
- More than 91 percent of U.S. marketers agree with the statement “there is still room for growth in using more diverse images by marketers.”
Recognizing diversity and incorporating it into your communications programming has the potential to generate very tangible benefits. Diverse groups wield great influence and spending power. Because they are often tightly knit communities, they have great influence within their peer groups, capitalizing on the power of social media. You might be leaving money on the table if you disregard diverse populations.
If your organization is genuinely interested in expanding its diversity and reach, there is no better way than to incorporate representation from all walks of life.