If the organization has deeply invested in diversity, recognizes and values the mix of people – whether its ethnicity, race, religion, gender, multi-generation or multi-strata and their commitment to making “everyone” succeed is unwavering. Then it makes business sense to launch an external face or campaign that accentuates the organization’s image as a “Diversity Employer’.
700,000 searches per month! That’s how popular Diversity is on Google. It is twice more searched than the erstwhile most loved word “culture” in the corporate dictionary.
Diversity is not only popular but also most relevant in today’s time, when the world is going through massive shifts in economies, with them becoming “shared”, “gigged”, “internet or digital” and more “social” day by day. Where one advertisement or a diversity program is what it takes to challenge old-searing mind-sets, deep-rooted behaviours and positively impact brand perception. Here in this article, I would like to share some global perspectives on diversity that have reshaped the corporate meaning of the term.
Therefore, using Diversity for Employer Branding purposes can be equally beneficial. If the organization has deeply invested in diversity, recognizes and values the mix of people – whether its ethnicity, race, religion, gender, multi-generation, multi-strata and their commitment to making “everyone” succeed is unwavering. Then it makes business sense to launch an external face or campaign that accentuates the organization’s image as a “Diversity Employer’.
At this point, if I actually ask you to think about the Best Companies in Diversity, my gut is you will definitely come up with one of these three names in your list – IBM, Accenture, and Aegis. Not Google and Apple, because even though they may be more diverse but they don’t talk about diversity as much as the former does. The former three through their serious and continuous work in the area of Diversity have also talked about diversity in their branding efforts across all media – social, PR, digital and events. Most companies want to include diversity branding as part of their talent branding mix but don’t know how. This article addresses precisely this need, giving 6 steps towards the creation of a branding mix that showcases the diversity initiatives.
Step 1: Understanding how the industry defines ‘diversity’?
Diversity means different things to different people and organizations. Therefore, it is important to apply the industry-accepted definitions of diversity. Diversity in the workplace today can include some of the following: Gender, Sexual orientation, Generation /age, Disability, Social strata differentiation, Race, Ethnicity.
Step 2: Establishing how our organization is different in Diversity i.e. gender, multigenerational, etc and what are their strengths in that particular area?
What it essentially means is to figure out how would we want to be known for in diversity, how are we better than the industry in that area? Example most admired company for working mothers (Accenture), most admired company for transgenders (Walt Disney), most equal place for both genders (Accenture), most inclusive place for all diversity groups (Aegis), the trendsetter in Diversity (IBM, Deloitte) barrier breaker for a specific community (Kochi Metro appoints 23 transgenders, Costa Coffee giving a chance to differently abled as coffee baristas. The more clear and confident we are about our vision or diversity agenda, the more credible our organization’s diversity story will be.
Step 3: Assess what kind of diversity campaign does the management want to lead with – internal or external?
If the conclusion is that the organization is in the top 10 for gender diversity and the diversity programs are among the best in the industry or the diversity metrics are well defined and are on a positive swing then its time to choose and launch an “external” brand campaign.
If after the assessment the management feels, ‘we are serious about diversity but have a long way to go to meet current industry standards’ then it would be best to lead with an internal campaign and strengthen the diversity branding internally before extending it on social media and PR.
Step 4: Building a diversity story or campaign
The D&I teams should cull out the best programs, stats that give an edge to the organizational brand. Marketing and employer branding team should articulate a powerful theme or brand campaign that represents organizations strengths in diversity. Example – “Together we are powerful, Power of Differences, A Mix we are proud of.” The social media agency should create a hashtag campaign that engages the external audience and the PR teams should ensure that the organization gets featured in top media discussing diversity, latest trends, and shifting mindsets. Creation of digital assets, e-marketing campaigns that show diversity as a key differentiator go a long way in alleviating the employer brand.
“ If the conclusion is that the organization is in the top 10 for gender diversity and the diversity programs are among the best in the industry or the diversity metrics are well defined and are on a positive swing then its time to choose and launch an “external” brand campaign.”
Step 5: Use industry influencers in Diversity like Sheroes, JobsForHer, Her Story to boost your campaign
Thanks to social media and media startups like HuffPo, sheroes, jobsforher, elevate network, lean into these readymade platforms to unfold or launch organizations diversity stories. Use them liberally. Even if they are paid platforms, the money is well spent.
Step 6: Pitch for Best in Diversity Awards run by NASSCOM, SHRM, People Matters
The awards are a great testimony to the efforts in pursuing and rallying the diversity agenda of the organization. They are also a great tool to measure success or benchmark against the industry. Whether the D&I team win or lose the award, teams come out richer with the insights and best practices in diversity. Leverage them to carve out the next steps or to address gaps in organizations current diversity plan.
6 Steps Towards The Creation Of Diversity Branding
#1. Understanding how the industry defines ‘diversity’?
#2. Establishing how our organization is different in Diversity?
#3. Assess what kind of diversity campaign does the management want?
#4. Building a diversity story or campaign.
#5. Use industry influencers in Diversity to boost your campaign.
#6. Pitch for Best in Diversity Awards run by NASSCOM, SH