Diversity & Inclusion Roundup #1

 

Diversity refers to the who and what of your environment. It is the makeup of your team. Inclusion is the how you're giving the who and what a voice. It's how comfortable they feel expressing their authentic voice.

On a regular basis, i'll be sharing different examples of how brands and people are embracing diversity and inclusion. Here's the first installment.

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Example 1

Who and What?

The Royal Wedding: History was made over the weekend when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchanged vows and became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

How the Who and What Get A Voice?

Meghan broke royal wedding tradition and proceeded unaccompanied on the first part of her walk through St. George’s Chapel to meet groom Prince Harry. 

Markle is the first royal bride to walk unaccompanied down the aisle, and reportedly came up with the idea herself as a way to "assert herself as a strong, independent woman who is prepared to challenge royal norms," reports CNN.

Why It's Important?

I think this is really significant because of one word: representation. Young girls and women will be able to define their very existence in rich ways. It's true multi-cultural representation. A new semblance of normalcy was created and my hope is that this ushers in a new era of embracing people for the fullness of who they are as opposed to putting them into monolithic boxes.

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Example 2

Who and What?

NASCAR: The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) will welcome its largest class in program history during the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend. Since its inception in 2000, NDIP has offered a select group of students from diverse backgrounds a unique hands-on experience in the motorsports industry. 

How the Who and What Get A Voice?

Over the years, the perception of NASCAR is that it is an industry that isn't open to people of color and women so by expanding this program, opportunities for growth will be created both on and off the track. It will also provide career opportunities for multicultural students as one of the premier internships in sports. 

Why It's Important?

It's hard to have conversations when you hear only one perspective. I consider this a step in the right direction because multiple voices will get to be heard. Another important thing is that as representation increases, the pipeline will expand and more multicultural individuals will be able to see themselves in positions of power which could increase retention rates and provide more mentorship opportunities.

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Example 3

Who and What?

Pinterest: Pinterest recently adopted the "Rooney Rule" in their hiring process. For those that don't know, the Rooney Rule is a practice that is implemented in the NFL regularly. The practice states that all teams must interview at least one minority candidate for senior roles before making a hiring decision.

How the Who and What Get A Voice?

This is best exemplified by Pinterest's recent hiring of its new head of engineering, Li Fan. She joined after spending more than 10 years at Google where she held senior engineering positions. Candice Morgan, Pinterest's Head of Inclusion and Diversity talked about the importance of this rule and Fan's hiring. Here's what she said to Fast Company

“[That Rooney Rule Initiative] has actually been very, very successful for us. We actually had hundreds of candidates that we looked at who were women for the head of engineering role, even though women are under 5% of that talent pool.”

When talking about the importance of the hiring, she says it is important for two reasons.

"One, appointing a female head engineer was a first not just for Pinterest but has rarely happened before in the tech sector at large. Two, because it shows our senior women engineers that they could lead the department. I believe that that is a result of the extra vigilance of the Rooney Rule.”

Why It's Important?

The number one "problem" a lot of tech companies have stated as a hindrance for them when attracting diverse talent is that there is a pipeline issue. Whether this is in fact true remains to be seen, Pinterest implementing this policy is ensuring that minorities and people of color get exposed to EVERY opportunity in the company. These opportunities are for senior as well as junior positions. What that communicates to me is that they are making a concerted effort to expand their talent pool and not sticking to traditional methods of hiring.

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Want me to help your organization become more inclusive and attract diverse talent? Then, check out some of my previous work here.

Tayo Rockson

Tayo Rockson is an avid lover of sports, marketing and non profit who loves helping and meeting new people. This blog is a refection of all he has learned. You can reach him at tayorockson@yahoo.co.uk or on Twitter at @TayoRockson.