Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has always been a topic of concern in the world of work, but it has recently become a major priority for many organizations, with about 79 percent of them stating they’re planning to dedicate more of their budgets to DEI efforts in 2022. However, it’s likely that these companies will approach DEI in different ways.
There are a myriad of ways to support diversity, equity and inclusion in business — especially as a business leader. To help give you some ideas of where you can start, 11 members of Rolling Stone Culture Council share the ways in which they’re working to create and encourage more diversity in their particular business niche or industry and why that’s so important to do.
By Representing All Women in Our Marketing
Our marketing doesn’t just show white, middle-class women (that is the background I come from), but a wide variety of women from many sectors. When a woman sees herself positively represented in the media, it can be encouraging, validating and even healing. We strive to welcome all men and women in our company, though we mostly attract women. – Baeth Davis, YourPurpose.com
By Focusing on Candidate Talents and Passions
Strangely, one of the best things that has happened to our company was going to a remote workplace. We have diversified our talent pool by focusing on employee talents and passions. Smart people can solve some problems, but adding diverse smart people to the team changes the game. Diversity brings perspective and, with a wider range of perspectives, we can solve some really big problems. – Alen Nguyen, MainStem
By Encouraging Our Staff to Be Themselves
One thing that is great about our business is the ability to allow our staff to be themselves and be part of the creative process. We encourage their participation and allow their personalities to be part of our performances. The time of cookie-cutter employees has passed, and the younger generation is more creative and wants to be able to express themselves and feel part of something bigger. – Adam Manacker, The Gastro Garage
By Making Equality Part of Our Culture
As a company, our culture is all about equality and inclusivity. While many entities will speak to that type of culture through press releases and social media messaging, we choose to live our culture through our hiring practices and internal promotions. A successful company starts from the bottom up, and it all starts with our corporate culture. – Jennifer Randall-Collins, PROOF Alcohol Ice Cream
By Leading the Way for an Underrepresented Demographic
While the cannabis industry has been built on the backs of those Brown and Black people who have unfortunately been targeted by the War on Drugs, those who lead it today are overwhelmingly white and male. My co-founder and I stand out as Asian Americans. There aren’t too many of us in this field (our parents can tell you why), but we’re proud to help normalize this demographic. There’s a place for everyone. – Courtney Wu, AMNESIA Media
By Contributing to Multicultural Organizations and Publications
We work hard to get into multicultural organizations and contribute to their publications. This approach gives more opportunities to our clients. Our job is to help them put their best foot forward by reaching far and wide so we can expand their visibility. It’s crucial to create a meshed web of networking and include everyone because, in public relations, everyone should have a piece of the pie. – Victoria Kennedy, Marisa Johnson
By Embracing a More Balanced Workplace
I’m in the technology industry, and I find it helps to embrace and empower a more balanced workplace. Firstly, it’s the right thing to do. Secondly, helping all employees feel welcomed, engaged and valued has proven to make the company more profitable. If a company has a more diverse workforce, it can be marketed more effectively to different ethnic and racial backgrounds. – Jenny Ta, GalaxE by HODL Assets, Inc.
By Sharing and Celebrating the Successes of Others
It’s important to champion the efforts of others and share with your peers those inspirational and impactful moments. One way I am working to encourage more diversity is by sharing others’ success stories and celebrating with them through social media. This then brings awareness of these monumental moments to the community and creates the capacity for new thoughts and helps break boundaries. – Ricardo Roig, Roig Collection
By Implementing New Policies and Guidelines
Diversity isn’t always visible, which is why it’s important that it’s addressed both internally and externally. We’re actively implementing diversity, equity and inclusion policies in our programming. We recently set guidelines for our new artist grants that have a DEI mandate developed by our internal team. – Mo Ghoneim, Arts Help
By Acknowledging and Honoring LGBTQIA+ Differences
When addressing and including the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s important to give each letter breathing room and the ability to stand on their own. We are often clumped together as if anything other than “straight” should be in the same group. While we stand proud and united, each letter’s experiences and struggles are very different from one another — and that is important to acknowledge and honor. – Shirin Etessam, OML
By Equipping Artists Across the Board With Support
Our job is to equip artists from many different backgrounds with the best support possible from our team. The Lost Boy brand is centered around the idea of being unique, and we focus our attention on some of the people in our industry who need guidance the most. We don’t judge any of our clients, and we offer the same service across the board regardless of a client’s ethnicity, background or beliefs. – Christian Anderson (Trust’N), Lost Boy Entertainment LLC