Represent the Under Represented
Brands are transforming from the inside out to address the social inequalities in the world. There’s also an internal focus to create systemic change within organisations. In the public arena, brands are going further to recognise the experiences of oppressed groups; they’re using their global voice to represent the underrepresented. Attitudes towards DEI goals and objectives are shifting at pace, but the industry still has a lot to do.
Business leaders are trying to attract more under-represented talent whose skills will help them put DEI goals into action, but this hasn’t been an easy task. In the State of Creativity Study you told us you needed, “more diverse teams with different points of view". The common challenge for business leaders is to find talent that offers varied skills and life experiences to help create more purposeful content for brands. As brands become aware of their blind spots, they can begin to build stories that mirror culture and society at large.
Focus areas for 2022
Raise diverse voices
A diverse workforce brings more authenticity and meaning to content. Briefs should be matched with employees whose experience and skills resonate. If they don’t have the talent internally, leaders must show more commitment to ensure different voices are involved to help shape the work.
Brands need to go further to include more diverse characters in their creative work to be better reflective of societies around the world. How can the content be more inclusive of marginalised voices and help represent under-represented communities? Brands should shoulder the responsibility to improve visibility for all.
Diversifying the network
Companies should promote diversity beyond their own organisations into their networks. One way businesses can help bring systemic change is by making their list of suppliers and vendors more inclusive.
PROJECT UNDERSTOOD | GOOGLE AI | FCB CANADA TORONTO | DIGITAL CRAFT LIONS GOLD
Progress in play from the 2020/21 Lion winners …
Google is a great example of a brand that is working with under-represented groups to shape its products to be inclusive of their needs. Google recognised that its internal team didn’t fully understand the needs of people with Down’s Syndrome. So, to make its voice technology more inclusive it worked closely with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. Google captured their voice data to train its speech recognition technology to better understand the speech patterns of this group. Check out the full campaign on The Work.
PROJECT UNDERSTOOD | GOOGLE AI FCB CANADA TORONTO
DIGITAL CRAFT LIONS GOLD
#STEALOURSTAFF | BECO TBWA \ LONDON
HEALTH & WELLNESS LIONS GRAND PRIX
In an analysis of the Film Lions entries, characters of colour are more represented in ads (38%). This has improved significantly since 2006. Characters of colour garnered 46.4% of screen time in 2019 ads. Male characters outnumber female characters two to one, dropping from a high of 40.2% female characters in 2014, to 38.4% in 2019. Only 1.8% of characters with a discernible sexual orientation in ads are LGBTQ+ compared to 10% of people globally.
The Geena Davis Institute & LIONS | 2019
Thought starters for today
- Think about where DEI appears in your strategy. For example, how could you better consider underserved consumer groups in the design process?
- Consider how you can collaborate effectively with underrepresented communities. Widen your reach to include more diverse voices and gather their feedback on your product or experience.
- Brands and agencies continue to experiment on different platforms and tech. Analyse how you can bring an inclusive mindset to each of these spaces.