// 10 mins read
This January, TSE rang in 2020 with our first Cultural Immersion Day. During this day of bonding and growth, our newly launched Employee Resource Group (ERG) made its debut. The employee-led group is driven by a mission encapsulated in one word: inclusion. Through access, advocacy, and action, the ERG ensures everyone at TSE has equal opportunity and the resources they need to continuously grow as a person, a professional, and a team. We felt the first step to executing this mission was to create a common understanding of what diversity and inclusion look like among our team.
Introducing: ThreeSixtyEight’s Diversity & Inclusion Pledge
This pledge contains a series of standards that we believe will nurture the diverse and inclusive team environment TSE needs to continue to grow and produce its best work.
In just five short months, Diversity & Inclusion as we knew it was completely flipped on its head. Over the past few weeks, our definition of Diversity & Inclusion has evolved quite a bit.
It takes far more than the words on a pledge or a campaign initiative to check the “diverse” box. We define Diversity and Inclusion as the foundation for how your brand reacts in times of hardship and injustice.
Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique while inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome. Not only is inclusivity crucial for diversity efforts to succeed, but creating an inclusive culture will prove beneficial for employee engagement and productivity. (Source: builtin.com)
Inclusion is the amplifier of Diversity. Once we understand collectively what makes us different, we can seek commonalities and implement behavioral shifts to ensure we are each equipped and empowered with the same level of resources, understanding, and opportunity.
George Floyd’s death exposed so much for our company – things that we thought we were doing well, we weren’t. Things we thought we were prioritizing, we weren’t. When there’s a lack of diversity, equality, and justice in the world, you’re forced to take an even deeper look at your brand to fix the systemic problem. We don’t have all the answers here at ThreeSixtyEight, but we’ve started taking the steps necessary to put D&I at the forefront of every decision we make. We’d like to give companies around us an understanding of what Diversity & Inclusion means, along with some tips and practices you can implement to ensure an equal opportunity workplace.
What do we suggest for your organization to make diversity and inclusion real?
Unconscious Bias Training
Schedule an unconscious bias lunch and learn to dispel or validate stereotypes that your employees/peers may be faced with. From there, you can individually determine how unconscious bias affects your professional and personal lives, giving you the ultimate decision to adjust your outlook and actions. We recommend using an external company to lead this session for maximum impact – we partnered with The Prism Group for our unconscious bias training!
Diversity & Inclusion Pledge
This is your official stance on diversity & inclusion. When times of injustice arise, this will be the document you lean on. It will include what your brand does and does not settle for. Leadership must prioritize this pledge, and we encourage you to seek buy-in among your team by displaying the pledge in a public space and encouraging individual signatures. Again, here’s a link to TSE’s pledge for your reference.
This is a tedious process but the most critical. We urge you to take another look at your hiring process and ensure it includes a peer interview.
This process ensures that not only is your candidate qualified, but they are a culture add. Using your team as the last barrier to entry is a benefit since they are the keepers of your culture. If you embrace the diverse culture you imagine, they will in turn pick the candidate with the most unique perspective.
Produce Inclusive Work
Equally important as your internal practices are the messages you project into the world. Be a part of the cultural shift we need right now, and do this with more than a one-time statement. Whether you’re an agency producing work on behalf of clients or an in-house team representing your brand, make it a point to include diverse representation in your visuals and prioritize inclusivity in the products and services you offer. We love this resource from The Creative Independent.
Continue to embrace empathy every day. It’s okay if you don’t know everything there is to know about someone else’s culture, political stance, race, religion, etc. The phrase “seek to understand and then seek to be understood” is true in this case. First, try to get to a place of understanding with those who are unlike you in the workplace by admitting your ignorance or biases, and then questioning and listening. Let your peers educate you on the things they are faced with. We highly recommend tempering this with radical candor to ensure team members take no offense.
These are just a few examples of what we’re doing at ThreeSixtyEight to ensure we are fostering the most diverse and inclusive culture possible, but as most people in America are feeling, we know we also have a ways to go. This issue requires constant attention, relentless support, and continual improvement, and we hope we encourage each of our readers to start taking the steps necessary to grow alongside us.
For our official statement on the recent events in our country and more details on the actions we are taking, read our Response to Hate. For any additional information on incorporating Diversity & Inclusion into, or launching, your ERG, reach out to our partnership coordinator Justin Hutchinson or our HR consultant Theresa Jones.