Brands can play a huge role in transforming the world by educating the market, and sharing the right message. But how are brands positioning themselves in relation to diversity, inclusion and accessibility? Let’s see some real-world examples of brands that are really bringing these thoughts into their brands with responsibility and action.
Diversity in education – Ânima Plurais
Ânima Educação, one of the most relevant private educational organizations in Brazil, brings diversity to its DNA. For many years they had spaces to offer psycho-pedagogical support, and to talk about inclusion in their institutions across the country.
In 2020, they created Ânima Plurais, a series of actions including literacy programs, training sessions for teachers who declare themselves black, recruitment and selection of talents from underrepresented groups, and many others. In these first two years, they focused on racial equity, but not only this.
For Luiz Carneiro, Diversity and Inclusion Analyst at Ânima, one of the company’s main principles is to change society through education and this transformation permeates mainly the positive representations in relation to diversity.
“We are social beings and we need to have diversity valued and respected more and more. We are currently experiencing situations of discrimination that weaken victims and attack people’s right to exist. We all have a commitment to this plurality and Ânima seeks to establish a healthy, respectful and welcoming environment for our community,” states Carneiro.
Their teacher training program already impacted 350 educators so far (and more is coming). Their acceleration program for black teachers has already reached 100 people. Besides that, thousands of students took part in their discussion forums, nurturing diversity across their many institutions.
Inclusion for everyone – iFood
The food delivery leader in Latin America, iFood, has an affinity group that develops conversations and actions for the LGBTQAIP+ community, such as educational campaigns, livestreams and webinars. More than that, they offer great benefits such as psychological and juridical support, transgenitalization and mastectomy surgeries covered by health insurance and support for medical expenses.
They also have strong initiatives for the black community. Last November, the iFood Includes Black People Program was launched, with the objective of hiring 300 black professionals for different positions by June 2022. The initiative is part of a public commitment that iFood signed in 2021 to contribute to repairing historical debts and reducing social inequality.
iFood is aligned with the company’s goal of having 40% black people among its employees and 30% in leadership roles by 2023.
And that’s not all. Launched in October 2021, Potência Tech is one of the initiatives to meet the public commitments signed by the company, which consist of training and employing 25,000 low-income people and underrepresented profiles in the technology area. On this front, the commitment is to train 5 million people for work and entrepreneurship and impact 5 million students and teachers from the public school system with training in the areas of science, mathematics and technology, by 2025.
According to Bruna Nascimento, Senior Communications Analyst at iFood, companies should be active in working to mitigate historical problems in society. “When we talk about inclusion, we are referring to a generation that does not want to leave anyone behind and we know the need to correct historical debts. It is also the role of companies to give access to all people who, in the past, did not have fair opportunities,” she states.
Let people talk about it
One great and easy way to boost diversity inside the workspace is making people talk about it. Affinity groups, events and meetings can be used to foster the debate around diversity and accessibility subjects.
Edelman, one of the largest public relations companies in the world, started creating affinity groups, according to an interview with the Society for Human Resource Management. They started small, but in the last four years they expanded the numbers of these groups.
The company has groups for women, LGBTQAIP+, Black and African Americans, Hispanic-Latin, AAPI and veterans, They are planning to launch new groups this year, one for disabilities and one for religious tolerance, according to Trisch Smith, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Edelman.
“Those groups have been instrumental during the pandemic and the time of social unrest and the fight for racial justice. They’ve also been critical of us for having difficult and courageous conversations about all the things that are happening, and to curate these moments and provide a safe space,” says Smith.
Another company promoting the debate is Horizon Media. According to Eileen Benwitt, Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer, they had their first town hall meeting dedicated to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), called Agency of Belonging.
“The value of what we shared at the Agency of Belonging meeting elevates the importance of DEI and gets people to think about what they want to do, and how they show up and where they’re leaning in,” stated Benwitt to Better Workplaces, Better World blog.
Promoting places where minorities can really thrive is another way to nurture inclusion besides Marketing.
This article is also in the new issue of Rock Content Magazine, released this August. In this issue we bring incredible content about diversity, inclusion and accessibility, an extremely important topic for brands and society today. You can download the magazine here, it’s completely free! Good reading!