Embracing Growth, Trust and Authenticity for a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive World
Promoting diversity and inclusion, addressing pay equity and embracing cultural competency in communications have become increasingly important yet long-overdue topics of conversation in the PR industry. Here are eight strategies for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in any workplace:
1. Plan for Tomorrow
Planning for the future is incredibly important, even when things seem fine in the present. To grow personally and professionally, we must embrace the discomfort that comes with stepping outside our comfort zones. It is through these uncomfortable experiences that we find new opportunities for growth
2. Place Humility Over Pride
DEI has nothing to do with politics. Rather, it emphasizes humility over pride. Building a truly inclusive environment requires acknowledging and celebrating our differences, understanding the experiences of others and fostering a sense of belonging for everyone.
3. Leverage Discomfort
When it comes to making a meaningful impact, fear can often be a catalyst for change. It is by embracing this fear and pushing beyond our comfort zones that we can achieve significant results and drive positive change.
4. Embrace Overlapping Identities
The concept of intersectionality reminds us that we are all complex individuals with overlapping identities and experiences. By recognizing and honoring the intersecting aspects of our identities, we can foster greater empathy, understanding, and inclusivity within our communities and organizations.
5. Build Trust and Peer Relationships
The data presented in this year’s Edelman Trust Barometer showed that people are more likely to trust their peers over CEOs and other authority figures. To build trust across levels, it is crucial to create spaces for regular, open and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. Transparency and honesty are key elements in fostering trust, as are diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
6. Respond to Backlash Authentically
When facing backlash or criticism, it is essential for organizations to authentically and consistently communicate their values both internally and externally. By knowing who they are and regularly sharing their authentic identity, organizations can create a supportive environment where employees become their strongest advocates rather than critics.
7. Stay Informed and Engaged
To ensure representation truly matters, the event stressed the importance of ongoing dialogue and communication with diverse individuals and communities. Staying informed and engaged with different perspectives helps media and communication professionals understand evolving needs and tailor their messages to diverse audiences effectively.
8. Recognize Universal Intersectionality
Open-mindedness, curiosity and embracing differences are essential qualities for media and communication professionals. Recognizing that intersectionality applies to everyone allows for more inclusive messaging and storytelling that resonates with diverse audiences. Soon enough, we hopefully will reach a point where representation is a given and the focus can go to how a story is told rather than by whom.
By embracing these approaches, individuals and organizations can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable future. As we move forward, let us remember that representation matters, and by amplifying diverse voices, we can focus on the richness of stories and experiences that shape our world. Through being authentic and transparent, we can continue the conversation around DEI in communications and our communities.
By Naomi Solnick
This blog was based on the insights shared during panels and fireside chats at the third annual Public Relations Society of America DEI Summit.
Photo by Alexander Grey on Pexels