Over the past five years, organizations have placed a greater emphasis on filling newly-created DE&I executive positions. In fact, DE&I job openings reached an all-time high at the beginning of March 2020 with over 1,000 jobs available on Glassdoor. These job postings spiked 55% in June 2020 after George Floyd’s murder.
Today, there are 16.2% more diverse executive team members than this time last year. And for good reason. Data from McKinsey shows that companies that champion diversity have a 25% higher chance of financially outperforming those that don’t.
These internal champions for equality and inclusion have crafted powerful programs, and 2022 is the year for tech marketers to begin weaving these initiatives into external communications campaigns.
To get started, marketing teams and their tech PR agencies should consider the following questions:
Does our bench of spokespeople mirror the diversity of our organization? Chances are, the answer is “no.” In the UK, only 12% of digital leaders identified as female (the numbers are worse for minorities). So, marketers will need to intentionally seek out new SMEs and cultivate them via messaging workshops, media trainings, etc. to build a representative bench of spokespeople.
Are we reaching a diverse audience via our ‘usual’ media outlets or do those outlets have implicit bias? Study after study has shown that the media isn’t immune to implicit bias. For example, focusing on a female candidate’s personal traits versus her policy positions. If you recall, in 2021, there were outcries of media bias during the disappearance of Gabby Petito.
Is our primary suite of press outlets read by a diverse audience? If the answer is “no,” expand your media list. For example, if you normally target general IT publications, you’re probably reaching a predominately white audience given that whites dominate the IT field today. So, add in niche outlets to be intentional about reaching minority populations.
Are our social media audiences diverse? If not, what changes can we make to our social media voice, content, creative, etc. to be more inclusive? Do we need to expand to additional social platforms to reach new demographics?
Are we guilty of implicit bias in the set of SEO keywords that we target? Take your digital team through an exercise to consider how a different person or group might interact with your products to uncover demographic, regional and cultural nuances.
Are our paid ads inadvertently targeting a homogeneous group? This might be the quickest area to fix given audience targeting options available within digital ad platforms.
At Alloy not only do we have an internal DE&I program that (among other initiatives) trains our team on implicit bias, but we are working with tech clients to do the same. Specifically, we’ve added DE&I considerations to our media training program to help IT companies and their spokespeople message to and connect with diverse audiences.
Together, the tech marketing industry can extend DE&I programs externally to make our industry more inclusive, equitable and ultimately, profitable.