“Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”
Oft-used in the diversity and inclusion space, this distinction between representation and true acceptance is a great bar to measure our recruitment marketing content against, too. For that same reason you need to be creating inclusion, not diversity content. And here’s why:
Diversity content often comes in the form of stock photos, EEO statements, and broad messages from leadership and team members praising the diversity of the organization. In going with the metaphor, these forms of content “invite” candidates from different backgrounds to the party.
Inclusion is about how an organization and the people within it make you feel. Do you feel supported? Accepted? That you have a fair opportunity to advance? These feelings come from your experiences at the organization. Your stories.
Candidates need to hear these stories in order to understand what inclusion looks (and acts) like at your organization.
Don’t know where to start? We rounded up seven of our favorite pieces of diversity and inclusion content, and what each story says about the company it represents. Here we go!
Individuals with Disabilities at BAE Systems: We will give you what you need to be successful.
Joanna had hid her deafness in the workplace for years. But when she joined BAE Systems, she decided to be upfront about her accommodation needs. Beyond receiving everything she needed to be successful, Joanna’s story showcases BAE System’s willingness to recognize Joanna’s talent for what it was, independent of her disability, and empower her to progress her career accordingly.
Veterans at Deloitte: We celebrate your past and how it has shaped who you are today.
Inclusion is about feeling like you belong and are accepted. Going hand-in-hand with that is the feeling that you and your personal story are important. For Mac, his time in the military and resulting paralysis did a lot to shape the person he has become. Not only did Deloitte support his idea for a fundraiser to support the Paralyzed Veterans of America, they invited him to be the inaugural speaker and tell his story.
PRIDE at Chevron: We don’t want you to hold back
What do including sexual orientation in your EEO statement, marching as a corporate group in the Pride parade, and offering domestic partner benefits all have in common? They were all pretty rare in corporate America in the ‘90s.
Chevron accomplished many firsts for LGBTQ inclusivity, especially within the oil and energy industry. In this video they celebrate the founding members of their PRIDE Network, the group’s history, and their impact on the PRIDE community at Chevron today.
Most compelling are the stories from several of the founding members, which are great reminders of the life-altering capabilities of an inclusive workplace.
Young Professionals at Sonoco: We take diversity of thought seriously.
As a young person looking to make a splash early in their career, a large, complex organization like Sonoco may seem intimidating. But what if you heard that the CEO proposed holding a panel of young professionals so that their voices could be heard? Rebecca just might convince you to click “apply.”
Purl from Pixar: Change your culture, not your people
Based on a real story — the early work experience of Pixar animator Kristen Lester — this animated short contrasts exclusive and inclusive cultures. Feeling like an outsider, Purl finds a way to fit in at B.R.O. Capital, and it works until she is faced with a dilemma: will she allow the culture to change her, or will she change the culture?
This has a happy ending, as it did for Kristen: “[At my first job], I was like the only woman in the room, and so in order to do the thing that I loved, I sort of became one of the guys. And then I came to Pixar and I started to work on teams with women for the first time, and that actually made me realize how much of the female aspect of myself I had sort of buried and left behind.”
EVERYONE at Loews Hotels: We want you to be yourself. Really.
We often ask our storytellers, “Can you think of a time where you were able to truly be yourself at work?” It’s a question that lends itself to great employer branding stories because it involves something personal or unique about the storyteller and how they were positively accepted by their colleagues. What more can you ask for from an inclusion perspective?
When we posed this question to Emmanuel from Loews Hotels, his answer came quick: “I’m into fashion, and I always walk into a meeting doing my runway walk. Everyone laughs and cheers and I just feel so accepted for who I am. Even my crazy side.”
ERGs at BAE Systems: You have a community behind you.
Though some organizations are beginning to move away from Employee Resource Groups, for many large companies they remain a critical resource and source of empowerment to minority groups. But as with any work group (be it the Women’s Inclusion Network or the lunchtime running club) involvement and engagement can vary a lot from one organization to the next.
BAE Systems features stories of impact from multiple ERGs throughout the company. Not only do they share the impact for the person who needed help, but also they show how fulfilled the “helper” feels being able to give back to someone from their same background.
Focus on creating inclusion, not diversity content
Diversity and inclusion are top of mind for candidates as they evaluate your workplace. Don’t stop at representation and broad statements — find and share your inclusion stories that demonstrate these promises in a real way.