One of the key topics that comes up increasingly often when speaking about the next generation of young employees and consumers is diversity. Young people don’t just prefer, but have come to expect, businesses to take the issue seriously, from employing people from a range of backgrounds to representing diverse young people in their marketing. Here are five companies that are setting a great example for all.
Have you ever searched for an image and found yourself confronted with rows of white faces? Pinterest wants to make sure this won’t be the experience of their 175 million monthly users. After discovering that search results for queries such as “hair ideas” were dominated by white women, with a lack of relevant style inspo for people of other backgrounds, Pinterest’s Head of Inclusion and Diversity Candice Morgan worked with their team to find an answer. They came up with a system to analyse skin tone, categorised by colour shades rather than ethnicity, and last week they launched a new option to “pick a skin tone range to personalise your results.”
Pinterest’s Creative Strategy Lead Brad Spychalski will be joining our Creating Truthful and Innovative Digital Content panel at YMS18 SFO.
After noticing an absence of black employees at the investment bank where he was interning last summer, Harvard student Angel Onuoha decided to take matters into his own hands. Collaborating with a friend and fellow student, Drew Tucker, started an investment fund called BLK Capital, that gives black students experience and ensures banks have no excuse for not hiring a diverse mix of graduates and interns. The hedge fund now has almost 100 members and has attracted funding from Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, among others.
At YMS18 LDN earlier this year, The Dots founder Pip Jamieson spoke about the efforts her company is making to increase the opportunities available to people of all backgrounds in the creative industries. Pip had found that these roles are often filled by “mates of mates” which can create homogeneity and stifle creativity. The Dots is described as “the LinkedIn for creatives” as it connects businesses with potential employees and freelancers in areas such as marketing and design. They came up with an algorithm to make sure that employers are presented with a diverse mix of candidates for roles they advertise on the platform.
FindSpark is an organisation the supports a community of over 28,000 students, recent graduates and young professionals in developing skills and finding career opportunities. Their work includes mentorship events and connecting their members with internships and jobs at companies such as L’Oréal, Buzzfeed, Yelp, Bustle and HBO. They have a strong focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, launching projects like the FAME portfolio school, in collaboration with ad agency Grey. The initiative aims to broaden access to the skills needed to work in the advertising industry.
FindSpark founder Emily Miethner will be speaking on our YMS18 NYC panel, Representing Youth: Marketing To Diverse Teens.
British broadcaster ITV launched their Women’s Network in 2016 as part of their ITV Responsibility commitments to creating an inclusive workforce, programming, culture and more. Their activities have included events for their female employees, nominating regional representatives to give women around the country a voice in discussions, and an initiative to get more women interviewees and experts on the news. The BBC also has similar programs, such as the GWiN (Global Women in News) Network and the FaB (Finance and Business) Women’s Network.
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