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How Diversity Supports Cultures and Clients

BY Valerie Perea

Author

One of our favorite panels at this year’s South X Southwest Festival was titled “How Diversity Shapes a Brand” led by Wade Davis, former NFL player and current thought leader, writer, public speaker and educator on gender, race and orientation equality. The panel also featured Ben Saba Hasan, Senior Vice President and Chief of Culture at Walmart. Diversity and inclusion continue to be a pertinent aspect of work environments, yet every day we still hear about resulting scandals and lawsuits. Therefore, we’d like to share the importance of diversity at Pulsar, common issues in work environments regarding diversity, and key takeaways of what you can do to enhance the diversity of your workplace.

We firmly believe that diversity leads to a well-rounded agency. We thrive on unique perspectives, different cultural backgrounds, and varying opinions that are brought to the table because of our diversity. Not only does it bring a unique sense of humanization to the workplace, but it also helps us to better understand our clients’ target audiences. Further, we’ve personally felt it boost morale and sense of belonging which reduces stress.

Though we work across a variety of industries, our most notable work is within the transportation and travel industries, focusing on broad target audiences that include all genders, ages and ethnicities. It works in our favor to hire a diverse staff. However, having a diverse work environment doesn’t mean much unless the leadership cultivates a culture that lends itself to an inclusive environment. As Wade Davis says, each individual employee must make a personal connection with diversity, “we must hold each other accountable to connect the issues of gender equality with our own personal purpose and values.” At Pulsar, we tap into our own personal purposes and values to create a sense of community and inclusion. As each of us find personal value in diversity, we see that it results in better service, more innovative ideas, greater inclusivity and, quite honestly, more fun in the workplace.

Ben Saba Hasan revealed some of the biggest diversity issues within work environments including pay gaps, isolation, a lack of education around sexism, and individuals not bringing their authentic selves to work. These issues cannot be solved unless leadership recognizes the need for growth and awareness. Leaders can start by first educating themselves and discovering their personal purpose and values as it pertains to diversity. They can then educate their organization about sexism and encourage men to be a part of the sexism conversation, promoting “men supporting women” and “women supporting men”.

Organizations can enhance their diversity by encouraging leaders to include individuals in the decision-making process and by soliciting the opinions of those that they wouldn’t normally include. The same neurons that are felt when someone is in pain are the same exact neurons that are fired off when someone is not included. Host a team-building event, such as a dining experience, without being able to see (whether in the dark or blindfolded). Losing a sense that most are used to having helps us to better understand those folks (whether target audience or co-worker) who are unable to see. This experience also creates a sense if inclusion for everyone. Ask leadership to write down what they feel they are currently doing for inclusion at work. They will likely notice more opportunities to be more inclusive.