5 Things We Are Leaving Behind in 2020: Diversity Edition

By Eberé Anosike, Diversity Media Consultant @ DECA

 Upon reflection of the last year here are 5 things we are leaving behind in 2020 in the area of diversity.

If the last 365 days (2020) has taught us anything, it would probably  be that the nature of human beings is constantly being tested and going  through radical transformation in times of pressure, fear and upheaval. Social culture, values and beliefs systems have been widely challenged, reimagined and redirected.  This article is a reflection on 2020 from a diversity perspective featuring a list of topics which have reached a social decline in the contemporary cultural climate.

Despite the pandemonium of the pandemic, 2020 became the year of the people’s amplified voices. A record number of protests took place last year globally in the quest for racial justice, climate change, gender justice and governmental accountability to name a few. Amid this global wave of  social  and cultural awakening, the voices, demands and action of the people grew at an exceptional rate.

  1. A Lack of Diverse Representation Across Industries

An old time favourite which resurfaced was the lack of diversity across industries. People want to see themselves represented.   The shift in global consciousness led by cultural events meant that more and more brands are being held to account with increased  scrutiny on the subject of truthly reflecting the societies we live in.

  1. Performative Statements and Zero Action 

The public responded swiftly to the floods of corporate statements on the global anti-racism protest after the death of George Floyd. Investigations into companies diversity action were requested ; who’s on the teams, who do they work with, who is represented on their feed?  Empty brand statements with zero action is not cutting it anymore,  people want to make sure their personal values align with those of their favourite brands. 2020 has shown that the social bar has been set to a higher standard, that means a call for more brand transparency and accountability. 

  1. Ethnic Lumping

Ethnic grouping terminologies such as POC (People of Colour) and BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), have proven that they are inaccurate labels which aim to represent the vast and differing experiences of Non-White demographics. Lumping all brown people into one category is actually counterproductive in the goal to achieve authentic diversity. Why? The experiences, cultures and values range from group to group and within groups also. It is so important to identify diversity within diversity itself to ensure we are serving the people we want to represent and reach.

  1. Tone Death Marketing Campaigns

We have all seen the embarrassing and somewhat humbling corporate apologies for campaigns which have been way off the mark when it comes to diversity. Better processes need to be in place when it comes to signing off anything which seeks to achieve diversity in 20201.  2020 has exhibited  society’s growth  in cultural education, and as a result people are becoming more vigilant to the creative delivery of brands.

  1. Outdated D&I Strategies 

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs have been popular since the early 90s. The programs have been centered around diversity staffing and diversity awareness training. The programs  have not really further explored strategic processes to improve diversity reach, engagement and visibility. It’s high time to modernise the strategy. Check out our mission at DECA which works with brands to implement new strategies and targets to reach and engage with diverse audiences authentically. It’s time to move on from awareness and into action!



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