Mia Cadle, Kent State University
The Impact of Action and DEI Initiatives
On May 25, 2020, police murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since that day, the discussion of the movement of racial reckoning has not stopped. According to the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, this movement is calling for more intentional efforts of national proposals for truth and racial healing. But what does this mean for companies?
This September, I took a trip to New York City with the National Millennial and Gen Z Community to meet with different top-level executives from companies like Padilla, R/GA, and Nielsen (just to name a few). Here is where I learned the answer to that question for many companies: action.
Action is a word that means many things. However, according to Google, the term can be used to describe the fact or process of doing something, particularly to achieve an aim. The goal of business action should be to create a cycle that supports employees and emphasizes their well-being.
Action means supporting employees with resources. Diversity, equity and inclusion are great examples of a resource within a company. By providing marginalized groups support, companies show their dedication to supporting their employees.
When employees feel supported, they will have more confidence, resulting in more drive to take initiative. The initiative is needed because it restarts the cycle - whether a new project or a new group within the company.
Companies like R/GA, a marketing firm dedicated to innovating product experiences, brand strategy, and marketing communications, are taking steps to ensure that action is everywhere. In the diversity of their staff, their clients, and their work. Companies like R/GA strive to show they are not just a company that creates campaigns but that they are a company that stands by their people.
Diversity, equity and inclusion were here before George Floyd's death, and they will continue to be here long after, but only with an emphasis on action. In order to make a real difference, action must accompany words.
Before, I had a brief understanding of what DEI marginalized groups need for success, yet now I understand. Diversity, equity and inclusion need action and people willing to stand by them on the journey they will take.
After the NY trip, I learned that if there is one thing needed in the world right now, it is action. Because action helps begin the cycle of growth and progression and ends it.