We’ve seen some good come out of the past 12 months. Brands of all sizes that want to show they care about things stepping up, putting their money where their mouth is.
And it’s created this wonderful momentum, but can we keep it up? Our guest, Ankita Rao is a social impact practitioner who is here to help us figure out how to really create lasting change.
Ankita began her career as a consultant, later switching to international development which is more in line with her values. She’s now the portfolio manager of a venture philanthropy organization and brings her considerable insight to our show by asking “why” (you know we 💗 the “why” – it’s the foundation of any strategic approach and the inspiration behind “The Toddler Method” – our free and awesome download for marketers and entrepreneurs!).
Know the “why”
She wants the ‘why’ behind why a brand is saying something (cue Simon Sinek). How does DEI impact your organization? What positive returns could you see from this? Instead of seeing DEI as a movement that’s currently happening, she believes we need to see it from the lens of how it’s going to benefit you in long run.
“It’s a great trigger to start thinking about it, to going that one level deeper to actually implementing DEI into strategic planning or into my communication or marketing. Can I actually grow my business? And will my business actually be better? I think having that lens will hopefully trickle down into the day to day, from policies, procedures, all the way down to everyone’s day to day, because that’s actually the driving force of the organization.”
Ankita reasons that we need to eliminate the gap between intention and execution. For example, you can’t plan to meet equity targets but publish a job requirement that is not gendered appropriately or by its nature eliminates those very candidates that have been historically marginalized in the past!
Change comes from within
We want to hear brands saying racism sucks, but what are they doing internally to change ingrained biases that have stopped people of different backgrounds ascending to the top?
Ankita relates the example of a bulge bracket consultant firm who published an action plan with the 10 steps they’re taking internally. “They said they would report against that action plan every year, and then track against it. When I saw this, I was like, that’s fantastic, because they’re holding not only them themselves accountable, but asking other people to hold them accountable to what they’re doing.”
We love her positive stance when us old cynics debate whether real change can begin with tokenism.
“Tokenism or not, it needs to start somewhere. The pendulum needs to swing in one direction in some way, so at least the eyes have opened, at least that’s starting. Hopefully, by having more diversity and representation and maybe that one individual from a certain population group that has not been historically represented, they can help not just bring others up, but other individuals who may not have seen themselves in leadership positions now see themselves there. So, there becomes an organic change in the systems.”
Without giving away the whole podcast, because you really need to 👂👂 to it, she sees that the lines are blurring between for-profits and nonprofits as the younger generation demands impact, demands transparency, wants to touch, feel, see the results and to get involved.
Hurray for social change! But there’s a few things to consider:
- Why data can be a double-edged sword when you’re trying to be inclusive.
- How storytelling can help
- Why sharing your challenges and being vulnerable can make you/your company relatable, more authentic, and contribute towards transparency.
Listen to the episode now. We promise you’ll be inspired💛.
You can also find Ankita Rao on LinkedIn.
If you’d like to chat more about your marketing concerns (or any of your content!), please give us a shout at C+P Digital – we would love to help!
Plus, if you’re losing sleep over a particular marketing/business related problem or if you would like to suggest a guest on the 4AM Report, let us know.
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And as always, sweet dreams😴…well, hopefully!