The global pandemic has brought to the forefront the structural inequalities that have long existed in our educational systems, in healthcare and in so many other facets of our lives. Despite stimulus plans, it is the least advantaged – communities of color and vulnerable communities – who are suffering the most.
Now is the time for business leaders to think about what kind of company they want their organizations to be, to examine not only how they could be more diverse and inclusive to employees, but how they could be a better, more inclusive and engaged business for the diversity within their communities, customers and audiences who may be disproportionately impacted by this crisis.
Today’s crisis is forcing companies to rethink, rewrite and rebalance their social contract with employees, communities and shareholders. One key focus of this rebalancing must be to help companies accept the responsibility and embrace the opportunity to unlearn stale patterns, confront limited narratives and champion the “we” agenda that is the foundation of diversity and inclusion and is a necessary part of every company’s innovation and relevance.
Now more than ever, the presence of diversity and the practice of inclusion is critical to view problems differently and consider a wider range of issues and impacts that we might not have otherwise. Diversity within communications and public relations is particularly important for companies as we often serve as an essential voice in guiding the strategic communications direction of a company, especially during crisis. The role of communications is a critical seat at the table right now.
BCW’s inclusion & diversity framework aims to move people – all kinds of people – to accelerate the COVID-19 recovery and set organizations up for success in our next normal.