As October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, I thought there was no better time to give an update on a few things we’ve been doing at Brandpoint.
In June 2020, we watched our home community of Minneapolis make international news when George Floyd was killed, sparking protests and calls for change around the world. That event caused some change in our company, too — we launched our first official Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
At its ground level, this committee is dedicated to promoting and facilitating progress for our company to become more diverse and inclusive, whether it’s through activities, education or new HR processes. However, as we began our meetings, it became clear that a lot of these concepts were ideas that we all felt strongly about already, both internally and with the work we do with our partners: Brandpoint has always put an emphasis on evolving and adapting with the world, rather than sticking to old ways just because “that’s how it’s always been done.”
We want to help make Brandpoint even more representative of the community around us and the clients we serve, and we want to make our company a truly inclusive place to work.
In the first meetings of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, we’ve begun planning a few new initiatives. The goal of these projects is to start normalizing thinking about diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our jobs, from extracurricular training sessions to new hire onboarding. Some examples:
- “Lunch n’ Learn” Sessions: Something Brandpoint did when we were all still working in the office (can you imagine?) was host monthly lunchtime training sessions featuring topics like mental health in the workplace, avoiding burnout and conflict resolution. Last month we held a virtual training meeting called “Fostering Inclusion in the Workplace,” which touched on all aspects of the word “diversity” and what that means in a professional setting.
- Updates to onboarding training: New hires at Brandpoint go through a robust onboarding, which includes meeting with all the different teams around the company in addition to being trained on their specific position. To add to that, we plan to roll out a set of videos featuring concepts related to the committee’s mission and will welcome our new coworkers in by showing what’s important to us as a whole.
- New opportunities for discussion: We are also in the process of planning organized discussion times for us to video chat about different media — kind of like a book club, but you can come and talk about anything you want, from movies to podcasts to articles to Netflix documentaries.
A commitment to visibility
Another important part of our new committee is holding ourselves accountable through transparency, visibility and regular communication. While the committee itself is only made up of 11 members, that doesn’t mean the rest of the company isn’t involved in the direction and execution of our plans. Things we’re doing to communicate regularly to the staff:
- Updates in our weekly internal newsletter, as well as notes in our quarterly all-staff meeting
- Calls for suggestions and submissions for one-off emails, such as the Global Diversity Awareness Newsletter being sent this month, featuring our staff’s recommendations for ways to celebrate the holiday (think recipes, local businesses to support, favorite international movies, etc.)
A focus on inclusion and empowerment
Lastly, a concept we are aiming to focus on going forward is the idea of what inclusion means in terms of moving our company forward.
Brandpoint wants to foster an environment where everyone feels heard — however, we also want to make sure our staff feels empowered to act upon their ideas. In fact, that’s how the Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed. A group of us went to our company president back in June to share the idea that Brandpoint was in need of a more formalized process to become more diverse and had a plan on how to make it happen. It’s so important to feel comfortable and safe at work to share your ideas and thoughts, but it’s even better to feel empowered to act upon these suggestions.
The leaders in our company can help encourage this by continually sharing high-level company plans, so we all feel educated on how Brandpoint is looking to grow.
We are so excited to see how the Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s projects and scope grow over time and what changes we can help make in our community and at Brandpoint. What is your company doing to celebrate Global Diversity Awareness Month? Let us know! We’d love to know more about what you’re doing and what’s important to you as a business.