Insights on Inclusion: Addressing Covering and Imposter Syndrome in the Workplace

October 29, 2020 1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Session Type: Special Interests

In recent years, diversity has become an added extra in marketing and communication campaigns where we’ve seen the lineup of the Black woman, the curvy woman, the Muslim hijabi woman, the disabled and so on. And while visual diversity has been applauded, the other side is seeing a number of brands having to release statements that apologize for “missing the mark,” showing that diversity being treated as an added extra, a feature or just being thought about at casting level is not enough. Add to that a lack of inclusive culture in workplaces and we also are often being asked to assimilate into a culture and leave behind the very things that make us, us.

The climate around business is changing while expectations around the employee experience and what employees expect from their employers have shifted. Employees have a new set of expectations for leaders. Inclusion is part of the employee experience. Nearly every Fortune 500 company has a diversity and inclusion officer and programs focused on the needs of a diverse workforce.

Everyone is unique, and no single person is a complete representation of a certain group because everyone is exposed to different situations. Inclusion is about more than tolerating differences; it’s about creating an environment and safe space that welcomes everyone’s uniqueness.

The inclusion of these diverse groups within our industry can only add to the richness and diversity of thought, thereby bringing the best ideas to life and stimulating abundant creativity. Organizations and industries that succeed show the interdependence of diversity and inclusion. We must make conscientious efforts to make disruptive changes to our investment in diversity and inclusion to reflect a changing world.

Increased awareness of diversity issues opens a huge opportunity for agencies across the industry to collaborate on continuing to tackle these issues and educate together. PR agencies and companies should have dedicated resources to actively recruit diverse talent on every level. PR organizations should work on creating an inclusive environment where minorities can feel comfortable, voice opinions without fear of retribution and thrive.

Once you see the power of inclusion, there’s no looking back. It’s time for the PR industry to continue to move the needle forward.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to: 
• Summarize the data and dynamics around the term “covering” and how it is affecting the employee experience.
• Develop a framework to infuse inclusion in business objectives and drive engagement.
• Establish tips on how to disrupt diversity by defeating imposter syndrome.
Brandi Boatner headshot
Brandi Boatner

Social Justice Communications Lead, IBM Corporate Communications

Presenter