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Mission.org

Marketers: do your part to advance diversity in tech

While venture capitalists, journalists, and socially conscious technocrats tweetstorm about the need for more women and people of color in tech — marketers have the ability to create that reality, today.

The Luxe app features several people of color — as valet drivers
Designer tool Wake.io’s product video features an office full of white people

Like racism in America, the problem of diversity in tech is systemic in nature.

You can trace it throughout the entire lifecycle of a company from how founders get funded all the way though to unconscious biases in hiring practices where women and people of color don’t make the cut because they “aren’t a culture fit”.

Marketers, here’s how you can be more inclusive:

  • Learn about and uncover your unconscious biases. Watch this training video produced by Google and take this implicit association test.
  • Move beyond John Appleseed as the default user. Add in diverse imagery including non-traditional family structures to your social posts, videos, and landing pages.
  • Reconsider the word choice in your company and job descriptions. For instance, women are less likely to apply to “male-sounding” postings where words like “assertive” and “determined” are used.
  • Use a marketing meeting format that solicits feedback from everyone in the room. A simple way to do that is to use the round robin technique where one at a time, each person submits ideas and reactions. No response or interruption is allowed. Once the first participant is finished contributing, the participant sitting directly to his or her right contributes an additional point, idea, or thought — that way everyone gets heard.
  • Openly share your company’s values. Burger King did this with their rainbow-colored wrapper in support of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage.
The Proud Whopper celebrates #LoveWins
  • Ensure your user research collects feedback from a wider potential user base to get a sense for how your branding resonates (or doesn’t) with different groups of people.
  • Participate in platforms like Glassbreakers, a mentorship program for women.
  • Use ad targeting and segmenting to provide appropriate multicultural messaging to potential users and candidates. It signals you truly value them.
  • Set clear diversity goals for recruiting new team members. Your recruitment process needs to change — if you keep using the same techniques you’ll get the same results. Use a hiring platform like Unitive that helps you read resumes more objectively or sponsor highly qualified but underrepresented talent coming from programs like General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund.

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Esther Crawford

Product at Twitter. Life story: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” Optimist. Technologist. Wearer of many hats.