‘Diversity’ is the new trend in workplaces worldwide. Still, the practical meaning behind it is more than just hype for equality and social movement.
When speaking about diversity and inclusion, this is probably what most people would usually think about:
Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 – protest against racism
Or this. The #MeToo campaign to call for women’s right and gender equality
However, when it comes to workplaces, diversity is not only about having people from different groups of ethnicities or gender on the team, but also about how we synergize with colleagues who are different, from races and ethnicities, to age and gender, and even to the formal education background, work experience, living environment, sociopolitical viewpoint, hobby, etc. For people who speak the same language, there’s also a vast difference in their personalities and interests. And all of these differences contribute to workplace diversity.
The importance of having a diversified workforce
It would be much easier to hire and work with people who think the same. However, people with similar perceptions and methods would help the organization move forward fast, but risky! When everyone is looking in the same direction, no one will look at other ways. By doing so, they can overlook or compromise on bypassing minor problems that have the potential to escalate into a crisis in the future. But by having a diversified team, companies can be confident that they’re looking at the problem from many different angles to come up with a satisfying solution for many parties.
Diversity brings balance into business operation
The first vital point in building inclusion is understanding – understand yourself, understand your peers, and understand the variance between you and your peers. Once you’ve acknowledged the dissimilarity, the second step is to respect the different points of view.
And it’s not just within the team. When working with international clients, we observed how Western and Eastern vary from each other, from the way they communicate with the agency partner to their way of making a decision. For clients who come from low power distance cultures, we are free to reach out to key decision-makers to discuss the marketing activities. While for clients who come from high hierarchy culture, we don’t usually speak with their decision-makers in daily conversation. It can require a little bit of time to finalize the plan. Despite the differences, EloQ’s open-minded approach toward cultural diversity has allowed us to successfully work with a diversified clientele, partners, and colleagues coming from more than 30 different countries.
Diversity in the PR industry
For the public relations industry (where the public opinion matters!), understanding and respecting the culture of a specific group is a prerequisite to any successful global-scale campaign – and that’s where diversity plays its role. Having a diverse workforce can not only increase creativity, but also help PR agencies to understand a more varied client base, and cater campaigns for more people without being cultural insensitive.
Burger King’s advertisement in New Zealand was taken down for making fun of the Asian cultures.
Heineken was accused of racism in their’ lighter is better’ campaign. And there are still more names to add to this subject. Don’t you guys ever learn your lesson?
Working with a local agency that understands the local culture is an excellent choice to overcome cultural barriers for international businesses. For example, at EloQ Communications, we appreciate the differences that each individual can bring to our team. Our diversified team of experts allows us to think of new ideas to achieve communications goals and get more value to our clients. Thanks to this diversity, EloQ Communications does not limit ourselves to any specific category, industry, or service. As we respect our own diversity, we also respect our clients’ diversity and the nature of their campaigns. So if you seek marketing or communications support for your business in the Vietnam market, we are here to support you.
“In general, PR an industry which I think is more accepting and welcoming of diversity than other industries, and I believe no matter what background, education level, demographics or disadvantage a person has, as long as he or she has the right attitude and determination to learn, they can excel in PR,” said Dr. Clāra Ly-Le, Managing Director of EloQ Communications.
To conclude, globalization has turned the world into a melting pot and shed light on diversity and inclusion. Having an open culture toward diversity not only helps employees feel comfortable and connected at work, but also allow an organization to be more flexible with what they offer to consumers and clients. For people working in the PR industry (like us, for example), being considerate toward diversity would help brands avoid ‘silly’ mistakes stemming from cultural differences.
Hanh Le, Assistant to Managing Director at EloQ Communications. Hanh is supporting EloQ in connecting and maintaining relationships with more than 10 partner agencies in Asia and other global PR networks to execute global projects, as well as to leverage service quality in the communications industry.