Videos on diversity and inclusion for your workplace.

Aug 11, 2021 | Cornerstone

Diversity and inclusion are no longer just a nice thing to have in company culture. There is a growing expectation that the workplace should explicitly be supportive. And it should be reflected in any videos on diversity shown in the workplace.

The events of the past few years have helped accelerate employee engagement in these types of discussions.  And true leaders are seizing the moment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in their own organizations.

Therefore, there is no better time to create videos to celebrate successes and map out the next steps forward.

Do the work before you do the video.

However, if your organization has not done the work to establish the appropriate policies, creating a video by itself should be at the bottom of your list.

Creating a true policy and supportive atmosphere requires a willingness to ask difficult questions about diversity and inclusion. You need to address gaps and mistakes in your current policies, understand the experiences your employees have and make clear plans to move forward.  All within the context of different perceptions and needs.

Any video that is long on platitudes, and/or filled with images from stock footage that does not really reflect your workplace, will be seen as out of touch with reality.  If anything, a video that focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion must start with the individuals who are directly embedded in company culture.

Creating corporate videos to feature inclusive culture can backfire. Anything that does not pass the test of authenticity will be seen as corporate propaganda or worse, disastrous in terms of legitimacy.

Is good for business.

This is not an article on how to create and implement a diversity, equity, and inclusiveness policy, but you must recognize that it is not just the right thing to do, it is also a particularly good step for your business.

A McKinsey & Company 2020 Report of 15 countries and more than 1,000 large companies reaffirmed that there is a strong business case for both gender diversity and ethnic and cultural diversity in corporate leadership—and it continues to strengthen. The most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform in terms of profitability than less diverse ones.

Companies with women representing 30 percent of their executives are more likely to outperform companies with fewer women in executive suites by significant amounts – up to 48 percent more, compared to the least gender-diverse companies.

In terms of ethnic and cultural diversity, business-case findings are equally compelling: in 2019, top-quartile companies outperformed those in the fourth quartile by as much as 36 percent in profitability.

Where to start videos on diversity?

As a good first step to avoid pitfalls like racist content (and it does still happen) or harmful stereotypes in your video, it is important to have a diverse video production team.

Then members of this team will help you root out the worst of the worst that may escape many people because they are not exposed to the issue.

It is important not to assume that any member of the video team has all the answers on specific issues; rather, they can provide insight to various issues that may not been seen by others.

The first step is outlining objectives.

For example, what is the purpose? Address what the real challenges in Diversity or Inclusion.  What are the goals of the organization?

How will the video be rolled out?  Will it be a stand-alone piece or delivered as part of campaign?

Who will be your audience?  Is it the rank and file, new employees, middle management, or human resources, just to name a few?

In every instance, do your homework and gather data and clearly outline the objectives of the video. Ensure it is a reality-based video that will connect with your audience.

Diversity teams are great at gathering data but if there is no team, video producers are great with employee interviews. Once the objective of the video is defined and relevant content is identified, you are ready to produce the video.

The best way to approach the video is to be factually oriented with a focus on specific content and issues.  Stay away from identifying any specific group.  If you are to focus on a specific employee, highlight this person’s accomplishments in a qualitative manner, and link performance of the employee to overall corporate goals and initiatives.

Videos on diversity should depict a genuine interest in bridging any diversity divide.

Videos are a great way of evoking emotion.  They easily establish an emotional link to the desire to overcome diversity and inclusion challenges in an organization.  A simple interview with a major actor within an organization will often go much further than a detailed  policy statement if it conveys an emotional commitment to the issues.

Nevertheless, it is important to be transparent about these challenges.  Highlight different situations or specific challenges that might be faced by any group. It is also a good way to educate employees about high-profile topics (like race and gender), but also topics that have a lower visibility such as disability or religion.

Within the context of the video, it is important to clearly define your terms.  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion may be interpreted in a multidimensional way.

To some people, “diversity” is perceived as “more women” or “more African-Americans.” Poorly designed videos reinforce this paradigm by devoting the bulk of their content to a single diversity issue.

Exceptional videos introduce various scenarios where a variety of diversity-related conflicts or misunderstandings can be discussed in a safe environment.

About Company Culture

Company culture should be one of the places to focus a video because of its impact.

Besides the fact that diversity improves your current business, 67 percent of workers consider diversity when seeking employment. According to a Glassdoor survey, 72 percent of women, 89 percent of black respondents, 80 percent of Asians, and 70 percent of Latinos said workforce diversity was important to them. A significant majority of white respondents also said workforce diversity is important.

In Microsoft Advertising’s research for The Psychology of Inclusion and the Effects in Advertising, almost two-thirds (64%) of people said they are more trusting of brands that represent diversity in their ads. About the same number (63%) said brands that represent diversity in ads are more authentic.

What type of topics works well?

First, a video that highlights Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness does not have to be directly focused on the topic. Rather, this can very much be the atmosphere of the video.  The choice of who speaks on issues, is represented in B-Roll or appears in any other aspect of a video can be part of a commitment to the issues.

Another approach is to highlight the work of various organizations that are supported by the company that are related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness.

A good example could celebrate participation in organizations such as charitable or industry-specific bodies such as Women in Digital or Advancing Women in Leadership.

Other stories can be more personal profiles of individuals who may have been successful within the company.

Some videos can celebrate various important dates such as Black History or Pride month, or events or employees who participate in these organizations. Other ideas may be more explanatory and support the interests of religious employees.

Training and awareness

One of the biggest challenges is that not everyone will have either the same experience or perception. This is a good place for training videos.  It allows you to develop a common reference.

Here are a couple of interesting examples.

Assumptions and personal experiences

https://youtu.be/2g88Ju6nkcg

Unconscious Bias

https://youtu.be/NW5s_-Nl3JE

How to make your videos on diversity more accessible

Language versions of videos are an important aspect of inclusiveness.  Videos are that are only subtitled in a second language may give the impression that a certain population within your audience is not valued.  It certainly takes more work, but using narration, and some relevant interviews in the second language along with onscreen text is an important part of creating inclusive content.  Final words

The discussion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness is only going to accelerate over the next few years.

Therefore, there is no better time to create videos to celebrate successes and map out the next steps forward.

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Resources

30 video production types

 

Photos:

Storyblocks
South Indian Woman by Raksh1tha is licensed under CC BY 2.0