This is Why Representation Matters

Do you remember the Italian FA’s campaign to combat racism? They launched this after a number of the black players in the league spoke out about the increasing number of racist taunts suffered when playing.

I strongly believe that when embarking on a campaign as sensitive as this, the team should be represented with people of colour, different races and sexes. If the decision makers of this campaign had people around them to advise and steer the visuals in a way that wasn’t offensive, there could’ve been a different outcome.

Unfortunately, Italy get it wrong again. Real caption from a newspaper in Italy depicting black players who are performing well.

People from diverse walks of life bring different ideas, ideals and experiences. This doesn’t happen if there is always one demographic overpowering the room, even if they did spend 2 years travelling south east Asia!

Now I’m not saying chuck a random person of colour or self identifying woman in the room for the sake of it, they have to earn their right to be there. However once they are there, it’s up to the company to ensure that they have a space where they feel comfortable to express their ideas, opinions and views.

There may have been a person in the room who did not feel comfortable with the visuals shown, but because they didn’t feel comfortable in that space giving feedback against the status quo, they kept quiet.

I think that these visuals should be submitted for a reboot of the War of the World’s remake and its back to the drawing board Italian FA. What are your thoughts?

H&M apologised for the image and removed the post following backlash

Not having representation of different races – and sexes, for that matter – can contribute to major mishaps in advertising and marketing. Remember the H&M ad that showed the cute black boy in the hoodie that read Coolest monkey in the jungle? Or the Gucci roll neck that was labelled as ‘blackface’ by social media users and influencers alike? One Twitter user said in response: “If you hire more Black people and cultivate an environment where people on all levels of the company feel comfortable to speak up incidents like this will be avoided.

Is it a power thing? Why does it seem so difficult for the one overpowering demographic to allow others through the door?

You can’t expect different results if the people in the room are all the same

If this persists, then the same demographic will always be at the top of the corporate ladder. In my personal experience, I’m used to being told that I have the potential, but I’m not quite there yet.

So I’ve started to push them further and ask what steps I need to take to ‘get there’?

What are your thoughts on representation in the corporate world? What experiences do you have which you could share to assist me and other readers?

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