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Recap: How Diversity Shapes Culture and Influences Buying-Power

Diversity Event 2019

With six generations flexing their buying power in the marketplace at the same time, organizations need an employee base that is just as diverse, according to Jessica Kimball, human resources strategy leader at Mattel, Inc. Kimball was one of the featured speakers at the Orange County Public Relations Society of American diversity event, “How Diversity Shapes Culture and Influences Buying-Power” held on August 28 at Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, Calif. Joining Kimball were guest speakers Sandra Bernardo, senior manager of Consumer Education of Experian and Laarni Rosca Dacanay, public relations and communications consultant for Comcast NBCUniversal.

Even once they’re well established, Kimball emphasized successful brands must continue to listen to, and evolve with, their customer base. Kimball shared examples including Barbie – the aspirational doll that not has dolls that are role models for people of color, various shapes, sizes, professions and ethnic backgrounds. She shared how Luna Bars aligns its brand with causes that support women who are catalysts of change. To bring that mission to life, the nutrition bar company supported the 23 members of the United States Women’s National World Cup Team by paying each player $31,250 to make up for the disparity with the U.S. Men’s National Team players’ salaries.

Being authentic is the key; and simply executing tactics that their up to branding plans aren’t enough. Companies need to make it part of their culture, said Bernardo. She encouraged attendees to incorporate diversity and inclusion efforts at work in a REAL way:

Research – in understanding audiences and the employee base;

Elevate – to senior leadership buy-in;

Amplify – efforts to leverage all channels to show how a brand engages internally and externally

Lead – by example and become a subject matter expert.

Dacanay marveled at a friend’s title at Sony: Senior Vice President of Intersectionality. It’s an example of how diversity and inclusion efforts are not one size fits all. She urges companies to develop pipelines of diverse talent, and to go beyond the typical resources. Especially in the entertainment and media industries, which try to reflect their audiences, Dacanay, perhaps preaching to the choir, said it starts with have a workforce that is just as diverse.

More programming around diversity initiatives will be available through PRSA National in October. Learn more about PRSA’s diversity here.

Diversity Event 2019 Recap #2

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