There is a big spotlight on inclusivity in advertising right now, and marketers increasingly have the ability to shape the world. A single person sees almost 2 million ads per year — that’s 2 million opportunities for the industry to share positive messages, make people feel included, and build equity. Advertisers, agencies, and partners have been striving to address structural and systemic inequality with creativity. Here at Google, we’re listening, learning, and taking action — but there’s still much work to be done at an individual and interpersonal level, not just in seismic institutional shifts.
To be more inclusive in our marketing, we have to ensure that our teams are diverse — by embedding and supporting underrepresented talent in our teams so that our ideas benefit from a variety of perspectives — while thinking about inclusivity in the creative work we produce too. For some, the breadth of diversity, equity, and inclusion work can feel like standing at the bottom of a mountain. It’s difficult to know where to go next or how to measure progress. It was this challenge that led to the creation of a diagnostic tool to help us on this journey.
The Inclusivity Builder tool is a workshop that you go through as a team or individual, helping team members become more self-aware, better listeners, and stronger allies. This was created by one of our Employee Resource Groups, Women@Google London, to help drive change at a grassroots level across a spectrum of diversity and equality and inclusion matters. I can certainly say that it’s helped me on my own journey — it’s shown me where I’ve made progress and when and how I can be a better ally.
After seeing it being used by over 4,000 participants across 22 countries, and an average feedback score of 4.5 out of 5, we’ve decided to release this tool externally to help other organisations on their journeys too. And this tool is for everyone, not just marketers — so make sure you share it with your wider organisation too.
Tess Atkins, the creator of Inclusivity Builder, will explain more about how it works, while Google’s Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for EMEA, LATAM and Canada, Karina Govindji, expands on the value employee initiatives can bring and the role of leaders to instigate such work.
Inclusivity Builder: a diagnostic tool to overcome discomfort and spur action
Most diversity and inclusion work has historically been focused on women, the underrepresented or minority groups, helping them build a community or skills. And while there’s still a vital role for these initiatives, we also need efforts that focus on majority groups to enable them to become allies and take action.
Inclusivity Builder is a tool aimed at mobilising the majority group
This can be daunting. You want to make the world a more inclusive place, but you don’t know where to begin, which all too often leads to inertia. That’s the antithesis of what we want — everyone needs to start their journey, no matter their role, seniority, or personal identity.
This is why we launched Inclusivity Builder, which is aimed at mobilising the majority group. It’s an employee-driven diagnostic tool for self-reflection that helps people understand where they’re starting from and what steps to take first.
We use it Googler to Googler, across the company in the U.K. — all you need is the worksheet, a pen, and 10 minutes to begin. And because of the difference it’s made to our teams, we’ve decided to share it externally with the wider world.
It’s a great starting point for diversity and inclusion work as it helps you see your own identity in context. Understanding this, in terms of allyship, ingroup, outgroup, and privilege, is a key first step.
This can be uncomfortable, especially for those in a majority group. And when I say ‘a majority group’, it’s worth acknowledging that this is fluid. As a woman, I am sometimes in the minority when it comes to leadership representation. However, as a white person, I’m also frequently in a majority group.
Sitting in that discomfort is part of the work. You learn, lean in, and pretty soon you’ll stop centering on how you feel and shift your focus to the challenges faced by those in underrepresented groups.
This is why initiatives like Inclusivity Builder, which encourage you to do that work, are so important.
Empowering individuals to contribute to culture
When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s leaders who must help instigate change. A key part of that responsibility lies in empowering individuals to contribute to culture and mobilising people to take action.
Inclusivity Builder is a useful tool to help in that mission and, vitally, to help kick-start work in this space. People are able to identify an area of focus and begin their journey in affecting positive change. These focus areas can be built into development plans and performance reviews, which can help to tie individual contributions to the wider diversity and inclusion goals of their organisation.
At Google, we measure the progress against these goals with various metrics across hiring, progression, retention, and inclusion. We’ve published one of the most extensive sets of diversity data in the industry, transparently sharing our learnings with the world.
For marketers — with their power in shaping how we see ourselves and each other — this work at a personal level is so valuable. It can help provide the framework and confidence to create more inclusive work, with further resources found in our Inclusive Marketing Toolkit. Another programme worth exploring is our #IamRemarkable workshop, which has been particularly beneficial for women and underrepresented groups. To date, #IamRemarkable has reached over 250,000 participants across 800 companies in 150 countries, with the help of over 8,000 facilitators.
If you want to help create a more inclusive culture, Inclusivity Builder is a great place to start.