How to create a diverse marketing team

Jamie Love, Monumental Marketing founder, explains how to maintain a diverse staff and help members of the LGBTQ+ community in their professional endeavours.

LGBTQ+

The word ‘corporate’ is often associated with the stereotype of ‘old white male privilege’ but this is changing.

Instead of seas of white straight men covering the floors of office buildings, the office at Monumental is filled with people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, sexualities and most importantly for a digital agency, full of different stories and points of view. As the CEO and founder of Monumental Marketing, one of my first endeavours was to make sure that every wave looked different.

In my previous jobs, the onlyness was all too real. Everyday, I was the only openly gay man walking into the office, this takes a toll on your mental health and work. The only one with a differentiating opinion, the only one under the pressure to perform the stereotype of gay men, the only ‘anomaly’. I have strived to make sure the pattern at Monumental is full of anomalies, making it a pattern worth looking at.

Putting diversity at the forefront has always been of utmost importance, from our legal policies to casual office conversations, we make sure that LGBTQ+ topics are always met with acceptance instead of dismissal due to a lack of understanding a culture different from the ‘mainstream’. For so long many of these conversations were seen as taboo and, depending who you talk to, maybe even, NSFW (not safe for work). However, we encourage those conversations and want coming to work not only to be a place of business but a place of engagement.

Empowered people empower people

Not only are all of our team part of the LGBTQ+ community, but so are most of our clients aka there is no tolerance for descrimination. There is a clear understanding between all parties that we are all working to promote each other. By partnering with us, our clients are promoting the agency and we promote our clients. The proof is in the pudding –
companies that embrace LGBT policies outperform their competitors.

When statistics show that more than a third of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination and that almost a third of non-binary people (31%) and one in five trans people (18%) don’t feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression – it makes you realise the fight is far from over.

It also highlights the importance of formalising anti-discrimination policies into recruitment and promotion practices. From the second someone joins the Monumental family, the team works to bring them up and vice versa. With everyone being so diverse, opportunities at Monumental are equally available to all which is the ultimate ode to a diverse business. Everyone at Monumental has the same opportunities to succeed, the element of togetherness is piercing as we choose that over competition.

‘True diversity is based on equal opportunities’

Something to note is that inclusion does not mean integration – this is something that many big corporations fail to acknowledge when trying to diversify their policies and approach. Often we see companies adding LGBTQ+ clauses to their policies instead of including them in the original clause. This in turn has a contradiction effect wherein an attempt to be inclusive singles out those it was meant to be beneficial to, simply missing the mark. We have made sure we are
true to being inclusive. Our policies do not differ between LGBTQ+ and cisgender, instead the processes and policies are written to include anyone that they may pertain to – which is everyone. It is only then that real inclusion occurs and that
equality can prevail.

Lockdown has been a time to take an introspective look on all aspects of society, leaving no stone unturned. All communities have the right to be heard, the right to the same opportunities, the right to equality.

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