As marketers, in many situations, we’re putting the bow on the package and selling that box, so to speak, to our customers. When approaching my work, I like to think of it this way: we’re telling the best story we have to tell today and working with the business to change it to create a better story for tomorrow.
As marketers and communicators, we must think of ourselves first as partners to the business to shape the product we’re marketing. In my work telling our Workplace story (Human Resources, culture, Diversity & Inclusion) at Lenovo, our team has partnered across the business in some unique ways, specifically around Diversity and Inclusion. We set out to influence the 3Ps that apply to D&I across our company: the people, the product, and the promotion.
- Diversity & Inclusion Report
In 2018 our team spearheaded Lenovo’s first Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Report. We sold the idea to our leadership using data and insights, built a coalition of support, and demonstrated its impact on reputation. At the same time, we advocated for setting workforce representation goals at the executive level and challenged the organization to stretch to achieve these, among other goals. Subsequently, each year we expand the data we share and update on progress towards our goals.
- Product Diversity Office
In 2019, we identified the opportunity to increase how inclusive our products are. As D&I grows and as new, emerging technologies become staple ingredients in solutions, having a process of checks and reviews is essential to consider how this technology is used across gender, race, ability, age, etc. Think about artificial intelligence. Facial recognition. Gesture recognition. Voice recognition. We need to make sure we’ve deliberately and carefully thought through the choices we make in design and development. As we transform from a hardware device company to a service-led one, this only increases in importance, as does the importance of our 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Report, which has evolved tremendously over the last 3 years.
- Inclusive Marketing Initiative
Earlier this year, I teamed up with a colleague of mine in Brand to launch an initiative we’re calling Inclusive Marketing, beginning in Lenovo Worldwide Marketing. It came about from our relationship with Haben Girma, who advises Lenovo on accessibility. When I met with Haben, it became clear that we in global marketing could do a better job of being inclusive in all that we do. We launched a project team across the marketing functions to create an action plan for the next six months to drive greater diversity and inclusivity across our work, from our website to social media to storytelling to even the reports we release.
While there’s no final destination for a journey like making the workplace, our products, and our marketing more inclusive, charting our course, and having the flexibility to adapt as society changes, is not only right, but exciting, challenging, and it fulfills the potential of our brand – delivering smarter technology for all. As a marketer, I’m grateful and excited about the deeper ways we can partner across our business to create change.
Written by – AMA Triangle’s Paid Social Ads Manager + DEI Advisor, and Lenovo’s Director of Global Communications, Kristy Fair Ballentine