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Are you writing tokenistically?

Writers can push back on content and campaigns they know to be lacking true diversity, which will generate negative reactions. This might be done under the guise of protecting the brand, but the true aim of combatting tokenism is to limit symbolic efforts. The aim is to genuinely increase diverse representation. Here are some examples of tokenism:

• Using people of different ethnicities in accompanying photos but only hiring from your own circle.

• Posting shoutouts on social for International Women's Day then disregarding women's contributions in meetings.

• Creating a DEI blog without interviewing people of different backgrounds.

• Putting up an anti-discrimination sign without including those with lived experience of discrimination in your team.

• Sharing articles promoting body neutrality but keeping a slim-people friend group.

• Researching and linking to research studies into people' with different abilities, which are conducted by able groups.

• Offering mental health and physical fitness content for all ages but not including invisible abilities.

Are you writing these into your career? Tokenism is easier than real change, that's why we fall into it.

None of the above tokens are inherently bad-intentioned. But they do harm, regardless of the intentions. Want to know why? We recommend hearing Zoe Osinnowo, Head of Influencer Marketing and Business Inclusivity Lead at FCB Inferno discuss the issue with Jenna Alicia.

Any tokens we missed? Comment and help us all learn!

If you're looking to be more inclusive of all your workforce, Rural Mental Health Matters is a great place to start learning and training your team.



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