Diversity is an increasingly hot topic in every industry, as people worldwide are becoming increasingly aware of social issues. Now, UNICEF Finland have produced a report following a recent roundtable with some of the largest companies in the Nordic region, including Rovio, Nokia, and LEGO, examining how diversity and inclusion actions can have a positive impact on children.
The roundtable found that avoiding harmful stereotypes in marketing, advertising, and product development is key to attracting a variety of groups. Positive representation allows people to feel 'seen', giving them a positive association with the brand. However, the report notes that diverse products and services can only be developed by diverse teams.
“To be effective, integrating diversity and inclusion needs to be an executive management level priority,” states the report. “This is a prerequisite for building an organisational culture of diversity and inclusion that can then expand to supply chains, business partners, and the wider community.”
The roundtable also found that gender balance, despite the societal and business benefits, remains a struggle for many industries.
“Companies carry a responsibility for next generations and should take meaningful action to nurture diverse future talent.”
Children are the future
“The 2.4 billion children on Earth today represent a world of diversity with differences in culture, ethnicity, nationality, religion, dis/ability, sex and so on. These differences can lead to stereotyping, discrimination, and exclusion from opportunity and can limit children from reaching their full potential,” states the report.
“Similarly, discrimination is an unfortunate reality for many parents and caregivers. It can have a significant indirect impact on children’s lives as the wellbeing, development and professional opportunities for parents are directly linked to time and resources they have to provide for their families.”
A focus on inclusivity doesn’t just build a positive brand name, but it makes the company a more attractive prospect for employment. A positive workplace culture ensures fair access to opportunity any allows disadvantaged people to compete by addressing both behavioural and structural barriers which could make it difficult to compete, whether this is addressing discriminatory behaviour within a company or ensuring an accessible workplace.
Companies can benefit from workplace policies which help further children’s rights, including those which promote a child’s wellbeing and give their guardian’s the necessary resources to care for their families.
Understanding and promoting the rights and needs of children is key, and there’s a substantial benefit from either engaging children directly or consulting and learning from experts “to better identify and hold themselves responsible for how their decisions influence the future generations’ wellbeing and opportunities.” Doing so can give a business positive inroads in bringing their products to the attention of young people and children in a respectful way, taking note of not just how they consume but in how they see the world.
In many ways, the technological boom over the past few decades has resulted in a larger leap forward in terms of diversity and inclusivity than ever before, giving people around the world access to greater resources and a platform to make their voice heard. As a result, more people than ever are able to take action and promote the causes that affect them. Younger generations are growing up with diversity as a given, rather than as an exception, and as such businesses who make a move towards a more inclusive and diverse workforce, and develop products and services which reflect that, are well versed for future success.
We listed Rovio as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.
(Image by Clay Banks on Unsplash