Written by: Josh Walker
Diversity is more than a business buzzword. It should be something built into every aspect of an entrepreneur’s approach so it becomes part of their brand’s internal and external framework. But what are some of the best ways you can champion diversity? Here we look at six brands and the ways they’re championing diversity and inclusivity in the hopes that their approach will both inspire and inform.
Upcoming brands making big changes:
MOGUL Alumni, Toronto-based LESLEY HAMPTON is a fashion brand with diversity at its core. As well as focusing on inclusivity and identity, the label promotes mental health awareness and body-positivity. Its most recent Toronto Fashion Week show began with a performance by Indigenous singer-songwriter Iskwe, and featured all indigenous models. The label also started The LESLEY HAMPTON Wolfpack, a community and supportive space that allows for the creation of body positivity, mental health awareness and diversity within the fashion space.
TechGirls Canada x TWG
In 2018, TechGirls Canada and TWG collaborated to create Change Together, a do-it-yourself diversity guidebook to help start-ups and medium-sized businesses take positive steps towards diversifying their workplaces. “Change Together was designed as a pilot to explore, test and report on a set of strategies for addressing intersectional gender diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace - and make this effort accessible for startups and scale-ups specifically,” says Saadia Muzaffar, entrepreneur and founder of TechGirls.
After noticing a lack of representation within the fashion industry, entrepreneur Josiane Laure Modjom decided to set up a networking platform dedicated to providing visibility for those often overlooked or without a voice. The result is Malia Indigo, and has already connected a number of models, designers and influencers worldwide. It has also hosted panels with body positivity activists and designers, discussing representation in the sector.
Bigger brands doing it right:
As a company committed to diverse workplaces, Accenture has introduced a number of tools to create a supportive, inclusive work environment. Not only does it have an Accenture Diversity Council, which assesses various issues surrounding diversity and sets strategic directions to overcome them, but has a Conduct Counts program, which uses Speak Up buttons to encourage people to speak up when they witness or hear of misconduct in the workplace.
CIBC is a brand that’s prioritized diversity and has the results to prove it. Currently, 92% of CIBC employees believe their teams support an inclusive workplace 56% of the global workforce are women. It’s achieved this by launching a number of People Networks, such as the Indigenous Employee Circle, Latin Network and Pride Network, and introduced unconscious bias training and a number of workshops.
How are you championing diversity and inclusivity in your business? We’d love to hear! Let us know below, on our Instagram or with #MOGULDiversityMatters on Twitter, and in return we’ll throw you a discount for an upcoming City MOGULS event!