Uncovering Fake Diversity: The Hard Truth About Inclusion and Budgets

Uncovering Fake Diversity: The Hard Truth About Inclusion and Budgets

Fake diversity is now a real thing. “Unfortunately, we forgot to include your budget in the plan. Since you are here in the special position that we have made for you, it wasn’t of importance to be included..”

Fake diversity is real.

Developments have been observed in many well-known companies and brands over the past few years including the representation of social minorities and the quest of reaching new target groups.

In my many years of work as a consultant in the field of diversity (be it in advertising, film, music, or fashion industry, in various companies and institutions), I have realized over and over again that…

  1. I am the only woman of color on my team. Sometimes I am even the only person of color that there is.

As the only woman of color on these teams, it is clear to me that resolving this issue will take some time. This is so that we eventually get to a point where the mindset is to invite and assign people of color to teams.

  1. Unfortunately they have “very little to no budget” for my “special position”.

There is also a roadblock when it comes to having little to no budget. When western companies discover new markets for themselves through affluent minorities, they MUST, under all circumstances, appropriately pay the contributors who also come from these minority groups and who have laboriously fought their way up.

Just because people of color wait longer for opportunities than most, it does not mean that they should be paid any less. How can we resolve this? When people of color understand their own worth and the value of their expertise, they will then insist on their right to fair treatment. Occasionally this may mean not getting the job or losing it altogether. But those who stand up for themselves eventually do so for others as well. This will then lead management to notice.

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What else can be done? Witnessing such situations and speaking out on behalf of the person affected.

Regardless of this, it also helps to ask yourself how often you come across this topic without really consciously perceiving them. Sometimes, we live in a filtered bubble and are not aware of what is going on around us.

Nevertheless, we can always learn and grow. And I believe that good will come out of this change in perspective. All of us can listen, learn, inform ourselves, and grow together. Those businesses which are incapable of learning don’t deserve the time or talent that people of color can provide. One that knows its power and is determined to make a positive change. Please seek advice not only through me but also through other innovative agencies I have worked with in the past.

Fake diversity is a real thing. We make it real through our ignorance and our arrogance. It’s time for a change. I make it my number one priority to abolish fake diversity in my work culture. This is a fundamental value that MERIEM LEBDIRI is providing to all its customers.

Much love,

Meriem Lebdiri

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