Interactive Day San Diego, hosted by SDX, was a one-day conference held in Downtown San Diego on May 18, 2018. The conference included a full lineup of trailblazers in industries ranging from marketing to tech. Although each session had a different focus and different speakers, they all had a meaningful topic in common, the importance of diversity in the workplace.
#1: Serve Clients Better
The opening keynote speaker, Brandon Farbstein, was diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism at a young age. Because of this, Farbstein learned from day one that he would have to create solutions for problems that most people don’t have in their lives, and he did it all with positivity.
Now he speaks all over the world, at the young age of 18, inspiring individuals and companies alike to transform themselves for the better by simply shifting their perspective to creative innovative ideas with a positive attitude.
Takeaway: Diverse employees come from a variety of backgrounds and have different experiences. This allows them to better serve clients, solve solutions in a different manner, and bring a different viewpoint to the table.
#2: Attract a Larger Talent Pool
Former creative director and author, Mara Lecocq, delivered a presentation about her viral spreadsheet, WhereAreTheBossLadies, a list of female executives in advertising. The project reveals less than 15% of women are in executive roles and aims to encourage agencies to promote diversity within their workforce.
The database allows women from all over the world to find companies where they, too, can have a female boss and have the opportunity to move up the ladder in an organization that supports women’s needs and goals.
Takeaway: Creating a workplace that is tailored to women invites a larger talent pool. If a company fosters a healthy work environment for women, more talented women will aspire to work there and current employees will want to stay because of the inclusive environment.
#3: Make Informed Decisions
Closing keynote speakers, Aaron Walton of Walton Isaacson and Lisen Stromberg of the 3% Movement spoke about diversity at the end of the conference. One of the key points they focused on was mistakes of past companies that could have been prevented with a diverse team reviewing the work.
For example, they discussed the Pepsi commercial with Kendall Jenner that stirred up controversy in April 2017. Walton and Stromberg agreed the scandal might not have occurred if the room at Pepsi was filled with a diverse group of people when discussing the idea for the ad.
Takeaway: Diversity in the workplace allows agencies to make the best decisions and avoid controversial mistakes. By hearing from a variety of voices, companies can make sure decisions are approved by a wider audience.
A diverse workplace fosters different ideas and perspectives, which help companies serve clients better, attract a larger talent pool, and make informed decisions. As Stephen Covey once said, “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”