Public Goals and Regular Updates Provide Higher Accountability for Promises of Inclusivity


Societal unrest during the summer of 2020 led many businesses to take a hard look at what they represented to their audiences in terms of diversity and inclusion. Since then we’ve seen many organizations make statements and promises to practice greater inclusivity on everything from hiring to campaign content and representation. Whether or not these promises resulted in real change remains to be seen.

While systemic change takes time, eager audiences want to know where organizations stand in their progression toward inclusivity. In Edelman’s 2020 Trust Barometer Special Report: A Universal Demand for Change, 63 percent of respondents said brands making a statement without taking action may be seen as “exploitative and opportunistic.”

Communicators are the gatekeepers to delivering on the results of these initiatives.

Setting public goals “brings an additional level of accountability to a broader group of stakeholders, including employees, customers and partners,” says Laura Birk, VP, Human Resources, Barilla Americas.

In addition, “Public goals also provide an opportunity to bring key learnings to the industry. We’re not afraid for other companies to learn with us from our mistakes.”
Change Starts from the Inside
For many organizations, communicating progress on their initiatives starts with transparent internal communication. Employees often are the first to hear of such promises and see the diversity strategy, creating a great impact on the morale and belief system of the company.

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