Hey white guys, make some noise

Diversity is everyone's fight argues AnalogFolk's founder and chief strategy officer.

The chances are that you are a privileged white guy reading this.

And chances are you’ve twigged that this is yet another article banging on about diversity.

So you’re probably thinking about whether you should read this.

Because you’ve read this before.

Or an article pretty much like it.

It’s not because you’re not interested.

You already know the arguments.

You’re already sold that change needs to happen.

But you feel slightly awkward as the white guy.

This isn’t your fight.

Except that it is.

Melinda Gates is a powerful woman.

They don’t come much more powerful or influential.

But at SXSW she said that she doesn’t believe one woman on the team can make the difference.

One person of colour on the team doesn’t make the difference.

Because there’s only one of them.

But many more of you.

You can affect change much more effectively than they can on their own.

Bozoma Saint John, chief brand officer at Uber is one woman.

And she’s a woman of colour.

She also didn’t mince her words at SXSW.

She wants, "white men to look around in their office and say, ‘Oh look, there’s a lot of white men here. Let’s change this. Why do I — as the black woman — have to fix that? There’s 50 of you, there’s one of me. Ya’ll fix it. Everybody else needs to make the noise. I want white men to make the noise."

So there you go, make some noise.

Because change isn’t happening at the scale or pace that it should be.

But we can change that today.

As a white man leading an independent agency network, I need to think about making noise more than most.

Start-ups are important in any industry. They bring fresh ideas. New ways of doing things.

They bring disruption. And if the industry takes heed of this disruption, everyone benefits.

So I feel a sense of responsibility.

But also excitement at the opportunity we have to make a difference.

We encourage people to bring their whole selves to the workplace.

It builds an authentic community.

It also leads to greater variety of ideas based on diverse personal experiences.

We need to work on the cultural growth plan.

Not just our product growth plan.

We can keep asking the questions until people take notice.

We can check our own unconscious bias.

And help others check theirs.

Because we all have them.

We can change how you recruit and interview.

We can go and speak to the women, people of colour or neuro-diverse in our company.

Ask them how we can support them.

Let them know we’ve got their back, we’re in this together.

We can make change happen.


Matt Dyke is founder and chief strategy officer at AnalogFolk

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