Special edition of one-word answers on diversity and inclusion

Diageo's Sophie Kelly, Boxed's Jackson Jeyanayagam and Badger & Winter's Madonna Badger share their thoughts.

Last week, Campaign US announced the honorees for its Inclusive & Creative Top 20 at an event in New York City, which included a panel on diversity and inclusion.

Panelists Sophie Kelly, senior vice president of marketing for Diageo whiskey brands in North America; Madonna Badger, CCO and founder of Badger & Winters; and Jackson Jeyanayagam, CMO at Boxed Wholesale; offered honest views on the industry today.

To follow up from the event, Campaign has asked them to explain in one word what needs to change in the industry when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Here’s what they had to say.

Jackson Jeyanayagam: Perspective.
Why? Perspective is so critical because improving diversity in any field isn’t only about saying, ‘Hey let’s get some more female candidates or people of color into the process,’ because many times that’s done from a ‘check the box’ mindset and that can actually take us backwards. Perspective is important because it reminds us that "diversity" is more than just ethnic/gender classifications is more than just ethnic/gender – it extends to socio-economic; school degree/type (which often times can be ethnically biased); and in general, a broader pool from where you recruit from.

Sophie Kelly: Intersectionality.
Why? Achieving diversity and inclusivity is about understanding, embracing and empowering different perspectives through the entire business. I am obsessed with understanding the intersectionality of identity that comes from people’s life experiences. Too often we are focused on blunt tools to unleash the right insights, when developing marketing communications and media, like passion points, age, gender, race… it’s not that simple anymore to connect in the right way with people.

Madonna Badger: Awake.
Why? Diversity and inclusion depends on making conscious decisions to create change. Waking up to the diversity of resumes we are actually seeing. Waking up to the unconscious bias we have toward gender, people of color, sexual identities, etc. Waking up to inclusion and diversity in our casting decisions, production decisions, creative decisions. Becoming awake is the key to ending unconscious bias, because once we see the world through conscious eyes, we can't ever go back to being asleep.

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