Keep Moving Forward
By Lynn Branigan
Martin Luther King said it brilliantly. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Several companies across the marketing, media, and tech landscape are spending February – Black History Month – completing their submissions for the Diversity Best Practices (DBP) Index, which are due on March 12. These companies are part of #Inclusive100, which means they have committed to measuring progress against DEI initiatives. They are providing data related to the demographics of their workforce, their corporate culture, and their recruitment and retention practices for the sole purpose of moving forward to create a more equitable workplace and workforce.
I am in awe of the #Inclusive100 companies, because progress isn’t always easy. The numbers don’t always tell the stories they want to share, but they still fight to improve. They submit their data. They evaluate their results. They join the roundtable conversations and enthusiastically share ideas and repeat the actions that have helped companies reduce bias, hire and promote more people of color, and create cultures that are more inclusive and equitable. They fly, run, walk, and sometimes crawl, but they move forward.
This year especially, I feel a new energy in the intentions of the #Inclusive100 companies to demolish the barriers that have thwarted progress. The tragedies and injustices of the past year have created an urgency and solidified a determination to move forward in a meaningful, measurable way. The #Inclusive100 companies have the grit, guts and gumption to take on their challenges. The only thing they still need is scale, and that comes in the form of a broader consortium of companies willing to do the same thing they are doing. We invite all companies across marketing, media, and tech to join this movement. It is actionable. It is achievable. It is free. You can join by visiting sherunit.org and selection #Inclusive100 from the menu.
To truly celebrate Black History Month, we must not only commit to moving forward, we must insist on taking action to create momentum. Fly, run, walk, or crawl.