Diversity and Inclusion: how can design collaborate with your brand?

The theme diversity and inclusion is gaining more and more relevance in various segments of our society and has also received a closer look from companies in recent years. This is largely due to social networks, which have allowed brands to have closer contact and a more open dialogue with minority groups – who, as

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The theme diversity and inclusion is gaining more and more relevance in various segments of our society and has also received a closer look from companies in recent years. This is largely due to social networks, which have allowed brands to have closer contact and a more open dialogue with minority groups – who, as a rule, did not see themselves adequately represented in digital and offline media.

But now that companies have taken their first steps – highlighting people who were previously invisible, such as wheelchair users, black women and disabled people -, how can they expand this understanding of diversity? After all, this is the basis for them to be able to offer even more plurality in their ads, products and services according to standards of beauty and behavior that are real.

Understand how designers can contribute to this process and meet some brands that have been doing some good jobs!

What is the role of design in advancing diversity and inclusion?

For the diversity and inclusion to be really “embraced” by the brands – and approached in a realistic, empathic and innovative way – it is necessary that they understand more deeply the reality and worldview of their audience. And, in this sense, design offers great tools for companies to propose inclusive solutions.

In-depth qualitative research, immersion processes and approaches like Design Thinking are some examples of techniques that can help brands in this process. After all, they put the user at the center of the process, in a way he gains space to freely express his needs and interests.

Meninas Fortes: co-creation that won a lion in Cannes

One of the designers’ most important contributions to the diversity and inclusion agenda is to develop more collaborative creative processes, as happened in Nescau’s Meninas Fortes, (that means “strong girls” in english) campaign. Developed by a consultancy specialized in communication with women, the differential, in this case, was precisely to insert the people portrayed by the campaign into the center of the creative process.

For this, the consultancy made a report on the relationship of girls and women with sport and a gender focus in a survey by Estúdios Ideias on children and physical activities. Thus, the designers managed to raise a series of points of tension that kept girls away from sports, such as public spaces, harassment, relationship with the body and parental expectations.

Then, a meeting was held with mothers and fathers of girls, for a co-creation workshop. The goal was to understand how the brand could encourage the girls’ relationship with the sport. And, after defining a path, the consultancy made a risk analysis of the publicity pieces, to understand possible impacts. Watch the campaign video:

ThoughtWorks: diverse teams for more inclusive solutions

Brands can also help designers when it comes to diversity and inclusion! One of the ways to do this is to work with diverse teams – who have different worldviews – and sensitive to the importance of inclusion, which brings more perspectives and ideas “out of the box” for projects.

This was the bet of the technology company ThoughtWorks, which developed work environments to serve people with the most different physical needs and cultural identities, offering comfort, usability and a sense of belonging with the creation of gender-neutral bathrooms, adaptable furniture, corridors with induction circuit for people with hearing impairment, space for changing baby diapers and reflection rooms for employees of different beliefs.

In addition, for the theme of diversity and inclusion are always under discussion among the company’s teams, periodically, ThoughtWorks offers training, lectures and dynamics, in which different axes of diversity are discussed, such as race and gender.

Adobe Stock Premium: diversity and Inclusion in images

In order to collaborate with a more careful look of designers on Inclusion and breaking stereotypes in advertising, several initiatives have been created by brands in recent years. One was launched by Adobe Stock Premium:  Mulheres InVisíveis, (“Invisible women” in english), which brings women to the center of creation.

The project was developed in partnership with a company specialized in communication with women, and the photos are taken by Helen Salomão, a photographer from the Bahia State, whose characteristic is sensitive and natural work, capable of bringing photos closer to reality.

Because of movements like “Se não me vejo, não compro” (“If I don’t see myself, I don’t buy” in english) – which encourages the inclusion of black people in campaigns and products -, brands today are more attentive to diversity and inclusion. But it is necessary to go beyond the discourse and propose actions that really dialogue with the reality of its audiences. In this sense, design has the fundamental role in showing that the process can (and should!) Be carried out with empathy, curiosity and collaborative methods, contributing to a more diverse society.