Very few people will actively argue against diversity on content and social teams, yet many teams lack diversity. A lack of diversity leads to a lack of perspectives. A lack of perspective can lead to content that alienates and offends one or many groups of people. All of this is usually an unintentional oversight.
An example of this took place this week on Twitter. Ellen DeGeneres posted a tweet with an image of her riding on the back of Olympic track hero, Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world. The copy stated, “This is how I’m running all my errands from now on. #Rio2016″ She also tagged Bolt in the image.
Is Ellen a racist? No. Could diversity on her team have prevented this misstep? Yes. It’s likely that her team is diverse, but is it diverse enough that a group who could see this post snowballing into what it has become, step in and advise against this posting without feeling out of place? Often times if diverse members of a team are still in the minority, they may feel out of place calling something out as problematic. The fear that they are being overly sensitive will be labeled as difficult to work with, or the worst possible option— that their opinion will be steamrolled anyway and it’s not worth then expending energy to speak out—can hinder authentic discussions about content.
There are a number of ways this could have been handled. The point here is that if the diversity we see on Twitter was represented in her content team, perhaps a group would have spoken up about the deeper meanings implied by her image before sending it out. And there we have it, the case for diversity.