DOES DIVERSITY DRIVE CREATIVITY?
The recent shake-up to UK politics has seen more women and ethnic minorities than ever before entering as members of parliament. Gone are the days when UK politicians were middle-aged white males, derived mainly from elite educational institutions such as Eton and Oxbridge. Today 208 out of the 650 MPs are female. There are also an increasing number of ethnic minority MPs (52) and LGBT MPs (45). Source: BBC, Election Results, 2017.
However, more needs to be done. Google says diversity is far from being solved as it is still seen as a “trend”. Nishma Robb, Google’s Chair of Women and Head of Ads Marketing, said companies are making changes but at a slow pace. Source: McKinsey, Why diversity matters, 2015.
“I sometimes think the evolution of man happened faster than gender equality. Why are we moving at the pace we are? Is it because diversity is seen as a trend alongside mindfulness? We are still a long way off having it resolved,” she said.
Teams I’ve been part of have usually been fairly diverse in gender and social background, but not necessarily race. However, I find the issue of diversity starts to affect me when I seek to bounce ideas off colleagues to find a creative solution rather than day-to-day office networking.
When brainstorming a task to develop an innovative concept for a slick marketing campaign, having a team of ten people from the same background will not do you any favours in unique idea generation. People will instinctively draw from their experiences, education, upbringing, etc. to formulate ideas. This will lead to similar proposals being brought to the table. That’s fine if your brainstorming group is from the same demographic as your end user, however, having a diverse environment in which to form, storm and norm will foster different angles to push your target market and truly give them something superior to the competition.
Our team at First Base feature a mix of people from all backgrounds. We find no two brainstorming sessions are ever alike. Of course, it’s no good just being diverse. The idea creation has to be there. Our staff, are passionate about digital, we leave our egos at the door and can put the client first through putting ourselves in their shoes. We don’t have a culture where those who shout the loudest will see their ideas favoured and no one person has complete autonomy for creative concept generation. This, therefore, allows diversity to rise to the top; for ideas to be proposed and discussed and ultimately for the best ideas to be put before the client that are creative, memorable and relevant.