Over the last couple of weeks, did your company send out a statement about your commitment to diversity? Did a black employee work on it with you? Did you consult a Black influencer? If the answer to these questions is no, you probably didn’t have the impact you think you had.
I know it feels uncomfortable being called to address these things, but only by being transparent and honest will we get to the place where big diversity statements aren’t necessary.
We need to talk
It’s time we have a real conversation about lack of diversity in the influencer marketing industry.
According to Nielsen, “African Americans make up 14% of the U.S. population but have outsized influence over spending on essential items such as personal soap and bath needs ($573 million), feminine hygiene products ($54 million) and men’s toiletries ($61 million)”
If those stats are true, why is it that black women are far less represented on influencer marketing campaigns than white women? How is it possible to have an entire campaign with 10+ women and only 1 is black?
This is what we need to talk about.
Diversity is a buzzword
Over the last few years, various conferences have added panels to talk about lack of diversity in our industry. Agencies and networks have talked about it in internal retreats. Diversity is hot. Still, things remain the same.
Influencers need to take the lead
It’s time that influencers take the lead in starting these conversations. Then all of us, influencers, agencies, blog networks, recruiters work together to ensure that these conversations end with concrete action steps that lead to real change.
The Conversation – Black women and influencer marketing
Courage To Earn is sponsoring an action focused conversation with invited both black (and some non-black) influencers and representatives from agencies, publishing networks, influencer conferences, and blogger networks.
Lynn Johnson is an advocate and expert in the facilitation of difficult conversation around the themes of race, gender, and class. She has been recruited to lead this town hall type meeting, and is excited to support us as we discover how to truly advance our industry—for everyone.
The goal of the conversation is to give everyone the opportunity to transparently ask and answer questions, share ideas for improving diversity in influencer marketing, and walk away with a plan on how to provide greater support for black women.
We are asking agencies who are able to pay in order to cover administration of the event as well as Lynn’s consultant fee. If you are an influencer or an agency, network, brand who is unable to pay, there is a practically invisible administrative fee.
This needs to happen
We’re at a very critical point in our industry. These issues have been festering beneath the surface for years. Things are about to boil over. Before it does, let’s come together and figure out how we can do better together.
The Conversation will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, June 17 from 10 AM – 12 PM PST / 1 PM – 3 PM EST.
Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions before the event (that Lynn and Brandi Riley may revise for clarity), and will receive a list of all participants before the event begins.
If you have questions about this event, feel free to email Brandi Riley at [email protected]
“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others.” – Michelle Obama