Join the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee!
Want to drive positive change within our company? .
Then joining the new RTL AdAlliance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committee is for you!
To find out what DEI is all about, we spoke to Stephen Byrne who has been an active member of the DEI team for smartclip since it was founded in 2021 – with members from across all offices and different backgrounds.
Stephen, could you tell us a bit about what a DEI Committee is all about? And maybe give us an example of a DEI initiative?
The committee is promoting diversion, equity, and inclusion, so the number one goal is to raise awareness of issues and to educate why such a group is important to speak out for those who traditionally have had less of a voice.
We’ve been working on a wide range of initiatives, including the “privilege walk”. Basically, it is a group exercise that follows a certain structure and reveals how people are born into certain privileged positions opposed to others. Although we had to do it virtually, due to Covid-19, it was quite an impactful session.
(If you are curious, check out the privilege walk exercise on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K5fbQ1-zps)
We did other things like for example around pride together with the marketing team, and we also push article related to DEI topics externally and internally.
How does the work of a DEI Committee impact a company? Why is it important?
It is evident that our society is changing rapidly and each generation change has different expectations. It is particularly important to have a forum to stay in tune with a changing culture and society that can offer recommendations to the leadership team.
The overall goal is to give employees equity and an even playing field. It is also about employer branding. You attract new employees who can appreciate the added value of working for a company that is taking these issues seriously. Culture has always been a big part of smartclip’s identity and the plan is to continue this for RTL AdAlliance with its own DEI committee!
Lastly, a DEI committee holds the leadership accountable for these topics. Obviously, we are in tough economic times, and it is easy to always prioritisze the hard business topics instead of these softer topics. It is essential to have a body of people empowered to ensure these important subjects are not being neglected.
How does the DEI Committee collaborate with the leadership team or other departments?
Whenever things are needed, typically the chair of the DEI committee would address the leadership team with an idea or recommendation the team . It’s a very hands-on procedure, it’s not about constantly reporting. When there is a need, it gets on the agenda.
This is what is happening with RTL AdAlliance now – we recognised the need for enlarging the committee beyond smartclip Tech and so we are forming a new committee, strongly supported by the RTL AdAlliance leadership team.
As we are all busy bees – how much time do you spend on DEI work? Are there options of different levels of involvement?
As a regular member, it is not a huge time commitment. But you must be diligent with the work. It is important to commit to the meetings because that is when we get the to-do lists checked off and plan initiatives.
We have been having biweekly meetings that last about an hour and then there might be some work outside of that. It is probably a couple of hours a month. Of course, the chair and vice-chair of the committee are far more involved.
Stephen – thank you for being a champion for diversity 😊!