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Material Joins 3% Conference Spotlighting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Creative Industries

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Material Joins 3% Conference Spotlighting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Creative Industries

In November 2021, Material took part in the 3% Movement’s 10th Anniversary conference themed around “A Decade of Difference.”

Hosted both virtually and in-person in Atlanta, GA, the event spanned two days dedicated to recognizing the systems of oppression ingrained in the business of creativity and celebrating the successes of the 3% Movement across diverse workplace representation, pay equity, support for caregivers, and other circles of social inequity. 

During the conference, Material’s newly appointed Chief Culture Officer, Kiva Wilson, hosted an interactive roundtable focused on ADHD, anxiety, and the leadership abilities that are inherent, yet often downplayed, within these identities. Employees across our company also attended virtually and in-person, and had some exciting feedback at its conclusion: 

Highlights from Material employees 

“It might seem obvious, but I really appreciated seeing and learning from so many inspiring women and minorities. This was my first time attending any kind of conference like this and I was in awe of the diversity of the stories and experiences that were shared so authentically. It’s amazing that a platform like this exists and celebrates people being so vulnerable and raw with how they got to where they are so that the next generations might not feel so alone.”  

  • Christine Yun, Digital Experience and Product Design  

“We talked beyond the lens of race and gender to also discuss ableism and ageism. Though these were separate breakout rooms, there was room for each person’s intersectional identities to inform the whiteboarding discussions we had about how to meaningfully change and improve our workplaces relating to the breakout room topic.” 

  • Jade Jackson, Customer Experience Consulting 

“I appreciated being in person with my colleagues, getting to meet some new ones, hearing inspirational panels about what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done.” 

  • Amy Rodriguez, Client Engagement and Delivery 

Embracing all dimensions of diversity

The disparities and inequalities that the 3% Movement was founded to dissolve still exist across industries and even within our own company. Our attending colleagues also offered some challenges and reminders about how we can keep teams inclusive and innovative by embracing all dimensions of diversity: 

“This [workplace inclusivity] is everyone’s job every day, not just a group who is spearheading an initiative. Be aware, be present, understand who is in the room, and look for end-to-end DEI opportunities.” 

“In my pocket of the organization, we do well at racial diversity and women specifically, are well represented. We have more room to grow when it comes to the type of opportunities afforded to women on our team (women plan team social events and are the go-to’s for “beautifying” presentations) and representation among our leadership team (i.e., our team is more than half made up of people who identify as women, but only represent 1 of 4 our leadership team). Our work environment is also extremely heteronormative. I’d invite us to check our biases when making selections for opportunities and be mindful of providing opportunities for people to grow in areas we have not seen them contribute in. I’d also invite us to democratize the way we brainstorm by using whiteboarding and design thinking techniques so that everyone has a chance to contribute.” 

“Just ask, when you look to your left and to your right, who do you see and who do you not see?” 

Fueling innovation, creating a better world

The cornerstone of the 3% Movement posits that the more varied the people are in rooms of influence, the more innovative ideas will be, and the more robust business performance becomes. Material is committed to the diverse future of our industry, and we are invested in creating businesses, brands, and working experiences designed around equity and belonging. 

About the author

Material is a leading global consumer intelligence and customer experience consultancy. Partnering with business leaders, we help tackle their most significant customer challenges to help them differentiate in the marketplace, build smarter, more connected experiences, and maximize value delivered to customers and society. Our unique customer intelligence engine is powered by analytics and behavioral science, fuels world-class design and enables the delivery of products and services to bring digital transformation to life.

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