Erin Groh
Marketing Director, AVIAA

“We value diversity” is a popular message uttered by brands in marketing campaigns and social media captions, often accompanied by rainbow flags and pink ribbons, but valuing diversity is more than just a #MagicalPhrase to trot out during February, June, or October. To truly value diversity, you have to intentionally integrate it into the operations of your business.

When most people think of diversity in the workplace, they assume that’s relegated to HR and hiring practices, but it goes far beyond that. Is your marketing inclusive? Take a look at your marketing materials and social media posts. Are the photos mostly of white men? That certainly wouldn’t surprise me. I’ve often joked that AVIAA should start a side business producing and selling aviation stock photos, because the inventory is so limited.

Set measurable goals that you can build upon: 50% of social media posts to showcase women and people of color, 35% of future hires to satisfy an identified diversity metric, etc. And then actually measure your progress. Simply naming diversity as a value does not make it so.

Why Is A Diverse Workforce So Important?
Diversity goes far beyond ethnicity. Gender and identity, sexual orientation, age, experience, and background are all parameters that help bring you different perspectives and talents. This expands your customer base. Your clients want to identify with staff and know that they will feel welcomed and appreciated.  Your diverse team will also influence how you market to and retain customers. Your products will be more attractive to more people if more types of people make them. The simple act of having another perspective in the room will make others more cognizant of the decisions they are making and the messaging they are projecting.

And let’s face it, a diverse workforce is good PR, but if that’s not enough to convince you, here are just a few compelling statistics to show how diversity helps your bottom line:

At AVIAA we’ve purposely built a team that has complete gender parity at every level of the company, a rarity in most industries, especially aviation. But beyond that, we’ve also intentionally looked to people with experience in other industries. Yes, our team has deep aviation experience, but we also have experts from insurance, media, hospitality, food service, and high tech. Together, this team brings new insights and approaches that have helped us scale the business in a smart and strategic way. As I am frequently fond of saying, you can’t change an old boys’ club with a bunch of old boys.