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How diversity and equality can benefit businesses in the UK

DESPITE WHAT some newspapers might tell you, equality and diversity form the cornerstone of all progressive western democracies. Those with antiquated views and opinions are slowly being replaced by forward thinking individuals with progressive, egalitarian beliefs.

The gender pay gap and racial inequality are both being addressed by big businesses and the media, and although progress is slow, it’s still good to see that advances are being made. Equality and diversification can also benefit the progress of big businesses as well as that of society.

In this article we take a look at the various ways in which businesses can benefit from growing equality, both morally, socially and financially.


If there are two people doing exactly the same job in an office, garnering the same results but being paid differently, what does that do for morale?

Of course, asking a colleague what they’re paid remains a major taboo, but from April 2018, all companies in the UK have been required to publish their gender pay gap differences by law. So if Steve from accounts is being paid £2,000 more than his colleague Sarah, there’s going to be a negative impact on morale.

Apart from the obvious moral obligations, paying your workers fairly and equally is a positive business approach. If you harbour an environment of positivity rather than one of negativity and enviousness, then your workers will be more likely to perform.

Defying stereotypes

In the video game market, advertising has traditionally been aimed at males, and in particular, those that like action-packed violent thriller games. When the industry decides to target female gamers, they stick to outdated stereotypes of pink-strewn games that focus on cooking and cleaning.

Yet a recent study suggested that 45% of all gamers in the USA are female, and the approach being adopted by video game marketers is alienating a lot of potential female customers. A more considered approach that advertises to consumers based on statistics rather than stereotypes will be more financially beneficial in the long-run.

Approaching different demographics
The largest and loudest demographic in the UK at time of writing is middle-aged white men, rather crudely termed as ‘gammon men’ recently. They shout the loudest, and they perhaps have the largest disposable income of all demographics.

So it’s only natural that advertising is focused on them, one notable betting company uses Ray Winstone to front their adverts and appeal to this demographic. But are the advertisers missing a trick?

This area is highly-saturated with almost every company vying to catch the attention of the middle-aged white man. Advertising centred purely on this section of the population is at risk of alienating other key demographics.

The middle-aged white man doesn’t represent the whole of the UK, there are plenty of other groups of people that are being marginalised by advertising that is not aimed at them.

The phrase The Pink Pound’ first appeared in common parlance in the mid 1980’s’ and refers to the spending power of the LGBT community.
Companies that have catered their business plans towards the LGBT community have reaped the financial benefits. The LGBT community is worth an estimated $790 billion in the USA and around a trillion dollars worldwide.

Traditional advertising that centres on the mainstream majority may not be the best place to look for aspiring businesses looking to increase their revenues. Finding a niche among a minority will not only boost equality and integration, but it will reap financial rewards too.

Bad implementation

It can be incredibly tempting for companies to take advantage of social media crazes, but also incredibly perilous.

The hashtag #GarethSouthgateWould was trending in the UK thanks to the success of the England football team at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, and plenty of companies are taking advantage of this Twitter surge to promote their business, which is fair enough.

Yet some companies drastically misjudge the tone and meaning of certain hashtags and social media movements, none more so than global brand Pepsi. In 2017 a series of videos emerged showing police brutality towards African-American citizens in the USA.

This prompted the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which carries a massively important sentiment – that of racial equality in America, as well as exposing bigoted practices in the police force.

However, the marketing gurus at Pepsi saw this as an advertising opportunity and shamelessly attempted to promote their product on the back of the campaign. A terribly distasteful advert was produced, featuring Kendall Jenner cooling tensions between African-American protesters and the police, by offering a police officer a can of Pepsi… Yes, really.

The backlash against Pepsi was immediate and widespread. The lesson for future advertising gurus? Think through the actions of your campaign before attempting to bring an unnecessary levity to an extremely important issue.

Good implementation

Who really goes out of their way to appeal to middle-aged women? There is no doubt that a company could profit from this huge market.

This key demographic is often ignored by advertising companies as they either seek the money of younger women for beauty products or older women for things like home appliances.

One company appealing to the demographic of middle-aged women is UK based slots company Rose Slots, who have made the brave move whilst doing it in a non-cringey way. The USP of the online company is its plethora of online gaming slots.

Usually, these would be marketed to men who were interested in sports betting primarily and slots secondarily. Yet Rose Slots have identified middle-aged women as their key demographic and have gone after them in a calculated and non-intrusive manner.

Their website is fairly basic, and doesn’t fall into the trap of playing up to stereotypes whilst also rubbishing the air of exclusivity that plagues other companies in their sector.
Advertising needs to change and adapt to reach more customers in a highly diverse marketplace. Businesses can no longer get away with ‘safe’ campaigns aimed at large demographics.

The way to create a diverse, equal society is to cater for everyone and by doing this businesses can also reap the financial rewards.

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