Are Pictures Louder Than Words?

Did you notice that the real Rosie the Riveter passed away?  This iconic image was the first widespread public validation I had that girls could do anything in the workforce.  A lesson that we, as SDMWVLGBTBE (Small Disadvantaged or Disabled, Minority, Women, Veteran, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered Business Enterprise) owners should be very aware of when choosing images that will reflect our own commitment to diversity and inclusion.  In fact, you’ll notice that we use cartoon-like stick figures on our blog and other affiliated websites.  This art was designed after we dropped a multicultural photo image.  We dropped the image because so many other companies started using it — which we believe is because there are so few to choose from. And, the models’ clothing and hairstyles were severely out of date.  Our current colors come from an early conversation the boss had with a prior employer … “I don’t care black, purple, brown, orange or green this department will always look to hire the best people!”

So what bothers us about so many commercial (B2B or B2Consumer) websites is this lack of people: of color; with disabilities; and/or women in general. One associated with the military, for example, pictured nice young Caucasian men in business attire shaking hands.  A nice image, but what percentage of folks in uniform are women? What percentage now have spare parts or visible disabilities? And how many are not just the white guys in this particular photo?

The world we SDMWVLGBTBE owners live, hire and sell in has always been multicultural.  Our big corporations have begun to understand and address that multiculturalism in their television advertising (check out recent Indeed, Toyota and Marriott ads).  And, because we always preach walking the walk, perhaps SDMWVLGBTBEs should actually lead the way.  Let’s talk to our marketing people, our website designers, our advertising agencies and others about finding and using images that reflect better on the diversity and inclusion in our own businesses.

Let’s be proactive! People of color, women, people with disabilities, we need to see them – us – in business situations, conducting business, being the boss, being the sales person, giving the speeches, doing the work, etc.  Those are the images that will help encourage the next generation to see themselves as SDMWVLGBTBE business owners.