Diversity, equity and inclusion at Pomegranite
One of the things I enjoy most about being part of the Pomegranite team is the inherent inclusivity in the way we work. In discussions, whether technical or strategic, there is space (and expectation) that all team members have value to add.
Somehow, Pomegranite has made this discussion space unpressured. It’s a place where we can show up as our whole selves, so we don’t have to carve off the bits that one often feels must be “left at home”. We can contribute our ideas and creativity with authenticity and conviction.
Pretending to be something or someone is exhausting, but it is so often required of people in their professional work environments. Unless you work in a culture of genuine curiosity and camaraderie, where teammates really want to get to know and understand their colleagues, workplaces can default to the cultural milieu of the majority of staff or even the most senior people.
In formal terms, Pomegranite’s approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) is a strategic imperative that is embedded in company culture. We will integrate our formalised DE&I framework into the onboarding of new staff as well as internal toolkits. These toolkits will act as authoritative and adaptable resources, enabling our team to learn more about language and behaviours, and preferences inclusivity for marginalised, underrepresented or even persecuted individuals and communities.
Professional DE&I frameworks foreground concepts such as workplace empathy and celebrating backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. At its core, DE&I is about being able to identify when or if discriminatory barriers are compromising equity.
Many may find it a daunting task, and the fear of offending someone in our quest to include them is a common one. But incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion measures into company culture doesn’t have to feel difficult. It means:
- Embracing humility
- Embracing ongoing learning
- Remaining mindful of our own preconceptions and the fact that they are preconceptions
- Being aware of diversity and what that actually means. Recognising that identities can be men, women, transgender, queer, straight, white, single, married, marginalised, very privileged, with varying abilities, etc.
As a team of writers, web developers, content creators, project managers and more, we understand that language is not neutral. Being clear about the meanings of words in different contexts and cultures, and taking the time to understand what meanings (implicit or explicit) an image might convey, makes the difference in ensuring successful, targeted messaging.
Change leads to impact
DE&I means extending compassion and knowing there is always room for more seats at the table. It’s about helping our clients find their voice online and in the world of digital communications. Pomegranite works closely with the nuances and sensitivities that form the foundation of our clients’ NGO work, which are heightened in a context where expressions of gender and sexual diversity are threatened at a global level, particularly on the African continent.
But it’s also about simple things – it’s talking about family traditions without feeling odd, or feeling comfortable speaking about experiences that you know are probably unique to you. It’s about being human and acknowledging things like neurodivergence and disabilities. It’s about thinking of who might go unheard in any situation and making the effort to lend your voice – or perhaps more importantly, to lend individuals the space to make themselves heard and giving them the surety that they will be acknowledged.
It’s about doing what we’ve always done – creating work for our clients that reflects who we are and what we stand for.
Image: Dall-e OpenAI