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Posts Tagged ‘diversity’

Barbie Plays Dress Up for Latin America

barbies

They are the world.

Since Barbie hit the shelves in 1959, Mattel has been diligent in discovering news ways to make money from its greatest creation. Barbie has grown an extended family from different parts of the world or has entered the corporate world to capitalize on any array of wardrobe accouterments.

According to her official websiteBarbara Millicent Roberts has had close to 150 careers, represented more than 40 different nationalities and collaborated with more than 75 fashion designers. With one Barbie sold every 3 seconds somewhere in the world, she remains the world’s most popular doll and a powerhouse brand among girls of all ages.

Only one small problem: On the way to global domination, Barbie forgot that a new outfit doesn’t automatically mean a new culture … and then Mattel (may have) offended parts Latin America with a few tactful stereotypes.

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Apple Promises More Diversity in Its Emoji Department

iOS-Emoticon-300x300In case you thought MTV had lost its cultural influence, think again. This week Apple’s communications department agreed with the youth network and its unofficial spokesperson Miley Cyrus: the emoji family needs to diversify.

Inspired by Baby Daddy star Tahj Mowry’s Twitter lament over the lack of explicitly African-American emojis, MTV’s Joey Parker emailed CEO Tim Scott about the issue and got a response from the top of the PR team. Worldwide corp comms VP Kate Cotton wrote:

“Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms.  There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”

No word on how or when this change will come about, but we just know that it will be a generation ahead of us.

While we admire Apple’s responsiveness and its desire to better serve its incredibly diverse fan base, we have a few emoji questions of our own…

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Twitter Proves It Is Not a Monochromatic Medium

Pew Research

Now that Twitter is public and wants to take its IPO out for a spin, the social media/microblog giant is looking for novel ways to promote its stock. So, the Twitter employed twits to do some research and found out diversity does’t just represent ‘Merica … it sells itself too!

The graph above was supplied by Pew Research and the Wall Street Journal to shed some light on its users that are more diverse than the uber social media icons. This new diverse appeal isn’t an accident: in November, Twitter hired Nuria Santamaria as multicultural strategist, and the cutesy  chirp-chirp is feeling her influence in more ways than one. 

Ms. Santamaria says advertisers want to know more about racial and ethnic minorities on Twitter, from basic numbers to the languages in which they tweet. Last month, Twitter began showing ad agencies data from a coming report saying that Hispanics tweet more often than other users and activity among them rises when the conversation is about technology.

So, if that makes you want to buy stock, enjoy. And if you, like the rest of us, don’t understand the stock market, then you’ve probably moved on to a story about Justin Bieber. So enjoy that too.

NAACP Reaching Out to LGBT Community

When Benjamin Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), visited Manhattan’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center last week, he also made history. It was the first time in history that the organization’s sitting presidents visited an LGBT center.

It’s part of an outreach effort to promote the  “One Nation Working Together” march in Washington D.C. on October 2. Last year, the NAACP advocated against Proposition 8 and, in July, rolled out an LGBT Equality Taskforce at its annual convention.

In its story, The Root attributes this increased solidarity with the LGBT community to Jealous’ personal experience (he has a brother who’s gay) and his age, with younger African Americans favoring gay rights more than older members of the community.

In addition, studies also show that LGBT members of the Black community are more severely impacted by the lack of unity. The “One Nation Working Together” march will focus on jobs, an area where a large swath of the population is feeling the pain in this economy.

“The person who stands in my position needs to be prepared to stand up for the civil rights of everybody,” Jealous is quoted on The Root. “And it’s now my job to make sure there are no second-class citizens in this economy.”

Social Media, Like Beer, Bringing People Together

A post on The Harvard Business Review touts the fact that some companies are using blogs and other online outlets as a vehicle for diversity training. “[I]n the coming months, we could see the social web emerge as a sort of online Obama Beer Summit — a neutral place, with a knowledgeable and impartial moderator, where people from disparate cultures can get to know each other and ask questions they might not otherwise ask,” writes Roger Crockett.

Crockett goes on to point out a Deloitte study showing the continued struggle at companies to implement and staff social media sites. Diversity training is a sensitive issue that requires dedicated staff or knowledgeable outside resources. Ed Moran, a director of product innovation technology at Deloitte “suggests considering partnering with an existing diversity-recruiting community on Facebook or LinkedIn, or with an organization committed to diversity, which has already built robust social media capabilities.”