This letter is the commencement of change.
TRIBE’s existing and undefined approach to diversity and inclusion requires it.
Our platform has connected over 8,000 marketers with 80,000 content creators, producing over 1,000,000 pieces of branded content. We employ 55 staff in four countries.
We want to drive meaningful impact in society via the tens of thousands of touchpoints we have across the advertising community. That possibility begins with us.
We started our journey with a staff-led forum that covered three vital components of the conversation.
1. Have we historically operated TRIBE inclusively and with diversity in mind?
2. As an organisation, how can we improve in diversity and inclusion?
3. How can our platform educate marketers about diversity and ensure equal opportunities for all creators.
A Look Inward
A 4.5 year old startup has a lot of things on its mind as it grows from two people to 20 people and beyond. Whilst never having a specific diversity and inclusion mandate, we formed a diverse group and proudly championed the individual. Not by design nor by agenda.
But we are not naive to gaps within our organisation. A retrospective ‘good enough’ attitude towards diversity and inclusion is not good enough. To begin to solve the problem, we realised that we have never educated our staff on this vital topic and we need to, as the world does.
The business is committed to improvement.
The staff-led forum will continue to meet monthly and help drive grassroots initiatives. Collaborative goals will be set and sponsored by senior leaders to ensure follow-through.
Our objective is to provide education and make resources available to create an environment where conversation occurs and action follows. We expect the pathway to be iterative and to consistently progress.
Our Impact on Advertising
Every year, thousands of brands in Australia, UK and US use our platform to source branded content. Once purchased, this content lives in social media, digital advertising, websites and billboards.
Our platform works on the basis of connecting brands with their ‘influential customers’. A brand can very well expect diversity in the creators and content that TRIBE delivers to them, but we rarely encourage brands to brief for or select content through a lens of diversity.
We assumed the natural diversity of the marketplace would be enough. It isn’t.
For our brands, we commit to better educate you on the diversity within TRIBE. This means:
Provide you with more information on why diversity is important when choosing the creators and content to represent your brand.
Guiding you to build a brief that encourages diversity in responses.
Helping you make decisions with diversity in mind.
Delivering you creators and content that reflects the diversity of your customer base.
To Our Beautiful Creator Network
Thank you for the feedback in this vital area. We have listened and strive to continuously improve.
We haven’t placed enough focus on surfacing and championing diversity within our network. We know it exists, but just knowing is not good enough.
The changes you will start to see include:
More diversity in mood board imagery.
Diversity statements within briefs.
Better educated brands making more diverse and inclusive decisions.
The diversity of our creator network being far better elevated across our business, social media and advertising.
With this, we expect you’ll start to notice the difference over the coming months.
The dialogue with our creators, brands and staff remains perpetually open.
We will continue to test and iterate along the way knowing that diversity in our platform will never be viewed through a singular lens. We will continue to ask you for your feedback and act if we get it wrong. We will keep you informed about our progress.
We have the opportunity to positively impact the marketing and advertising world in a meaningful way. This letter is a commitment from TRIBE staff, leadership and myself. It is the start of our diversity and inclusion journey and it will evolve and endure as long as we do.
Anthony Svirskis, TRIBE CEO
To keep our brands and creators up to date, and to ensure our own accountability to action, we’re tracking our progress towards a diverse and inclusive future via the below live updates. It is important to remember that our journey commences with the education of our staff, and users; and change may sometimes be incremental, and other times significant.
TRIBE invites Lakeisha Patterson OAM, Paralympic Champion and World Record holder, to talk to the team. "Lucky", as she is affectionately know-as, competes as an athlete with cerebral palsy after a stroke at birth and shared her stories of overcoming adversity and her advice on overcoming societies current mental challenges.
TRIBE invites Amara, a Muslim woman of Indian/Pakistani descent, to talk to the team. Amara grew up in a pro-Taliban household in Melbourne and lived a very restricted childhood as a female. Amara answered our team's questions and shared her experiences, explaining to the team how & why the Taliban operate the way they do and how it impacts the people. Most importantly, she told us what we can do to help, including supporting Mahboba's Promise, which is driving grassroots action in Afghanistan.
The TRIBE Instagram account is used to promote NAIDOC week in Australia, spreading the message and promoting indigenous creators.
USA Team members educate members from other regions on the history behind the culturally significant event. Juneteenth. This presentation paves the way for future regional cultural events to be celebrated and explained to team members in other regions.
TRIBE invites Stand Up Events founder, Angie Green, to speak with the team at the company's All Hands meeting. Angie is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and fighting sexual and gender discrimination. Angie shared her advice on being a powerful ally and what it means to be one.
TRIBE holds their fifth company-wide Diversity & Inclusion forum. Here, many key focuses and action items are determined:
1. Update the Sales decks to include even more diversity
2. Build awareness and education around inclusivity for transgender people including the appropriate use of pronouns — the next guest speaker will focus on this
3. Build stronger awareness around supporting employees with learning disabilities
4. Create a portal of education resources that employees can access
5. Make advanced English language courses available to the team
6. Create list of key dates in 2021 to acknowledge and promote D&I
All TRIBE's job ads are updated to further encourage diverse applicants and build a more inclusive workforce that allows employees to bring their full self to work each day.
The incredible Shayna Walker, VP of Diversity and Belonging at Horizon Media, joins TRIBE on the company All Hands call in order to facilitate internal education within TRIBE. Shayna discusses how she is leading the company to have an acute focus on diversity in everything they do. She talks about changes companies should make early on, why the term 'culture fit' shouldn't be used and runs through a list of politically correct terms and their meanings.
Here, it is internally suggested that TRIBE begins to hold casual forums to discuss personal experiences and hardships, leading to a better understanding of how diversity and inclusion has affected TRIBE employees.
TRIBE holds their fourth monthly Diversity & Inclusion forum. Here, positive feedback is provided by our staff on the internal Diversity & Inclusion Awareness training program. The TRIBE staff proposed two things for future internal education:
1. Education around different cultural and public holidays
2. Further education around pronouns and use of pronouns
Furthermore, an idea was proposed by the UK team to hold a focus group with creators and Rimmel around diversity and inclusion in campaigns.
Prompted by the increase of specific requests, direct feedback is provided by our sales team around brands' wants and needs for diversity in content. Amongst ideas discussed was the possibility of creators self-identifying as ‘diverse’ in the app and presenting this to brands for easier diversity identification. The forum concluded that further education of brands is required before this action can be considered.
TRIBE holds their third monthly Diversity & Inclusion forum. Here, it is decided that we will begin providing live updates for our creators and brands on our progress towards a diverse and inclusive future. In addition to this, two more key projects were determined:
1. Promoting diversity via our platform features (e.g. Brand-Fans)
2. An audit of our panels, keynotes and webinars to ensure our vast pool of talented creators are accurately reflected
A Diversity & Inclusion Awareness training program via Udemy is implemented across the business to progress internal education. This training will also be implemented into staff onboarding processes.
The very inspiring Benson Saulo is invited to speak to all TRIBE employees about fostering inclusion in the workplace. 32-year-old Benson Saulo is Head of Partnerships at Australian Unity and is impressively Australia's first Indigenous consul-general appointed to the United States. His talk focuses on the very important distinction between diversity and inclusion and the actions we can take to create a more inclusive workplace. “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”
Sales scripts are given a refresh to ensure our Client Partners raise the importance of inclusive campaigns and diverse content with brands who are onboarding to TRIBE.
A smaller staff-led meeting is held, outside of the month Diversity & Inclusion forum to discuss smaller diversity initiatives in progress. A meeting highlight is planning the necessary steps to ensure our sales decks and sales scripts talk to our talented pool of diverse creators. An idea of organising forums between brands and creators to help facilitate conversation and education between these two groups is raised and discussed.
TRIBE holds their second monthly Diversity & Inclusion forum. Focus is placed on the progression of Project 4: Setting our 'north star' for what we want to achieve as a company in relation to diversity. Goals reflecting a more diverse future are put into place for the next 6 months for brands, creators and our company as a whole.
TRIBE’s website is given a design refresh led by diversity. It was crucial that our company reflected the thousands of creators we work with from all walks of life.
TRIBE CEO publishes the above letter to our brands and creators, committing to the education of TRIBE staff and customers on the importance of diversity. This letter is the commencement of change.
In assisting brands in launching campaigns, our Customer Success Managers begin communicating the requirement to submit a mood board that is diverse. We understand our creators want to see mood boards that they can relate to.
Off the back of our first monthly meeting, four ‘key projects’ are determined:
1. Embed greater diversity in our marketing content (client-focused)
2. Enable greater diversity through our platform (creator-focused)
3. Drive greater education and awareness of Diversity & Inclusion internally
4. Set our 'north star' for what we want to achieve as a company in relation to diversity
The staff divide into teams and take ownership of individual projects.
TRIBE’s monthly Diversity & Inclusion forum kicks off! This staff-led initiative focused on our thoughts and feelings and highlighted ideas to begin working towards a more empowered and educated future; both internally and with our brands and creators.