After weeks of public outcry over racial injustice and police brutality, companies across the globe are being challenged to reflect on how they will choose to respond to the racial discrepancies in our society. As many big-name brands have pledged support to the cause, it’s tricky to distinguish between the genuine displays of solidarity from nothing but empty words.
Protesters around the globe are tired of hearing words of support and prefer brands that can practice what they preach. With that being said, there are several companies that are doing just that, and more importantly there are many minorities in marketing speaking up and demanding that the industry do better.
Here, we’ve highlighted 10 minority marketing professionals that are not only diversifying the top tier of the industry but are using their platform to amplify black voices and enact global change. You can also read more on how Socialbakers is helping voices for equality be heard.
Bozoma Saint John
The Chief Marketing Officer of California talent and media agency Endeavor, Bozoma Saint John made waves by launching the social media campaign #sharethemicnow. As America comes to terms with addressing systemic racism, Saint John decided to co-create the campaign, which strived to elevate black voices through white celebrities’ Instagrams.
The impressive movement had no shortage of white celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Kourtney Kardashian, who were ready to hand over their social media passwords to prominent black activists. Saint John carefully paired each celebrity up with a minority figure who then used the platform to shed a brighter light on the work they’re doing in order to catalyze change.
It is estimated that the campaign, which took place on June 10th, reached nearly 300 million Instagram users as over 50 black female activists, celebrities, and entrepreneurs participated in magnifying black women’s lives and stories.
Saint John’s inspiring efforts have created a network of disruptors and are empowering further action and change from people around the world.
Activision Blizzard’s new VP of Communication and Social Media, Beverly Jackson, remains a dynamic and passionate senior marketing executive. Jackson has no shortage of accomplishments as she played a critical role in the delivery of consistent double-digit growth for the Grammy Awards from 2008 to 2012.
Additionally, Jackson remains a prominent thought leader in the industry as she currently serves as a board member, an author, and a professional speaker. In recent months, she has also used her Twitter platform to spread awareness and support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jackson is not shy to use her influence to spread awareness and encourage the diversification of the industry.
Eliana Murillo is the Head of Multicultural Marketing at Google and was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2017. The self-proclaimed serial side hustler has made some incredible strides at the technology company, including Google’s "Get Your Business Online" initiative.
Murillo has also been responsible for some serious advancements in the company’s diversity after she founded the US Hispanic business development and community outreach team at Google. When Murillo’s not busy revolutionizing Google’s inclusivity, she works as the CMO of Tequila Alquimia, her family's organic tequila company.
While Murillo is a prominent figure in the marketing industry, she is also an outspoken minority activist using her Twitter platform to inform and educate her followers. She regularly posts and shares content that empowers minority groups and offers words of advice for females navigating in the corporate world.
Founder and President of Society Redefined, Deadra Rahaman is a multi-disciplined advertising, marketing, and communications professional. While Rahaman has 15 years of senior marketing experience, at her core she is a self-proclaimed cultural anthropologist who is in constant pursuit of diversifying the field.
In response to the recent death of George Floyd, Rahaman has not stayed silent as she publicly commended brands who are speaking out against social injustice, especially those who are doing so for the first time. She shares her feelings of encouragement as brand leaders are finally addressing their employees and acknowledging their pain.
Rahaman compliments companies including Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, P&G and McDonald's for their past efforts, but is reluctant to give Nike the stamp of approval. She is consistently inviting consumers to peel back the optics and truly investigate how brands are impacting their community.
Belinda J. Smith
Belinda J. Smith has spent the course of her career helping brands navigate their way through international marketing and doubles as an outspoken activist for diversity. In fact, Smith serves as the Global Diversity Ambassador for the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and previously acted as Global Head of Marketing Intelligence for the gaming giant EA.
Although Smith is insanely busy pushing the boundaries of the media and voicing the injustices of marginalized communities around the nation, she has found an incredible amount of strength and energy to also keep speaking up for the black community during a period of civil unrest.
Smith went on the VideoNews podcast and discussed the key elements of the Black Lives Matter movement, the role of the social platforms during the protests, and how brands can authentically lend their support.
The podcast also explores the various issues of racial inequality that are still deeply rooted in the media and advertising industry. Smith’s expertise in both areas makes for a meaningful and much-needed conversation that not only marketers can learn from but people from all walks of life can appreciate.
Founder and Executive Creative Director at Quiet Storm, Trevor Robinson is a dedicated philanthropist and activist. He has spent his career encouraging creative brands across the United Kingdom to embrace those, like himself, who come from ethnic minority backgrounds.
During this past month, Robinson has been a guiding light for many brands attempting to navigate the choppy waters of social media. He has urged companies, big and small, to take a public stance and contribute to the larger movement. However, Robinson warns that actions speak much louder than words and advises brands to put their money where their mouth is.
He points out that we all have a duty to enact change and empower justice, but the companies who have substantial social media platforms have the unique potential to reach far more people and therefore have an augmented ability to effect change.
Robinson’s dedication to equality and justice is seen in his impressive efforts to transform diversity and inclusion in the creative industry across Europe.
The German automobile manufacturer Porsche is extremely lucky to have Jazzmynn Finney as their New Media & Social Engagement Leader. Finney is highly versed in brand strategy and value perceptions, making her an invaluable asset to the team.
In fact, Finney helped to grow the company’s global Instagram page from about 250,000 followers to a whopping 20 million followers, making it one of the top top-performing brands in North America. Finney contributes her massive social media success in keeping the focus on the stories rather than the cars themselves.
Additionally, Finney is an empathy-first innovator and is consistently spreading the message of diversity, inclusion, and equality across all of her personal social media platforms.
Etihad Airways Vice President of Brand and Marketing Amina Taher is no stranger to female empowerment and diversity activism. She is one of the first Arab women to be blazing a trail in the aviation industry and revolutionizing future opportunities for women.
In fact, according to Socialbakers data in Q4 2019, Etihad Airways’ Facebook page led all brands worldwide in interactions and its Instagram page ranked fourth in engagement worldwide among all aviation brands. Taher plays a dynamic role in building the brand’s strategy for social media success.
Her work is not only an important impact on the aviation industry, but Taher is a proud representation of UAE national women in a unique area of business. Now that Taher, who has an MBA from the London Business School and an MPA from Harvard, she wants to continue inspiring young women in her country and showing them what’s possible.
Known for her excellence in leadership and creativity, Helen Pak was named the Senior Vice President of Creative Marketing Design and Content at the Walt Disney Company in late 2019. While Pak’s incredible strategic marketing skills made her dreams come true, it was clear that her extensive experience will do the same for the whimsical brand.
Pak has led numerous creative teams and is a powerhouse for brand storytelling, which is likely to thank for Disney’s quick outreach of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The multinational mass media and entertainment company wasted no time posting a message of support and following up with a heartfelt and educational video.
While the company is practicing public outreach, Pak is busy behind the scenes pushing the boundaries of innovation and through her marketing expertise encouraging their audience to practice love and kindness.
Sony’s gaming giant, Playstation, was recently able to solidify itself as the best selling game console brand of all time. Helping in that effort was the company’s Vice President of Global Marketing, Mary Yee.
Yee has spent seven years working her way up the company ladder, bringing with her a competitive edge that shines through Playstation’s success. She has gone above and beyond for the gaming company, in order to deliver a highly enjoyable and unique experience for players.
Her sway on the company has not gone unnoticed as Sony has recently stunned headlines as it pairs up with its arch-nemesis, the Xbox. Although the two companies are competitors, they were able to come together in support of the BLM protests.
Lee’s position at Playstation is an incredible example of how diversity can not only revolutionize a brand, but also take a stand against racial injustice.
Civil unrest is high and many fan-favorite companies have found themselves caught in hot water. Even with highly skilled marketing teams and extensive campaign budgets, it’s not always about what your marketing team can do but who is on it.
Ensuring that all company departments are diverse and inclusive is a crucial first step that all brands should take, if not taken already. Additionally, brands who want to make a meaningful difference and uplift the community should back their words of support with financial donations.
While marketing campaigns can achieve many things, in this case, the world is at a tipping point and a clever message won’t do the trick. From this point forward it is likely that the standards we hold for brands will include both internal and external affairs.
So if you haven’t gotten the memo yet: Practice what you preach!
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.