Happy Pride Month: Promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in the market research industry


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Diversity in market research sample has come under added scrutiny in the past year, as end users of insights seek to be more inclusive and unbiased. Populations include a wide range of individuals that must be understood before making decisions, meaning that market research sample must be unbiased and balanced to deliver quality, truly representative data.

This data must include input from traditionally underserved minority populations, and this needs to start with greater overall commitments to diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI). There’s no better time to shine a light on this fact than during Pride Month, dedicated to the supporting, uplifting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. While the best paths to achieve representativity among this community and others are still under discussion in the insights space, we’d like to shine a spotlight on organisations in market research that are not only exploring better ways to ensure minority populations are represented in research but also to support and give a stronger voice to the LGBTQ+ and other minority communities.

  • Market Research Society’s Diversity, Inclusion & Equality Council has a mission to be an “authentic, impactful voice leading, helping and guiding the industry on issues of representation, equality and accountability – helping it to truly represent the world it seeks to understand.” The group advises MRS on policies for diversity and inclusion with clear messaging and initiatives for members, company partners and the wider sector about to work toward positive change.
  • Another MRS initiative, MRSPride aims to provide a platform for LGBTQ+ consumer insight and methodological best practice, bring together community members and inspire junior researchers. MRSPride holds a number of events and activities to support this goal. Check them out on Twitter at @TweetMRSPride or listen to the OUTsights podcast which “amplifies the voices” of LGBTQ+ researchers and allies across the research, insight and data analytics sectors.
  • Women in Research (WIRe) also exists to provide online training, on topics such as decoding DEI for marketers. While WIRe is focused primarily on programs for women, its goals are firmly grounded in championing of diversity overall. Its sister initiative, WIRe in Color has the aim of further progressing the conversation of workplace inclusion by championing racial and cultural diversity and equity in the field. The program is designed to build and strengthen connections among women of colour in the WIRe community while amplifying WIRe’s mission of workplace equity, gender parity and a more inclusive market research landscape for all, including the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The Insights Association has established the IDEA Council for inclusion, diversity, equity and access and it responsible for producing measurement, standards and education to address the lack of representation in the U.S. insights sector. This includes expanding the representation of marginalised groups at organisations and events and developing benchmarks for pay and diversity within businesses. The aim is also to set best practices for sampling and work to increase engagement with research participants in ‘underserved populations’.
  • American Marketing Association (AMA) has a number of initiatives for the greater marketing landscape that are focused on improving diversity, including its diversity leadership scholarship program; its DEI Task Force and it’s first-ever pledge. The Williams-Qualls-Spratlen Multicultural Mentoring Award of Excellence (WQS) also carries on the legacy of three world-class marketing scholars, educators, and mentors of people of colour, while JPP&M articles address race, diversity and inclusion. This sits alongside the AMA’s continued partnership with The PhD Project, while the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF), in conjunction with the AMA Academic Council, established a scholarship program in 2003 focused on creating scholarship funds for populations underrepresented in the marketing profession.
  • Colour Of Research Ltd is a global community which sets out to create more diversity in the research industry. It advocates for the inclusion of ethnic professionals in the industry and the CORe team of like-minded market research professionals of various ethnic backgrounds, is driven by a mutual desire to see more ethnic representation in the industry. It sets out to increase the visibility of research professionals from diverse ethnic origins through events, mentoring and fundraising, providing a hub for all things concerning ethnic diversity within the market research industry.
  • Insights in Color strives to be a catalyst for bringing awareness to the insights industry about inclusive practices, both for internal teams and for the research that we do. The group seeks to educate others, to foster a community of connected researchers and insights professionals of colour, and spotlight the need to create culturally representative teams with greater intention. Rooted in an ethos of “intentional disruption,” Insights in Color unapologetically addresses flaws in the research system to try to eliminate stereotypes and ensure that “insights that misrepresent the true, diverse nature of consumers today and tomorrow.”
  • Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) created a diversity initiative in 2020 to fund scholarships for diverse individuals wanting careers in the advertising, media and research industries. Eligible students for ARF Workforce Initiative for Diversity and Excellence (ARF Wide) include those from minority backgrounds, low-income families, disadvantaged urban, suburban or rural districts and first-generation college students. The initiative was launched in the wake of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests and will support apprenticeships, internships and mentorships in ARF-affiliated companies. ARF Wide will also provide training through ARF Education and networking opportunities. Companies which sign up to participate can become a founding supporter of ARF Wide, and volunteering programmes will be set up for ARF Wide mentors and teachers in ARF Education.

While some of these initiatives focus on greater DEI goals, rather than specifically on the LGBTQ+ community, they are steps in the right direction for creating a more equitable future for the market research industry. At Cint, we firmly and unapologetically believe that individual voices matter enormously in understanding and building the bigger picture. As the world’s largest sample exchange, we take our responsibility seriously when it comes to delivering representative audiences for market research.

We wrote about diversity in market research sample a few months ago, reiterating the need to start with respondent base that is broad enough to adequately represent the population, including over-sampling for minorities. Cint’s digital insights gathering platform features deep profiling in order to draw the right people from a large global pool of respondents, facilitating a transparent process for identifying individuals with nuanced demographics and diverse characteristics. Our formal, company-wide commitment to quality directly addresses respondent quality – respondents who are real, unique, engaged, representative, and diverse.

In addition, our “Equality Charter” guides our actions and formally solidifies our commitment on this front. “We resolutely believe in the value of diverse voices, and in creating a culture where everyone can be successful. We are committed to challenging stereotypes, fighting bias, and broadening perspectives through our policies and our recruitment.” Throughout the year, we also support causes that have these ideals in mind to help further these important conversations.

Join us in celebrating diversity, equality and most of all humanity, not just in the month of June for Pride, but every single day of the year. Happy Pride Month everyone!

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