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Storylink Reps Share DEI&B Insights from 2024 Fearless Conference

Storylink Creative is a proud supporter of The BrandLab, a nonprofit organization committed to increasing DEI&B within the marketing and advertising industry. And we were honored to be a Gold Sponsor of its annual Fearless Conference in early May. With a central theme of moving from positive intent to real impact, the event hosted three panels and three keynote speakers who shared real-world experiences, examples, and actionable strategies. After returning to the office and debriefing on the experience, the 10 Storylink reps who attended felt compelled to share some of the primary takeaways and personal revelations they received from this year’s conference.


We’ve all heard of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), but what does the B add? The B stands for belonging, and many of us went in with the impression that inclusion and belonging were basically synonymous. Storylink’s Director of Finance, Nicole Markley, appreciated an analogy shared by one speaker that inclusion is being invited to the party, but if you want someone to feel like they belong, serve the kinds of food they like to eat. “That really gave me pause,” said Markley. “It was a perspective I had not thought about before, but it illustrated the difference and really resonated with me.”


For Executive Assistant Nicole Padget and owner/CEO Matt Williams, the event’s Youth in the Workforce panel provided a lot to think about. The panelists commended the lack of hierarchy in their modern workplaces and the trust and responsibility that gives them to participate in big decisions and feel their voices are being heard. To Williams, this shows systemic change is happening, but continued commitment to further growth and action is absolutely necessary.


The words intent and impact were emphasized often, and both resonated with our team. Storylink’s Technical Project Manager Mohammed Elshobary says, “DEI&B is not just a label for companies to adopt and slap on their website. It's a practice that they need to embody consistently. They need to put real effort into it if they want to see the benefits of being diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations.”


The final keynote speaker, Dipanjan Chatterjee, shared significant data highlighting consumer values and actions. "Seventy percent of consumers say it's important for brands to take a stand, and 29 percent say social values are the most important factor when purchasing,” he shared. “But only 18 percent consistently buy based on these values."

For Storylink’s Marketing Assistant, Shaila Kathke, this fact stuck. In her words, “It made me consider my own consumer behavior. But it also highlighted the importance of businesses making real change and tangible impacts now, even if consumers may be struggling to keep up.”


Travis Stanton, Storylink’s Director of Strategy, found impact and hope in action. “Companies really can make a measurable difference. All it takes is a little motivation and a genuine commitment, and their actions can literally change the world for employees who are seeking equity, inclusion, and belonging within the workplace,” said Stanton. “It gives me hope to know that organizations large and small can turn intent into action, and that those individual actions can collectively create real change.”


For more information on The BrandLab, visit www.thebrandlab.org, and for more information on the Fearless Conference, visit www.thebrandlab.org/fearless.



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