When Rihanna released Fenty Beauty in September 2017, she shook the beauty world with 40 shades of foundation. The spectrum ranges from albino skin to the skin tone of African Americans. Before this groundbreaking launch, makeup brands would only launch so much as ten shades and release more shades in the future. Since then, 40 shades became the “industry standard,” as brands like Revlon, Dior, CoverGirl, and CoverFX have released new lines with this number of shades.
There is no doubt that Fenty Beauty’s catering to diversity deems to be crucial in the modern world. At a time when so much inequality and injustices have been going on, brands, companies, and public figures should strive to fight for inclusion and diversity.
Inclusion and Diversity
It seems that a conversation about inclusion cannot go without a discussion about diversity. This is because inclusion is almost impossible without different kinds of people present in the environment.
According to Workable, diversity is “the variation in personal, physical, and social characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, age, and education.” In the workplace, for example, diversity means the presence of men, women, people with disabilities, people from different parts of the world, etc.
What brings this variety of people to work and function in harmony is inclusion. The goal of inclusion is to prevent any member of the group from feeling left out. Whether it is as simple as being entertained by customer service or receiving treatment from a gastroenterologist, everyone should be treated fairly. They should feel like their voice is heard. They should feel like their ideas and their contributions matter.
To achieve this, one must let go of biases.
Biases, internalized or not, should be thrown out the window to achieve inclusion and diversity. These biases can be caused by normalized behaviors and stereotypes that have been deeply inculcated in society. One great example of this is that women should stay at home to handle all household chores.
Hence, the result of biases is discrimination, and it causes minorities to receive lower pay, rejections, prejudice, and bullying. There have been several reports of these: the POC chefs of Bon Apetit, the female actresses of Big Bang Theory, and selective healthcare for trans people.
Why fight for inclusion and diversity?
Inclusion means people with different backgrounds can work hand-in-hand to reach a goal. As a result, they are “six times more likely to be innovative and twice as likely to meet or surpass financial goals.” Employees are more likely to stay in the company. Additionally, they are more likely to report a pleasant work environment and better well-being.
Little gestures, such as giving employees ample time to prepare for a meeting, providing resources, and welcoming collaboration, can encourage inclusion in the workplace. When people are judged by their skills rather than their gender, race, age, etc., the environment becomes progressive—not only in a political sense but also in business.
The keyword is “coexist.” No biases. No prejudice. In the workplace, skills and work ethics are what matters. After all, there is strength in diversity.