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Company values matter: DE&I is the #2 most asked about topic from OBE candidates and new hires.

5.9.22

Author: Emily Dolber, Sr. Brand Marketing Director

The experiential marketing and event industry is coming back strong after 2+ years of canceled IRL gatherings. OBE has hired over 40 new team members in the last year and is continuing to add new talent to our roster to accommodate our growth and client needs. Although the need to hire has recently picked up, we’ve found that the work we’ve done as a company since well before the pandemic—and that we continue to do today—is driving our success in growing our incredible team. 

Representation matters. 

According to a recent survey conducted by Edelman, 78% of U.S. employees agree that it’s a strong expectation or a deal breaker (when considering a job) that employees at all levels within the organization reflect the diversity of the customers and communities they serve. As an experience-led agency, we also agree that it’s crucial to have internal representation of the communities we are engaging with to ensure authenticity, relevance, and success. Based on our culture of inclusivity, we are constantly evolving to become a more equitable employer, working to retain and attract top talent and diversify our team. 

Passion for progress. 

Our commitment to DE&I starts with the people who already work here and our dedication to creating an environment of equitable opportunity through hiring and advancement, internal support, resources and training, and access to leadership. These are just a few of our team’s efforts and practices: 

  • OBE’s Diversity & Inclusion Group (DIG) was founded in 2018 and is open to all OBE employees. It is focused on strengthening our relationships, sharing in accountability, and encouraging progress. 
  • Juneteenth has been recognized as a holiday with paid time off since 2020. 
  • Our recently announced psychologist-in-residence, Dr. Aron Steward is helping provide us with the tools to promote well-being, accountability and honest conversations. 
  • Expert guest speakers educate and empower us as a team on topics such as gender diversity, anti-racism, anti-harassment, and conscious inclusion. 
  • Monthly small-group conversations with our Leadership team members provide regular, intimate access. 
  • OBE’s Supplier Diversity Program ensures we have a robust network of small and diverse businesses to work with. 

Attracting the best of the best. 

The work we’ve done internally informs important conversations with potential new hires. In fact, OBE’s Chief Operating Officer, Joey Forster, has reported “DE&I as the #2 most asked about topic from OBE candidates and new hires, behind company culture as #1.” (It’s fair to say, we’ll be sharing more about our DE&I efforts on our website.) 

In addition, our recruitment team continues to attract top talent who are seeking out organizations embodying inclusivity and making active DE&I efforts. We source talent for every open role from job boards and organizations focused on historically underrepresented groups. We’ve also adjusted job descriptions to be more inclusive by taking measures such as auditing for gendered language and revising requirements to exclude bias. 

We’re making strides and striving to be better. 

In 2017, we started tracking ethnicity and gender within our company and have been making strides to evolve representation within our team to more closely reflect the population that we serve. OBE has made progress, but we know there is more work to be done here.

Focus on diversity, equity and inclusion has been reported to increase innovation and revenue. We’ve been seeing better ideas and solutions coming from our team, leading to new projects and clients. Collaboration and innovation were contributors to our success as an agency these last couple of years.  The most important and rewarding result of our DE&I efforts has been a deepening of both internal and client relationships.  

Conclusion 

The core of any experience is built from the perspectives, stories, needs, wants and emotions of the people for which it is designed. We rely on our team’s diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to deliver this for our clients – which drives our continued work to infuse a focus on DE&I into all we do, as we build a team that is focused on driving progress and bettering ourselves and organization.

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