When we reflect back to 2010 the world looked very different from what it does today, almost ten years later. We have seen more technological and cultural shifts in this decade than any that came before. The world seemed to move so fast around us, and diversity quickly became the buzzword of the decade. Let’s take a look at how diverse voices found their way into the spotlight in the last ten years and how these same voices are going to continue to catapult us into the new decade of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
More recently in the last few years, Gen Z has proven that age really is just a number. Seen as the generation of young activists, Generation Z (1995-2015) have found their voices in activism and standing up for what’s right. The March for our Lives in 2018 was a student led initiative started by the students in the Parkland shooting to urge policy makers for gun control. This year, Greta Thunberg was named Time’s youngest Person of the Year for her activism to prevent climate change. Millennials, step aside for the new generation because Gen Z is leading the way in social media, activism, education, and consumerism and making sure their expectations for diversity, ethicality, and sustainability are met by every brand they engage with.
#MeToo. The most wide spread and impactful social media movement of the decade. Women took to social media to support each other and dispel the stigma around speaking and reporting sexual assault. The movement created winding change in both feminine and masculine spheres of influence as celebrities openly shared their stories of survival and masculine brands and celebrities debunked outdated stereotypes of toxic masculinity and “boys will be boys” culture in exchange for true allyship and understanding. Equally empowering, the Team USA’s women’s soccer team successfully fought for equal pay to their male counterparts after winning the Women’s World Series proving that gender has no limitations. Needless to say, 2020 is the decade of the woman. Say goodbye to locker room culture and the men’s club because women are coming in strong.
Gender & Sexuality
This decade saw the rise of the Gender Revolution in National Geographic and huge victories for the LGBTQ community. The 2015 Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges made marriage equality the law of the land as LGBTQ couples gained the right to marry under the law. Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, and other social media sites re-evaluated their definition of gender to include 58+ gender terms. And what was the 2019 Mariam-Webster Dictionary’s word of the year? The non-binary, gender-neutral, pronoun “they” as used by Sam Smith and countless others across the country. In the new decade we will continue to see wider forms of non-binary or genderless expression in fashion, beauty, and self-representation as employees continue to observe and celebrate their true authentic selves.
Race and Ethnicity
Representation was a big theme of the decade as consumers demanded to see themselves represented in media, advertising, and art. The need for diverse racial representation led to the success of prominent African American films such as Us and Black Panther and the cult followings of English language Telenovelas such as Jane the Virgin and Devious Maids. Consumers in this decade did not tolerate the omission of People of Color as seen in the 2015 Oscars awards hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Brands also jumped onto the call for racial diversity from Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” ad or Nike’s support of Colin Kaepernick. The next decade, brands will follow the precedent Rihanna started with Fenty Beauty by incorporating all skin tones into leadership, marketing, and advertising to create representation.
Athletes, academics, and activists all exemplified time and time again that in the last ten years people with disabilities were stronger and more vocal than ever before. In 2012, Oscar Pistorius became the first double-leg amputee to participate in the Olympics inspiring amputees across the world. Two years later people around the world began pouring buckets of ice water on their heads to raise awareness for ALS, a disease that would later take the life of the most influential scientists of our generation: Stephen Hawking. Sesame Street introduced the first autistic character on the show in 2017 to normalize different ways of behavior and ways of engaging the world. In the new decade with so many prominent voices empowering disabled individuals, stigmas around disabilities will continue to decrease as many choose to embrace and disclose disabilities to their employers, families, and friends who in turn need to learn ways accommodate all forms of how people interact with the world around them.
The New Decade: 2020
The last decade has seen consumers and influencers loudly making calls to action and the brands and causes that succeeded this decade took those calls to heart. The brands that were successful saw the social and cultural shifts that were happening around them and implemented them both in and out of the office. However, the brands of 2020 are going to have to be more focused on DEI than ever before. Unlike the brands of the 2010’s, brands in 2020 will have to do more than simply recognize diversity, they are going to have to embrace it and empower diverse voices to make decisions that will impact a diverse set of consumers. 2020 will not be a homogenous decade and neither can the brands that will succeed. DCAProSearch has been at the top of this movement since for over two decades and we will continue to partner with brands to recruit diverse talent that speaks to the diverse audience of 2020.
From everyone at DCAProSearch thank you for a great decade and we wish you the best in 2020.