Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Diversity is, in matter of fact, a buzzword that sounds cool on our website. At Startup Communication, inclusion is a value, and diversity is a holistic approach that we live and grow by. This is our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

How we see diversity

For us, diversity means more than just a mix of people of different genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations – we live a more holistic approach. Diversity includes social background, age, worldview, educational background, experience, or geographic location – to mention a few. Our goal is to stay open to individuals fitting in any of these diversity dimensions.

How we live diversity and inclusion at Startup Communication

The SC-crew counts around 6 nationalities from eclectic backgrounds (some studied, others didn’t, a few changed paths before coming to the communication world). We constantly strive to create a flexible and open workspace. For example, we also enable workations (as far as the legal framework permits), implement flexible working hours which means as long as one meets deadlines and joins the relevant meetings, they can choose their working time flexibly. We also have a variety of part-time models. After all, everyone has individual needs in terms of work, family, and spare time, which we want to help to meet. Our priority is that every team member feels welcomed and included. So when needed we do not hesitate to adapt our internal structures, whether it’s small things like meeting times or big things like our corporate language. 

In order for us to be able to really live diversity and inclusion we have regular discussions and trainings. We want the team to not only develop an awareness and sensibility for the topic but also want each one of us to have a critical eye on our way of working and our work. An essential part of this work as a communication agency is advising brands on their communication. Here it is important to raise awareness among our customers, contacts, and partners. Which we do on a daily basis. In addition, we also cover diversity & inclusion in our podcast, blog, and social media content.


How we implement diversity and inclusion in our clients' communication

Diversity and inclusion have become trend topics in communication. As we work very closely with our clients, visit them on a regular basis, and do not hesitate to ask the hard questions, we have a good understanding of how diverse and inclusive the companies actually are. We aim to reflect the diversity of their team and consumers within the communication. We have clients who are striving to be diverse but are currently not, here our job is to help them show which steps have been taken, what difficulties are arising. And yes, sometimes our job is to say no to positionings that do not reflect reality. 

This is especially important in the visual representation of brands. We try to reflect as much diversity as possible by including a variety of different people for video and photo shootings as well as the use of diverse stock images. A lot of the German world is influenced by white and Christian culture and religion. So a big part of our work is learning about the other cultures and religions that surround us in order to be able to include them in our content. 

Furthermore, we encourage our customers to use gender-neutral language in their communications. We are advising on gendering options and implementation of the gender-strategy on social media channels and in online marketing. Especially in German, gender-neutral language is now defined as an essential part of inclusivity. In addition, we are doing our best to use accessibility elements such as alternative texts, accessible copywriting and designs. This is a domain where a lot has to be done and learned by us included.

What happens when someone is going against our values

As described above, as far as possible we create a space where all employees feel comfortable. At the same time, we have established a strong feedback culture at Startup Communication. Through direct feedback in 1 to 1 meetings, we want to guarantee as much as possible that every violation of our values is discussed within a safe space. In relation to our clients, should racist, sexist, or other inappropriate statements or behaviors arise all startup communication staff is empowered to leave the situation and directly share what happened with the team or a trusted colleague to work out the next steps. The next steps can range from our management speaking with the client or even their manager, to us terminating the cooperation

Our limitations to diversity and inclusion 

We are not perfect but we keep learning. We don’t know about all cultures, genders or religions and can therefore not be 100% inclusive. We are and will continue to make mistakes, but we are owning our mistakes and learning from them. In addition, it should be said that customers and journalists have the last word: especially in presswork we have to stick to the regulations of the individual media outlets, if they don't use gender-neutral language we can’t use it.