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The importance of encouraging transparency and open dialogue in the media technology industry

Continuing TVBEurope's look at drivers of change in the media tech industry, Hannah Barnhardt, COO and co-founder of TMT Insights, explains why it's important for companies to promote allyship, encourage advocacy, and support underserved communities

TMT gladly accepts the privilege of developing, promoting, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce at TMT Insights. As a company experiencing hypergrowth, we believe in amplifying our ongoing efforts of promoting allyship, encouraging advocacy, and supporting underserved communities. Our involvement with wonderful organisations, like the Strive to RiSE Program and Workplace Pride, helps us bridge the gaps between the diverse groups within our media technology industry as well as foster an internal culture that’s committed to the same mission. As we expand globally, we continue to equip ourselves with the best practices used in talent acquisition and employee development.

TMT Insights is a proud pilot member of Strive to RiSE, a programme that helps drive the mission of gender diversity within the media technology industry. We are excited to not only become one of the first companies to commit to this organisation but to be a part of a programme that accelerates our beliefs to celebrate, champion, and promote women within the workplace. 

Our data speaks for itself. We are a 50 per cent female-owned company, with 60 per cent of females holding leadership positions and 45 per cent of females employed.

We went through an extremely valuable and insightful process to become members of Strive to RiSE, including a thorough checklist of values and level of transparency held within our company. Through that process, we are proud to have been awarded the highest level of recognition offered, 3 Diamond Status.

Workplace Pride is another organisation we’re proud to partner with. Workplace Pride’s focus on LGBTIQ+ gender and ethnic inclusion in the media technology space supplies us with resources, solutions and a yearly benchmark to hold ourselves accountable and educated, while also allowing us to focus on where our strengths and weaknesses lie and help to keep us leading the charge in awareness and network building.

WPP has noted TMT’s efforts and commitment to the charge, and because of this, we have been offered up as one of the first companies to help soft launch an employee resource group (ERG) within the United States that supports the LGBTIQ+ community within the media technology industry. These company networks will help foster education across all organisations, as well as grow our dedicated support groups with like-minded companies that are also within the media technology industry.

As we are also a company that encourages transparency and open dialogue across the organisation, we have also become a member of the Great Place to Work programme. This programme offers us real data on our company culture and the impact it serves on everyone within our workforce. 

Every year, our brief offers us a trust index report that shows the results of our work and where any of our inefficiencies lie. These results show us where we are in comparison to companies like us and opportunities for improvement. Because of our results and ranking, we were awarded the Great Place to Work for 2023.

Important things to consider in this industry as a whole are:

  1. Partner with organisations that fit your company’s personality.
    It’s easy to partner with any DEI organisation, so take the necessary time to get to know the relationship managers you’ll be working with to maximise impact.
  2. Create safe spaces.
    Whether your work model is on-site, hybrid or fully remote, create safe spaces for all employees. Add pronouns to email signatures, expand your calendar to include holidays that represent the religious and cultural beliefs of minority groups, model inclusive language, encourage employees to reserve time for personal needs and partner with team managers to help communicate and anticipate the needs of your colleagues.
  3. Education and training.
    Prioritise and promote diversity training and the importance of DEI education to raise awareness, especially from your organization’s leadership level. When it comes to creating and promoting an inclusive workplace, your biggest allies will be your leadership team.
  4. Ditch the “Us vs. Them” Mentality
    Successful companies with shared goals, values, and purpose between both the employees and the organisation are the most successful. Alignment on organisational direction and working as a unit positions a company to achieve sustainable success.