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The Top Things Brands Can Do To Be Diverse And Inclusive, According To Young Europeans

All brands should be seeking to be more diverse and inclusive, and here are what young Europeans think are the top things they can do…


  • Virtually all young Europeans think brands can do something to reflect diversity and be more inclusive
  • The top things brands can do is to create products for a diverse audience and use diverse models in their ads
  • European Gen Z and Millennials also want to see diversity reflected within the staff of a company, meaning brands should think of inclusion from the inside as well

YPulse’s research from the WE Ad / Marketing Effectiveness Report shows that nine in ten European Gen Z and Millennials believe brands can do something to show diversity and inclusion. In other words, diversity is not an option for brands, it’s something they should be actively working on. On top of being a great cause, committing to inclusion is also an effective way brands can connect with young Europeans today, who are the most diverse generations to date. It’s a topic YPulse explored in depth in our recent Representation in Action (Revisited) Trend Report.

To help brands understand what steps to take toward diversity, we asked young consumers in Western Europe what they think brands can do to reflect diversity and inclusion, among a given list of suggestions such as “partnering with diverse influencers,” or “featuring diverse models and actors in advertising;” and here is the list of their top answers:

Diversity of products and models is a must according to young Europeans

According to young consumers in Western Europe, the top thing a brand can do to better reflect diversity is design products that cater to a diverse audience. There is a wide range of consumers who cannot access a brand’s products, and European Gen Z and Millennials think it’s crucial to reach these marginalized communities. At the last Consumer Electronics Show, L’Oréal launched a device to help people with limited mobility use personal care products, and it didn’t go unnoticed. HAPTA, the name of the device, is the first handheld motorized makeup applicator, and represents a huge step toward inclusivity within the beauty industry. The estimated 50 million people globally with limited motor ability are now able to use this self-leveling device to apply personal beauty products conveniently. Thinking of consumers they’ve never reached before also helps brands to be more creative, and it’s no coincidence that data from YPulse’s WE Brand Loyalty Report shows that 63% of young Europeans say it’s innovative when brands encourage diversity.

The second thing a brand can do to best show its efforts toward diversity and inclusion is to feature a wide range of models and actors in advertising. The beauty industry has taken big steps towards inclusivity in the past few years, and this move has been mostly driven by Gen Z and Millennials. These gens simply refuse normativity when it comes to beauty, and demand that all body types be represented in ads and entertainment. Advertising now means representing people of different bodies, shapes, skin colors, sexual orientations, and genders. YPulse’s research shows that brands trying to represent a diverse group of people are a lot more likely to generate positive feelings among young Europeans, with 69% of European Gen Z and Millennials thinking positively of a brand that features diverse models in an ad.

Diversity also means having good representation inside a company’ staffing structure

The third most important thing a brand can do to represent diversity and inclusion according to young Europeans is to have a diverse staff or to hire diverse employees—and this is equally important for Millennials and Gen Z. What this means is that young Europeans—the most diverse generations after all—are bringing their expectations about diversity and inclusion to the workplace. As a result, these consumers will keep a close eye on all the diversity efforts a brand does inside its walls, and won’t tolerate instances of discrimination in the workplace. Dove understood that young consumers care about the importance of having a diverse staff, and decided to tackle a little-known topic of hair discrimination toward Black people in the workplace. In partnership with LinkedIn, Dove launched the CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” to promote “more inclusive and equitable workplaces,” and started an online petition with the hashtag #BlackHairIsProfessional.

A recent workplace trend that best exemplifies the need young Europeans have to see diversity inside companies is the rise of “conscious quitting,” with employees deciding to change jobs because they don’t share the same values with the company they work for. And Gen-Z are driving the trend: according to a recent study in the U.K., nearly half of them (49%) would consider taking a pay cut to work for a company that aligns with their personal values. Brands need to remember that putting efforts to be more diverse and inclusive is a process happening inside and out, and should be reflected in all dimensions of a company. True representation goes beyond advertising, and brands need to consider the diversity of their customers and their own employees, too.