This is what we’re currently working on
We are really serious about promoting an atmosphere that encourages, includes and fully utilizes the talents of individuals with diverse backgrounds. Our diversity encompasses a variety of characteristics, including sex, age, race, color, national origin, religious preference or other beliefs, disabilities, sexual orientation, marital, family or military statuses, education, background and culture.
We’re building a diverse and inclusive workplace one day at a time. At emfluence, we’re actively engaged in several Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives that promote a better environment. Here are the areas we’re focused on:
Fostering an inclusive environment starts with continuous education and awareness and we’re willing to put in the work. To achieve this, we’ve implemented the following:
- Conferences and Events: We encourage team members to attend relevant conferences and events to stay informed about best practices and foster connections, so much so that we’re more than happy to cover any expenses involved.
- Roundtables: We regularly host internal roundtables with invited guest speakers who are knowledge holders in various DEI topics. These provide our team members insight and facilitate meaningful discussions about our role and our impacts.
- Leadership Development: We’re investing in our team members from the bottom up and from the top down with training workshops that focus on raising awareness, challenging biases, and promoting inclusivity.
We understand that building a diverse team starts with mindful hiring practices. We’re committed to:
- Diverse Talent Sourcing: We actively seek to recruit new members of the team from a wide range of talent pools, ensuring a diverse applicant base for every position we post.
- Unbiased Selection Process: We’re dedicated to finding qualified candidates based on talent and not background and continue to refine our hiring process so that it is fair and unbiased.
Interested in hearing more about life at emfluence?
Check out our careers page to learn more!
True progress comes from taking action and implementing changes. This is how we’re dedicated to making an impact:
- Diversity Committee: Our Diversity Committee is made up of representatives from different teams and departments and collaborates on ways to bring diversity and inclusion to daily conversations.
- Community Partnerships: Being a KC native company, we’re all about empowering our local organizations and businesses. As part of our commitment, we support minority owned businesses and collaborate with groups like Digital Women Kansas City, The BrandLab, Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and others to contribute positively to community development.
- Diversity Chat: Slack houses communications for our company and for diversity. Our diversity specific channel is a place for our team to discuss recent news stories, share resources, and celebrate what makes them unique.
A Look Back on Diversity Initiatives
Our team chatted with Amy Harris the founder of KC based nonprofit, Diversibilities. Her organization is focused on giving people with cognitive disabilities a safe place to learn important life, job, and independent living skills. We dove into the topic of invisible disabilities and misconceptions and our team had the opportunity to ask Amy some important questions on promoting inclusivity and safe spaces in the workplace.
We gathered in person at our River Market office to celebrate our team and honor National Hispanic Heritage Month. The focus was digital marketing and we invited Rob from Puente Marketing and Advertising in to share insights about the Hispanic market – what it can look like and what to keep in mind. The goal here is to build the bridge and create conscious marketers. We walked away with plenty of ideas and discussions for tailoring future campaigns and client work.
We were excited to host the Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce for their Coffee Connections event! This is a monthly event meant to bring together professionals and community leaders in a comfortable and intimate environment. Shoutout to Kinship Coffee, a locally based, black-owned, specialty coffee shop for supplying the much-needed caffeine for this early morning networking event!
Our June speaker featured Justice Horn, a local community leader, policy advocate, and social justice advocate. He’s the highest-ranking member of Gen Z in local government across the Kansas City Region and has broken barriers multiple times as the NCAA’s first openly gay multicultural wrestler, UMKC’s first openly gay multicultural student president, the first openly LGBTQ+ candidate to run for Jackson County Legislature. He continues to serve the community through his work as an advisor and a leader.
We were excited to send our teammates to BrandLab’s 2023 Fearless Conference where they gathered (virtually) with other professionals to learn and discuss topics around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within the marketing and advertising industry. They brought their knowledge back to the rest of the company after the conference by leading a discussion with great discussion questions!
We hosted a virtual volunteer day among our team members by sharing more about an organization emfluence has been proud to support for many years, Children International. Along with letter writing activities, our very own CEO shared his experiences traveling to locations this humanitarian organization serves and what he learned about families in poverty and breaking the cycle.
We welcomed Kate Mangino to our virtual workplace to discuss gender and her latest book, Equal Partners Improving Gender Equality at Home. Kate is a gender expert who has spent over two decades working to change harmful social norms through writing, training, and facilitation in over 20 countries.
Our River Market office played host to Digital Women KC (DWKC), a professional and local network of women working in the digital space. This organization is committed to learning, mentoring, collaborating, and growing together. Our topic of discussion highlighted the latest tech news- ChatGPT!
Our team spoke with Mistinguette Smith about diversity and inclusion in companies. Trained in diversity and inclusion interventions by The Equity Institute, the People’s Institute, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Race Forward, she’s currently serves as a consultant for her own firm (M Smith Consulting) working with organizations to build inclusive processes for equitable results.
To kick off our first diversity roundtable of the year, we invited Jamie Grayson, founder of POAC (People of All Color) Succeed, to speak about his experiences working with next generation leaders in area schools. His organization looks to partner with local organizations and businesses to provide internship opportunities, on the job training and skill development tools to help enhance students’ Market Value Assets, for higher paying jobs in their future.
We ended the year with a bang by celebrating the holiday season with a virtual escape room party hosted by HELM Life. They host social and learning events that contribute to team building. We had a great time working through puzzles that taught us about how cultures all over celebrate the holidays
In honor of Native American Awareness Month, we invited Jillian RainingBird to our diversity roundtable to speak to our team. She shared several resources to gain perspective and to support the Native American Community. Our team members at emfluence were quick to add her book recommendations to our GoodReads!
Our goal was to continue giving back to our community and learn how we can make meaningful impacts to our community members. This month invited Hayley Rees from Lead to Read to share more with us on the organization’s mission and how we can help! Lead to Read is a reading and mentoring program created to support social, emotional, and reading skills that provide that foundation for student success.
This month was spent connecting with our community more by inviting Dan Smith, a KC native and leader, to share his experiences. Smith provides organizational leadership and direction to The Porter House KC, an organization that provides entrepreneurship guidance to underserved business owners in the metro area.
Our team set up an impromptu book club after Alvin Brook’s presentation in February. We ordered a copy of his memoir, Binding Us Together, for anyone interested and spent time learning more about his past before inviting the author himself back for an enlightening discussion.
Clinton Bradley was warmly welcomed back to our diversity roundtable discussion to honor LGBTQ+ communities for Pride Month. He was originally a connection made through the LGBT Chamber and our team is always excited to engage with discussions with him.
Small Changes Big Shifts hosted a webinar for our team on Building Rhythm and Resistance. This discussion was focused on “building rhythm and resilience” in the “new normal”. We learned about ways to identify issues with and how to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Conference season was well underway again and we were excited to send two of our own team members to attend Brand Lab’s second annual Fearless Conference. This event featured two days of speakers mentoring and challenging attendees on creating inclusive workplaces.
We also invited Pam Rosterman from Lever 1 to talk about best practices for work/life balance and mental health.
Digital marketing and women were the focus of our conversations this month in celebration of Women’s History Month. We invited Jen Capstraw, email marketing extraordinaire, was invited to discuss her podcast, Humans of Email. We specifically focused on episode 3 of season 1 which featured Alice Li, a staff engineer at Squarespace and a force in the email marketing and human rights world.
In honor of Black History Month, we were able to bring Alvin Brooks to our diversity roundtable. Brooks is a former and one of the first black Kansas City police officers, councilman, and mayor pro-tem, as well as the founder of the community organization AdHoc Group Against Crime. He has decades of experience advocating for civil rights, violence prevention, and criminal justice and was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to the President’s National Drug Advisory Council and by Governor Jay Nixon to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners.
We invited Lynn Burnett back to emfluence to once again honor Dr. King. This discussion focused on the current status of his legacy and our team continued to dive into MLK’s speeches as well as topics like systemic racism.
Our team was hard at work throughout these months training with the BrandLab at their Fearless Workshops. These workshops were designed to create inclusive cultures in organizations just like ours. We spent time in conversations about race, identity, and inclusion and how those play into our intent, impact, and privilege and into creating safe spaces.
Our Diversity featured Clinton Shane Bradley on the topic of Juneteenth. Bradley has a rich background in DEI, including being an ex-military and being part of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He consults on DEI for companies and is a leader in the KC DEI community.
The theme of our diversity roundtable centered on celebrating Asian Heritage Month. We invited Rui Xu, the Kansas state representative for the 25th District and Emily Weber, the Missouri state representative for the 24th District to come speak to our team. We also distributed Stop Asian Hate social cards to provide resources to everyone.
We were more than excited to attend the Brand Lab’s Fearless Conference this month and learned how to courageously move forward by building self-awareness, courage, and action on an individual and an industry level.
In honor of Diversity Awareness Month, we also took time to celebrate our unique team members by learning more about each other in our monthly discussion. We invited everyone to share traditions, stories, and anything else that defines who they are.
Celebrating women highlighted our events for the month. Our team at emfluence was busy throughout March. We invited Jennifer Spencer, Jenn Capstraw, and Natalie Jackson to host a discussion, published an article on inclusion in paid media, created an International Women’s Day social campaign, and became a member of the MidAmerica LGBT chapter.
We brought this month’s discussion closer to home by inviting Spark Bookhart to present on the KCMO school district and redlining. Bookhart is a leader involved in public education and at Parent Power Lab, an organization working to empower parents throughout the KC area through a series of rigorous training.
Our year began by remembering and honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy with knowledgeable facilitators, Lynn Burnett and Larrye Franklin. Ahead of our meeting, we explored resources shared through Cross Cultural Solidarity. Our team was left in awe of the history shared and were eager to bring these speakers back for future roundtables.
Our discussions for the month centered around National American Indian Heritage Month and the popular American holiday, Thanksgiving. The goal was to challenge mainstream conceptions and ask ourselves how we could ally with the Native American population. We hosted an internal roundtable for team members by sharing statistics, readings, and articles and inviting discourse on the following questions:
1. What surprised you about these readings or facts?
2. Are there assumptions about Native culture you caught yourself making as you went through these readings?
3. What are your thoughts and feelings about the way we celebrate Thanksgiving in schools or popular culture? Are there ways we could make this holiday more inclusive?
4. How do we talk to children about indigenous cultures in a way that is positive and productive?
5. What is your cultural experience with Native Americans today? Can you speak to recent movies, books, or TV shows that featured Native Americans? What did you notice?
We welcomed a variety of community leaders to emfluence in celebration of Hispanic Awareness Month. Pedro Arroyo, Clare Murphy Shaw, Christy Joyce, and Rodrigo Cabeza made up panel of guests to lead our discussions and shared how companies like ours can become allies of the Hispanic community.
Our first roundtable gathered with Lauren Anderson for a mental health workshop. Lauren is a mindfulness and energy healing coach as well as the founder of The Nourished Heart, an organization dedicated to empowering others. This first meeting was focused on discussing the mental and emotional strain of events occurring this year.
Our journey towards improving DEI at emfluence began at the height of the pandemic and discussions emerged as a result of disturbing events happening across the country. We began our diversity dialogue and took action by forming out Diversity Committee and creating a statement, compiling social justice resources for team members, and our CEO, Dave Cacioppo, released our #activelyseekingdiversity statement.