Diversity and culture changes at KW2

For the past several months, conversations have been taking place across the country regarding how organizations should approach their culture, race and diversity policies and practices. This is not a new conversation to us. We’ve been having it for more than a year now but realized an immediate need to learn, improve, take action and create long term change that will continue to make us better as a company.

Our objectives? 

  • Educate and train our staff and managers so we can gain more insight and knowledge about the dynamics of culture, race and diversity in the workplace.
  • Create a Diversity, Inclusion and Culture Committee to review select work to ensure its as impactful and relevant as possible. 
  • Ensure our workplace is open and accessible to all. 

But it’s not just KW2. About 74% of millennials in The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey respondents believe their organization is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion. And a Boston Consulting Group study shows that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation. So we felt by sharing our approach, it may encourage others to take similar action.  

Where to begin

Here’s how we looked at our organization and established a plan to improve it. We started by forming a committee with three KW2 managers. The group realized that we need two things to be successful: a mirror and resources. A mirror that helps us truly see what we are practicing and make sure the reflection of what we see isn’t biased based on our own backgrounds, opinions and experiences. And we needed ongoing resources to help guide us into being smarter, more open, and to help us determine the right path to change. 

We began meeting weekly to review and implement the plan, which focuses on three areas:

  1. Our culture
  2. Our work
  3. Recruitment 

Our culture

We immediately began a five-session training series for our management team around race and bias in the workplace. We are about to begin an additional multi-session training series for staff. We’ve shared what we’ve learned internally, and are continually gathering feedback and input from KW2ers. 

Our work

Marketing and communication to any audience succeeds when its memorable and relevant. So we asked ourselves how we could make our work more successful and more relevant. The answer was in the development of our Diversity and Culture Committee. We reached out to several Wisconsin-based communications experts and community leaders from a variety of different cultural backgrounds to enlist their help by providing input on our strategies, tone, creative executions, and media outlets. It’s already proven to be a wise investment, thanks to the excellent feedback as subsequent revisions that helped make the work more relevant. 


It became clear that just changing our job descriptions, job requirements, and hiring outlets alone wouldn’t result in the deeper cultural change we need at KW2. So we’ve retained a consultant to provide expertise in these areas in an attempt to grow and diversify our staff over time. 

KW2’s mission is to bring about change for our clients that empower and improve lives. We’re very good at it. But with these recent changes, and the growth, learning and understanding that’s already happened, we know that KW2 will continue to grow and serve our clients and their audiences better every day. 

What progress or successes about evolving your diversity, equity, and inclusion practices have benefitted your organization? We would love to hear from you.