{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "We are working on a new deck template for my firm. I took a look yesterday and saw that all the pictures included were of white people. I’m a WOC and I asked the person in charge (white) to either replace people with landscapes to make it people agnostic or add inclusive pictures. She straight up refused to change them and said people can change them as needed for clients. To me, it is really about diversity and inclusion and I want to take to her manager. Am I making a bigger deal than it is?", "post_id": "60bb9dbac47511002b537dfb", "reply_count": 22, "vote_count": 11, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }

We are working on a new deck template for my firm. I took a look yesterday and saw that all the pictures included were of white people. I’m a WOC and I asked the person in charge (white) to either replace people with landscapes to make it people agnostic or add inclusive pictures. She straight up refused to change them and said people can change them as needed for clients. To me, it is really about diversity and inclusion and I want to take to her manager. Am I making a bigger deal than it is?

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No. It’s not just about you - it’s also what message it sends to your clients. I would stick to the facts and not make it personal. Manager, I know X has been working on the new template and I think it looks great. However, I do think we may want to change the stock photos of people to be more diverse, so it could be relevant to all of our clients and represent our teams better. Plus may be more efficient since we won’t have to worry about changing them.

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I think this is a good way of handling it. Depending on the seniority/permissions of your firm, the person making the deck might have limited options as well, so it might need someone higher up. Only speaking for experience here as someone who tried to make more inclusive decks for a client and then had to sit on the phone for an hour with marketing because the stock photos we had weren't inclusive, only to have them come back with some bs excuse about needing to pay more for stock photos of POC since we didn't already own them, and then had to rope in a partner because obviously the analyst has no pull there. Thanks for coming to my rant.

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No, it’s a big deal. I agree - the all white default is part of the problem. I’m a white woman, and I also agree that it’s reasonable to escalate the issue to someone higher up on the design team. (Not that you need validation from a white person, just to provide another perspective!) I’m sorry they’ve not been more willing to address this. You should not have to fight this battle without allies! I would imagine that if you have affinity groups, you could also reach out to them about it and get them onboard for the change as well, so that there is more attention paid to these things in the future.

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You're absolutely not making too big a deal! Why are white (and I assume male) the default, why is the burden on the people of color and diversity oriented audiences to correct each time? Why is diverse representation only as needed?

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Don’t talk to her manager . What if you changed a couple ? Will she actually have the guts to tell you not to use the better more well rounded pics ?

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Hi OP . What I meant was not to ask permission to do what is right. Sometimes as women we think we have to ask for things . Now I ask myself if a man would ask permission before I ask . If the answer is no I step in and take control. Maybe I misunderstood the situation and you do not have access/ability to change it yourself and needed to ask her to do it . I’m not aware of your office political situation and it really wasn’t clear from your first post if you are part of the team that is building or if you were asked to be a reviewer or really what each of your roles was meant to be . Those little nuances can slightly influence how to best handle getting the right result so I may have read it wrong . I hope you are able to get it changed as it is clearly the better answer. Also I’m sorry you had to deal with this micro aggression.

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She sucks. You’re right to ask, I like the approach above. Aside from not being inclusive, it’s exhausting as a POC to be the person to ask for the bare minimum and (sometimes) be met with resistance. Good for you for speaking up.

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I am really surprised by your company’s response. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a pot deck that did not show diversity. They sound out of touch. You are not wrong to point this out.

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I sent the email to her manager and HR! It took me a couple days to literally type the email and have the confidence to send it. SMH.

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Well her manager replied - “Good idea”. I’m not sure how to interpret it.

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Update - the marketing template was just released and there were no updates made to the picture. I am infuriated. Wtf. I’m seriously considering leaving.

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OP I appreciate your willingness to speak up and see this through. And please…. Don’t hurt yourself on this one. Hopefully they have listened and heard you and will do better next time. Honestly, I am still a bit in shock at their being okay with lack of diverse images. That is so behind the times- it’s a bad look for the company.

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