Originally published on LinkedIn by David Kenny, CEO and Chief Diversity Officer at Nielsen.
At Nielsen, we stand for counting everyone—ensuring that all voices are not just counted, but are heard. In the past, we have often been silent. We will be silent no more.
Today we held a Nielsen Town Hall, and it is evident that so many of our people—our employees, our Nielsen families and our partners—are hurting. They are tired, they’re afraid to bring their true selves to work, afraid to leave their houses and afraid to worship where they would like. It is also more and more clear that we can only eradicate oppression when we also eradicate privilege, and we all need to make that happen.
We need to start by looking at our own company. We need to be sure that everyone who works here has a full opportunity to succeed. Our board is holding me and my team accountable for expanding representation at every level of the organization, and enriching every part of our company through diverse voices. Others are looking inward and realizing, perhaps for the first time, the depth of their own privilege and ignorance to the plight of their Black friends and colleagues.
Because we measure everything, we have a unique perspective and can see the true richness that Black Americans bring to our culture and our economy. We now must speak out and be much more vocal advocates and allies to our brothers and sisters.
To that end Nielsen will now endeavor to do things differently:
TRUST AND ACCOUNTABILITY — We need to hold ourselves accountable. We will share our internal census data with our people and illustrate to them where we stand with diversity throughout the company. This is a journey, and we will have short term and long term goals set against this information.
SAFETY — Safety means more than just staying healthy. We want to ensure that at Nielsen there is space and room for difficult conversations about race and personal experience to take place. We’re committed to creating and executing a full learning and engagement strategy that will help combat microaggressions, meaningfully engage around race issues and take action to facilitate real change. To that end, we will be rolling out workshops and other training to provide an intervention model that will help us move from being passive bystanders to active allies, spokespeople and advocates for the fair treatment of all people.
EXTERNAL INFLUENCE — Our Government Relations team is pursuing a program to make it clear to elected officials that we expect all of our people—associates, Nielsen families, etc.—will be treated with dignity and respect. Our first efforts will be to explore state legislation, like that which the Minnesota Attorney General is supporting, which would require police to intervene whenever they witness other police using excessive force. We will continue to look at other legislation and flex our muscles with elected officials at the federal, state and local levels. We will not only push for more fulsome legislation on these issues, but also for justice for George Floyd and the thousands of others who have been victims of violence because of the color of their skin. We will also roll out tools that will make it easy for our people to raise their voice to their own elected representatives. Our U.S. full time employees can take time to peacefully protest as they see fit.
We are also contributing to Black community organizations and small businesses. We are working with partners, like the National Urban League, to develop programs that help Black-owned small businesses that have suffered from not only discrimination, but now the impacts of a global pandemic, and the current situation. We are partnering with the Ad Council with both monetary and in-kind donations. This group has spent years developing Public Service Announcements that look to debunk stereotypes and eradicate hate.
Finally, we will redouble our efforts to provide the press and the business community information on the economic power and the impact of the Black community in media, sports and culture. In addition, we will make this information available to the public through our digital channels.
We believe this is an ongoing journey. This work will not be achieved in a day or a week. We are asking all of our people to join us as we seek to truly and thoroughly treat everyone with dignity and respect and to be silent no more.