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Scholz & Friends measures its DEI culture with the go:diversity program

Written by
Cornelia Kirschke
Portrait of Simon Mattaj, DEI expert at Scholz & Friends
Simon Mattaj is a DEI expert at Scholz & Friends. He uses the go:diversity program to collect measurable data and identify areas to improve
Simon Mattaj is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Corporate Strategy strategist at Germany’s leading creative agency, Scholz & Friends. The DEI team is tasked with bringing diversity and inclusion awareness to all of the agency’s business units and thereby advance their strategic goals of attracting and retaining talent while developing innovative and timely PR strategies. At Scholz & Friends, establishing an inclusive corporate culture in which differences in experience and opinions are met with respect is seen as fundamental to the company’s responsibility as an employer. 

Simon, what compelled Scholz & Friends to measure the agency’s diversity?

Scholz & Friends aims to draw attention to the fact of diversity in our society while raising awareness about diversity among our employees, clients, and across the creative industry itself. When targeting these things, we often have only a sense of how specific actions taken within the firm impact our culture.

With go:diversity, we can collect measurable data and identify weaknesses which, in turn, allows us to institute a culture of diversity at Scholz & Friends. We are particularly interested in the extent to which our culture is already perceived to be respectful and inclusive. To what extent do our actions already reflect a sensitivity to diversity? Where can we improve? Having answers to these questions helps us evaluate the measures we’ve taken so far and define those ahead.

With go:diversity, we can collect measurable data and identify weaknesses which, in turn, allows us to institute a culture of diversity at Scholz & Friends.

Where are you in the go:diversity process? Can you report on your experiences thus far?

We are currently in the assessment phase. The feedback from our employees after the kick-off event was very positive. They are excited about the steps ahead, which we will take together as we create a diversity-sensitive work environment. 

Our current challenge involves getting an as-representative-as-possible number of people to participate in the process. In the day-to-day business of the PR industry, taking part in a survey can sometimes be placed on the back burner and then forgotten – especially when it comes to long surveys involving a time investment. Strengthening motivation and confidence in one’s own company and its diversity initiatives is thus all the more important.

What does that mean in practical terms? Do you have three tips on how to introduce diversity, equity and inclusion into the daily workplace?

  1. Start with yourself and the environment surrounding you!
    Create opportunities in your daily life to educate and challenge yourself, and to reflect critically on your behavior. Don’t expect others to do it for you, and invite input by sharing your thoughts and experiences with others.
  2. Sustainable change takes time! 
    Getting there involves treating it more like a marathon than a sprint. So pace yourself, keep your eye on the goal, and celebrate even smaller successes.
  3. Start by integrating low-threshold activities into your daily (work) routine! 
    This can involve, for example, subscribing to a newsletter, following a particular person or institution on social media, or reading short articles. Just a few minutes a day can be enough to sharpen your own basic understanding of the relevant issues. Give the subject and yourself time and attention.

Thank you very much, Simon. We look forward to our continuing work with you in the program.  


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