Example case diversity and inclusion
What do the Dutch Linda Meiden Magazine and international Vogue have in common? And what does this have to do with diversity and inclusion? Interested to know more about it? Read on.
About Linda Magazine
In 2019 Linda signed the Diversity Charter. Creative director Jildou van der Bijl has signed the statement on behalf of Mood for Magazines. Linda indicates diversity is important. “Linda is a major media brand for young women and thus make a major contribution to the image in our country (The Netherlands). We also feel responsible for contributing to social progress. We want to be a reflection of all women in our society in which everyone recognizes and feels at home.”
Linda Magazine plan to work on creating more diversity and inclusion
Linda Magazine indicates that she wants to be even more diverse in all expressions. To become even more aware of stereotypes so that Linda Magazine does not end up in a bubble. A plan has been drawn up with goals to pursue more diversity in the editorial staff. The goals include:
- a more diverse personnel policy
- becoming more inclusive in the workplace
- better representing our society in other areas.
What happened at Linda Magazine?
Gwen van Poorten and artist Frenna were both interviewed about phone use. Both assumed they would on the magazine cover.
Unfortunately for Frenna, it was not both covers. Gwen van Poorten was only displayed on the cover of the magazine. Frenna and Gwen were both displayed on the online cover.
Different perspectives and entering into dialogue
Management of Frenna thought that was special because this went against the agreements made. Why Gwen on both covers and exclude Frenna? Fernando from music radio Funx called the editor-in-chief of Linda Meiden. Listen (in Dutch) to the phone call. The editor-in-chief mentioned Linda Magazine did not agree on both covers and they feel bad for Frenna. On social media, the discussion also erupted. Linda Meiden’s magazine decision was clearly not appreciated by their own readers.
Researching because we want to know more about this
We did some research. Mostly because the reader reactions. Most of the readers were not happy. It made us wonder what was really going on with Linda Magazine’s plan to work on diversity & inclusion. And the results of our research were very interesting.
Mistake of just bias?
Three years ago, the editor-in-chief of Linda, Karin Swerink was editor-in-chief at Vogue Netherlands. Fernando of FunX called het for the same reason. She did the same thing at Vogue Magazine. And gave the same explanation. Mrs. Swerink indicates that she wants to be more inclusive and is considering a cover with Frenna.
Spot the patterns
Speaking of Vogue Magazine, Anna Wintour did the same thing. She even gave an official statement. The reaction were also not so nice on social media. It seems Linda Magazine and Vogue Magazine are not really learning from their mistakes.
What is also interesting is how the same people in media are always hired again. Are there no other suitable candidates for this position? This brings another question. What is the recruitment system of these companies such as Linda Magazine and Vogue?
What can Linda Magazine (and Vogue) do about this?
First, let’s see what Linda says she’s doing about diversity and inclusion:
Linda Magazine: “At the moment we already give workshops on diversity within the company. We have set up a diversity committee and we constantly try to be on top of inclusion in our expressions. We can think about: are we diverse enough on LINDA.nl, in the videos of LINDA.tv and in the magazine? Do we have a good mix between man and woman, young and old, black and white, thick and thin? We try to be very aware of that.”
Something to think about
- Mrs. Karin Swerink does not seem to learn from her mistakes.
- Diversity and inclusion are confused. They are really two different areas of attention. Apparently, the workshops do not work because then you would at least know the difference.
- Who is on the diversity committee and what are the backgrounds of the members?
- And if people of diverse origins are interviewed, it is not hardcopy cover-worthy. Why not?
- Does Linda Magazine ask for feedback from her readers and so something with that? In this case the answer is no. Linda responded online they don’t to respond and enter into a dialogue.
We only see opportunities
Too bad, this was a great opportunity for Linda Magazine to continue with diversity. Where did it go wrong? Who made the decision to change the covers? Mrs. Swerink holds a leadership role. How does she deal with her environment, her employees, and what does this mean for representation in our society?
It was actually a no-brainer to us to give both covers to Gwen and Frenna. Apparently, Linda Magazine does not understand this or does not see it.
Here is some advice for Linda Magazine
Unfortunately, Linda Magazine does not seem to live up to intentions. Does it still have value if Frenna still appears on the cover? We don’t think so. Our advice to Linda Magazine is to really get started with DIEP and not just make the intention clear. Especially to come up with proof and ask her readers for feedback online. And if it’s not sincere, don’t do it. Stop checking boxes, start caring.