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Katya Allison

Director of Marketing
Content at GRIN

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About GRIN Gets Real

Welcome to the GRIN gets real podcast, the show for people who want to maximize their marketing potential. From influencer marketing to eCommerce strategy and everything in between, each episode will feature industry experts that share their insights and provide actionable tips to help you achieve your marketing goals. Subscribe and stay tuned!

Subscribe Understanding DE&I Q&A title image

Diversity in marketing: why DE&I is a movement, not a moment

[audio src="https://grin.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/20220817_GGR-QA-Taylar-Barrington-Booker.mp3" /]

In this episode:

Taylar Barrington-Booker

Founder of Agency Cliquish

Taylar Barrington-Booker is the founder of Agency Cliquish, a world-class talent management agency for people of color, where she also serves as the head of influencer talent and partnerships. In addition to that, Taylar is a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in influencer marketing, and she’s demonstrated this through building a diverse community of creators, co-authoring the published diversity charge Creators for Equality, and serving as a member of the Diversity Board for Women in Influencer Marketing (WIIM).

This episode of the GRIN Gets Real podcast is an extension of the Q&A session from our fireside chat with Taylar on the importance of upholding DE&I in the creator economy.

Full episode details

Diversity in marketing

Diverse teams make for equitable and inclusive practices. 

Bringing together a variety of viewpoints is a surefire way to be successful in the creator economy. In doing so, you can ensure you’re not fumbling something due to unconscious bias. 

“That’s why it’s important to make sure that the people who are on these teams and who are heading up these initiatives are representative of everybody that is going to be included.” 

Whether it’s a group of people representing different body shapes and sizes, different sexual orientations, or different ethnicities, you want to make sure your team resembles your consumers. 

The meaningful can be measurable. 

Taylar shared that businesses can definitely track results from DE&I initiatives they run so they can discover the impact they’re actually making. After all, analyzing data gives you the information you need to improve further. 

“This doesn’t always have to be external information. These can be things that are important to share with your team and organization so that they can understand that the work that they’re doing is impactful.” 

Taylar and Katya also discussed: 

  • Why creators should trust their gut when it comes to brand partnerships 
  • How to balance gratitude with requests for equal treatment
  • Why walking the walk is harder than talking the talk 
  • And much more 

 

Quotes from the episode

Understanding DE&I in the Creator Economy Q&A image

“I guess the answer is it has to be organic based on a user’s action. And we show education and an interactive component when they show their indecision and their desire to learn more information. So to them, it is right there, and they want to get it instead of it being a forced action.”  

“A lot of successful brands are doing (live shopping events) on a weekly or biweekly basis. That keeps the content very fresh and also makes sure they have enough new customers. Even if there are no new products, one amazing thing is that we always have new customers. And they always want to learn more and engage with us. “

“It really comes down to content marketing and social proof. When we buy things in the market, I’ll see 50 people walk by, and they’ve all bought the same thing. I am also so influenced by people. So when we are at a live shopping event, and you see everyone buying this same color of lipstick, you think, ‘Hmm, maybe I should too.’” 

“I love numbers, so there can never be too many numbers. I want to know everything from where users are coming from and what kind of users convert the best to how they are engaging on the email marketing side. The good news is, when people attend live events, they always give you a real email, and they’re responsive. We usually see over a 50% open rate, which you almost never see in other marketing channels.”

Katya Allison: 

Welcome to the after-show of a very special fireside chat on understanding DE&I in the creator economy. During this episode, we take all of those unanswered questions from our live event that we didn’t get to to get you those answers. 

 

For those of you tuning into the podcast, I spoke with Taylar Barrington-Booker on the importance of DE&I in today’s creator economy and, honestly, how vital it is. During our chat, we explored the importance and the value of DE&I for creators and really dove into what it means for creators and brands alike. 

 

Now, let me share a little bit about Taylar Barrington-Booker because I love to boast about my great, good friend. She is the founder and head of talent and partnerships at Agency Cliquish. She is a fierce advocate of diversity and inclusion in influencer marketing, including building a diverse community for creators, Cliquish, a co-author for the published diversity charge #CreatorsForEquality, and a member of the Diversity Board for Women in Influencer Marketing. 

 

And on that note, put on your AirPods, sit back, relax, and enjoy our after-show on understanding DE&I in the creator economy. 

 

Taylar, welcome back to the other side of our fireside chat on understanding DE&I in the creator economy. For those of you who are tuning in just to the podcast, go listen to the webinar fireside chat. It was such a great conversation. And I’m so excited that you’re joining me for those and answering questions.

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

Yes. Thank you so much for having me.

 

Katya Allison: 

Absolutely. All right. So let’s dive into the first unanswered question here. “Hello, can DE&I make the disconnection between nonprofits and for-profits and the community break the bridge? We need to make this gap strong.”

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yes, absolutely. I believe what they’re, you know, asking here is, “Do nonprofits who focus on DE&I efforts—are they able to or are in a good position to be able to help, like, the for-profit community kind of break through the gaps?” 

 

And, actually, I absolutely believe that could be the case. You know, I think that there are, you know, Pull Up for Change was something that I talked about on the webinar. Like, that’s a nonprofit organization that is doing a lot of the work, that is talking to both the community and the corporate brand stakeholders in figuring out how to fill in the gaps, you know? 

 

I mean, the key here is that there’s got to be an ongoing conversation. There’s got to be accountability and a lot of accountability. And I think that’s a really strong play that nonprofits have, you know, when they are focused on these efforts and these initiatives, you know, they are there every day. They are making sure that brands and companies are meeting these expectations, that they’re putting their dollars into these communities, that they are meeting these creator pay gaps to a certain extent. 

 

And I certainly believe that nonprofits would certainly be great solutions for this, but I think everybody plays a role in it. I think, you know, the creators that are mainstream creators—white creators, male creators, white male creators—also have a role to play in making sure that diversity is happening, you know? 

 

I think that brands have a role to play. I think nonprofits have a role to play. I think that if we bind together as a community and make sure that all of our initiatives or all of our intentions are the same, that we will continue to make slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

 

Katya Allison: 

It takes a village, right? It’s not going to be one person that’s going to solve it. It is a community, and we all just have to kind of band together to make it happen. 

 

What is the best—I was gonna say the biggest—what is the best gauge on how diverse and inclusive a company is, as someone looking at that brand from the outside? For example, looking at a brand’s Instagram, knowing their corporate DE&I efforts—what can I look into?

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah, I think some key things to look into would be moving into their website or moving on to their website down at the bottom, you know, looking at what their employment practices are—what their equal opportunity employment practices are, for sure. 

 

Venturing over to LinkedIn, you know, seeing who they currently have employed with the company and who are the faces? And what places are they working in? I think there’s a lot of opportunity for visibility that brands can also implement themselves. You know, we’re talking about initiatives where there’s diversity transparency that we were talking about over on the webinar. And they can share that data and be transparent. I think that’s great, and I think that’s in the best interests of both the consumer, and the influencers, and the brands to have that transparency there. And communicate that even if you fall short, right? Because at the end of the day, the expectation here is that you are communicating, and you are trying, and you are making efforts, and that you are not hiding behind your flaws, and hiding behind your shortcomings or your shortfalls, you know? 

 

But I think on Instagram, you know, what we’re looking for is, like, if you’re having an influencer trip, for example. You know, there’s that influencer trip with, you know, 12, you know, white women on the trip, or, you know, very—just you know—there’s no intersection inside of this group, right? 

 

Katya Allison:

Yeah.

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

And also, I can’t venture to say that all diversity is something that you can see, right? Like, somebody could be neurodiverse. Somebody, you know, could, you know, have a disability to some extent. 

 

But then next to that is a square of a picture of a content creator that, you know, you took their image and reposted it and, you know, this is a person of color, and they weren’t compensated for this repost. And so you can easily see, for example, that you’re putting you–you’re investing your dollars into a certain demographic of people, and that this particular person is just filling in a gap and maybe meeting a quota. But you’re not really doing real integrations. You’re not really including them or being inclusive about how people of color or people from diverse backgrounds are integrated into your social efforts.

 

Katya Allison: 

No, I absolutely agree. I think, like, especially—so during the fireside chat, we were talking about—or I had asked a question in regards to, like, “Is there value to, you know, bringing to light sort of these “case studies” and, you know, having creators really speak their truth and speak their experiences?” 

 

And I think nowadays, it also gets called out on social media. So it’s not even something that you necessarily have to look at. There is this—I was watching TikTok, and I’m just now in love with this creator, and now I cannot remember what her handle is, but it was on TikTok. And she is doing, like, this whole little spiel thing, or like, her niche is—this is, you know—”Is this actually something that looks good? Or is this person just skinny?” For a fashion brand.  

 

And I’m like, “That is such a great concept! Like, does this look good? Does it not?” Because I don’t see myself in that. I mean, like, I am not that person. I am not six-foot tall. I am not a bean pole. That’s just not who I am. And I don’t see myself in that. And I—thank God I cannot mention the brand because I don’t remember what the brand was—but I’m like, “Oh, it’s so interesting that they’re pulling that off.” 

 

And to me, that’s a call-out, right? That’s a call-out for like, “Hey, you’re not really being diverse.” Like, you may think that you are, but that also opens up that conversation that you and I were having where DE&I is not just Black and white. It is being all-inclusive. It is—everybody plays a part in it, and we all have to be able to see ourselves in a brand if that’s essentially what the brand wants. 

 

Now, if the brand wants to be siloed, you’re gonna probably not last that long, I would think. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah. I mean, for sure. Especially when you start looking at what the economic buying power is of these diverse groups, right? And so when we pull our money, and we, you know—that the sustainability—and also our—their brand loyalty, you know, like, we chart much higher as far as brand loyalty. And we know that for sustainable business, the hallmark of that is returning customers. 

 

So if you’re not building up the base that’s going to give you the brand loyalty by making sure that you are not pandering or not being performative, but that you’re being inclusive and you’re being equitable to them. For example, you know, where, if you’re a food brand, are you—is your product stocked in, you know, diverse neighborhoods?

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah.Good call. That’s such a good call. It’s so true. Yeah.

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah, it’s, you know—it’s really going to be about walking the walk. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yes. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Talking the talk. And I think walking the walk is where a lot of people get caught up. You know, it’s got to be, how am I making—how is this organization making a conscious effort every day to say, “What can we do to make this more accessible, to make this more inclusive?” 

 

You know, one of the things that I love, you know, I’m a curvier body, you know, and I remember growing up, like, “Wow, you know, I don’t really see anybody like me in fashion.” And I love fashion. I live for it.

 

Katya Allison: 

Same, same. That’s another podcast. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yes. And I remember saying to myself, you know, “Well, I guess they don’t want me to shop there.” Like, I mean, these were conversations I was having with myself in high school, you know? Now, as an adult, I’m, like, seeing the trend move more towards being more body inclusive, you know? Like, I think really good brands that are doing that are like Universal Standard, you know. They stock all of their products from like, double zero, I think, all the way to 26. 

 

I think Anthropology does it now. You see brands, you know, putting in curve sections and all that, but you know why? Yes, it’s diversity, and it’s being mindful of everybody’s body. But it’s good business, you know? Like, when you start looking at the just sheer lack of options for curvy bodies, and you start, you know, creating products and being mindful of their experiences, that’s in your best interest. You know what I mean? 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

So like, I would just say, you know, it’s 100% about walking the walk and looking at your business and saying, “Where—? How am I being a part of the problem and not a part of the solution? And how can I be the solution, you know, to get some progress moving?”

 

Katya Allison: 

That’s a good call. All right, what can brands do to create a more inclusive space?

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

I think that really depends on the brand. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Okay. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

Right? I think everybody’s inclusion strategy is gonna look very, very different. I think the biggest way to look at how to be inclusive is to start having internal conversations. Start having, you know, some study groups, or bringing in stakeholders, or bringing in experts who can give you that really strong direction because it’s not a one size fits all. It’s really not cookie cutter. 

 

But we know that it’s important because it’s without—business in general—it’s just not sustainable without being inclusive anymore. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Agreed. 

 

Taylar Barrington-BookeR:

This is a day and age where that is absolutely—it’s imperative.

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah, it’s not an optional thing. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

It’s not optional, ok? 

 

Katya Allison”

Yeah, it’s not, “You can skip this step, and you will be fine.” 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

And if I were to say, “This is how to be inclusive for your particular brand,” I wouldn’t be doing it right because it looks different for everybody. But I will say that prioritizing it is important. Having conversations about it is important. 

 

And figuring it out, allocating budget over there, if you got a marketing budget, and you want to market to, you know, diverse groups, set aside a portion of that for research, you know? Like, have somebody come in and evaluate your numbers. You know, there’s facilitators out there. I mean, it’s just so many opportunities, and I think those who can’t find it aren’t looking for it. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

And so, you know, I think it’s just going to be about making a decision that inclusion is important. It is a value, a principle of our business and our organization. And we’re going to do it by any means necessary if we want to survive, you know, past the next 5, 10 years.

 

Katya Allison: 

Absolutely. And this actually kind of feeds into the next question, which is, “Companies and brands may be tracking DE&I goals internally to hold themselves accountable. How do you feel about this? And do you have advice for brands to ensure that this is translating in ways that are most meaningful?” 

 

So now this is kind of talking about the resources that you had just mentioned of, like, “Okay, I’ve found someone that’s really helping us track that.” So, you know, what is—what do I want to say? I totally lost my line of sight. 

 

Do you have advice for the brands to ensure that this is translating in the ways that are the most meaningful? What are they doing with that data?

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah, that’s a really great question, and it’s a very thoughtful question. And so, thank you for whoever wrote that question. 

 

You know, I think the meaningful can be measurable. You know, like, I think, for example, you know, when we talk about Black influencers, or influencers or color, BIPOC influencers in general, or even consumer bases, for example, said initiative could look like, “We’re going to allocate a set amount of funding for small Black businesses,” right? 

 

And meaningful can be—when I say “meaningful can be measurable,” you can look at the impact of the work that you’re doing with that initiative. You can gather testimonials. You can gather feedback, you know? You can figure out how, you know, the efforts of your businesses help their bottom line. 

 

Same thing with the influencers that you’re working with, you know? You can bring them into the fold as long-term ambassadors and figure out, you know, how this partnership has then shifted their life, changed their life. 

 

This doesn’t always have to be external information. This can be things that it’s important to share with your team, your organization, so that they can understand that the work that they’re doing is impactful. You know what I mean? 

 

But talk to the people that are directly affected by your initiatives, and gather feedback from them. Figure out, you know, what shifts and changes are happening with them. Compile that in really compelling ways, you know, so that it’s great for your organization, it’s great for, you know, again, being transparent about your diversity efforts. And it—you can really show that this is a deep and meaningful thing that we care about and not necessarily something that’s performative. Because I think a lot of that happens when you’re telling stories and you’re understanding how you’re effecting change.

 

Katya Allison: 

I love it. All right, we have a couple more. Thinking back to YouTube star Daniella Perkins on her experience with racial exclusion at the Dote house—did I say that right? Dote House? 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yes. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Okay. Where influencers were staying and promoting Dote at Coachella. “How do you think Daniella could have avoided that experience? Or what tips do you have for influencers to avoid an experience such as this?”

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah, you know, I would venture to—I think I want to talk about how Dote could have avoided that experience, right? Because, like—okay, so just what happened, you know—Dote has an influencer house at Coachella. They invite, you know, a handful of influencers—I think it was maybe 10—to the house. The house obviously has a limitation of sleeping arrangements. They’ve got a couple of rooms that have king beds, a few with queens, a few bunk beds. Then you got, like, you know, secondary houses, secondary rooms, pull-out couches, and things of that nature. 

 

Well, what happened was when influencers arrived, there was, you know, first significantly more, you know, general market influencers. And then, the influencers of color were then all placed in the same kind of housing area, sleeping area. But in that sleeping area, you know, it was, I mean, less than acceptable. Pull-out couches, blow-up mattresses. 

 

I mean, it was ridiculous, honestly–

 

Katya Allison:

In comparison. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

In comparison to those who were living a life of luxury in king-size beds with views, you know? It was just—it was—the contrast was insane to even see, you know? Like, she submitted the images so that we could see the contrast of those experiences. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

And, you know, Dote, of course, released a statement that says like, you know, “It certainly wasn’t our intention to do this, and this is not who we are, you know? And we’ll be doing whatever else that is important to right this wrong,” right? 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

But I think the disconnect is thinking that you can bring—literally—you know, when you think about influencers, you think about, like, they’re basically a media team, right? 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

They’re people who have major platforms, major reach, major audiences. Into a completely segregated, you know? I mean, segregated is what it was, right? So a completely segregated sleeping situation, and not expect somebody to post about it on the internet, you know? 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

It just—it sounds like a recipe for a nightmare, you know? And so, what they should have done is maybe there was—if there wasn’t enough housing or enough sleeping arrangements that made it equitable—okay, so this is about equity, right? Diversity and inclusion? 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

Then they should have gotten a second house. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

Right? Or they should not have invited that many people.

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

And sleeping arrangements should not have been assigned. It should have been, you know, based on arrival. It could have been drawn, you know, so that things felt fair. And so, if you ended up in a king-size bedroom, good for you. Like, that was the luck of the draw, but you weren’t assigned to that, and you didn’t look up, and you didn’t say, “Why are we all, you know—why are we all back here in the back room, you know, in these really, you know, plain walls and this just very contrasting  sleeping arrangement?”

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah.

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

And everyone else doesn’t have that experience. And so I just—I think that I can never really speak to what their intentions were with that. Maybe they intentionally wanted to do that. And, or maybe somebody would say, “You need to be—this trip needs to be diverse. You know, there’s a lot of conversation about diversity. We need to make sure that we’re bringing—inviting influences of color.”

 

But maybe the person that was in charge actually just didn’t really care for people of color, you know? And so I think maybe that wasn’t the intention. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was an accident. 

 

Katya Allison:

Yeah

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

Who knows? But that’s why it’s important to make sure that the people who are on these teams and who are heading up these initiatives are representative of everybody that is going to be included. Because I am pretty sure that if a black woman had been on the Dote team and walked in and saw this situation, like, sugar honey iced tea would have hit the fan, you know what I mean? 

 

Katya Allison: 

It’s so true! Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

It would have got a pin in it immediately. Like, “What is happening here, you know? Like, absolutely not!” You know, there would have been a new house, a better house, you know. Like, people would have got—maybe there would have been a rotation of people throughout the weekend. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah.

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

We’ve got to be more mindful about that. And that’s unconscious bias at its finest because I’m pretty sure there was some mindset around, “Who wouldn’t mind sleeping in a space like this? 

Who wouldn’t make a whole lot of noise about sleeping in this arrangement?”

 

Katya Allison: 

Well, and then that brings me to that follow-up question. “Is—that as a creator, as an influencer, are there signs that I’m looking out for so that I don’t get myself in that situation?” Right? Like, is it—because there’s this part of me, the knee-jerk, that’s like, it’s got to be about a relationship. 

 

I mean, like, I want a free trip, and I want to go to Coachella, but at the same time, like, am I doing my due diligence on my side as a creator and an influencer as well, too, to ensure that I’m not—and this is definitely not a blame thing—but I definitely I—what I want to know, also, is the other—the flip-side of it as a creator, as an influencer? What’s my due diligence in that situation?

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah, you know, I agree. And thank you for enlightening me with that because there are red flags. I think it all starts with the concept or the idea that, you know, up until recently, up until, you know, we started making a whole lot of noise about this, you know, there aren’t a lot of opportunities. You know, opportunities for influencers of color are far and very few between.

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

And so I think the first thing is, you know, to even be invited on the trip, one—an influencer of color, I can imagine, was coming from a place of, like, gratitude, where, like, “I’m grateful for this opportunity because I know that these don’t come around often.”

 

And believe it or not, this is something that they really enjoy doing. And they love doing, you know?

 

Katya Allison: 

Yeah.

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

But then, I’m pretty sure that throughout the process, it was a lot of red flags, you know? Things happen. Like, maybe there was an expectation around flights or arrangements or even the urgency and responding to inquiries and, you know, knowing those things that are happening throughout the process. 

 

Like, if someone shows you who they are, believe them, right? And so definitely don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re showing up far away from home in a place where somebody else has been basically in charge of, like, your housing and well-being, you know to some extent, and you see that they don’t really care about, you know, you. 

 

And, you know, we have a hard time as an influencer management company trying to communicate that to our talent because, you know, these big opportunities come along, and they’re really excited for them. And we really want to help land those opportunities for them. But we also see how things are being handled on our end. 

 

Katya Allison:

Yeah.

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

And it’s very hard to communicate that, you know, like–.

 

Katya Allison: 

It is such a tough position to be in because I can totally see that, too. I would be just as excited. And that’s why I’m like, kind of curious. And then I think especially if you’re in any sort of minority, whether it’s of color, whether it’s of gender, whether it’s of, like, you know—you approach everything with so much more gratitude. You’re like, “Well, at least I got invited.” 

 

And I think that that almost is like that mentality where we kind of have to shift our thinking of like, no, no, it’s great that you’re grateful. I’m not saying don’t be grateful.

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah. 

 

Katya Allison: 

But I am saying, like, you can also demand to be treated equally as well, too. And I think it’s tough as a minority to be like, “Oh, but can I?” 

 

Or maybe that’s just me, that’s—I can totally see myself in that position. And I’m like, “But at least I have a bed, and I’m going to Coachella.” I was like, “That doesn’t make it right!” That doesn’t make it right. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah. It doesn’t because, you know, I think all of them, you know, it wasn’t just her. There were other influencers on the trip that spoke up and said things about it. And I’d have to believe that they probably felt that in their gut. You know, like, yeah, you know, we’re women. We’ve got intuition. Like, they probably felt in their gut, and they went anyway. And because of the gratitude, because they know that these opportunities don’t come along, and—. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Exactly. “And I’m gonna make the most of the opportunity, right? Like, it’s what I’m gonna do.” 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Right. But they walked away from the situation traumatized, you know what I mean? 

 

Katya Allison: 

It makes my heart hurt. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

Yeah. And so it’s like, was that productive? Or would it have been more productive to just not have engaged at all? Or to speak up and say something? You know, like, sometimes it’s—you gotta call folks out, you know? You gotta say, like, “This is not okay.”

 

And they are professional ways to do that, you know? It doesn’t have—a lot of people take it straight to Instagram. Doesn’t have to be that.

 

Katya Allison: 

What do you mean? No, but it is true. It is totally true. 

 

And I think the thing is, like, change isn’t easy. If it was easy, then everybody would be doing it, and it wouldn’t be that big of a conversation. And I think it’s tough to be either leading the pack or following the pack of, like—I’m over here, like, pointing as if there’s this mountain and this hill, but that’s what it feels like, right? Like, you’re telling me I am signing up for going uphill? 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

Yeah. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Not just, you know, walking. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker: 

Yeah. 

 

Katya Allison: 

Like, my walking the walk is walking uphill. It’s not just walking. Like, it’s not just walking forward; it’s walking forward, and walking up, and walking towards something that is hard. And that’s—I feel like that’s just so tough. 

 

And I think that’s why these kinds of conversations are so important. Because, like, if we’re not talking about it, like, it’s got to start somewhere, and then maybe it inspires one person to take that action as well, too. And it inspires me to take that follow-up action as well, too, and recognize and call out and—and not call out in a mean way. To your point, like, it doesn’t always have to be on Instagram. It doesn’t always have to be a cancel culture. 

 

Maybe it’s just an education. Maybe it’s just like this, “Hey, this is what I’ve experienced. Help me help you make it better.”

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Yeah. And, you know, I think to walk that back a little bit, it’s— there should definitely be an addressing the situation and then a gracious bow out because I think at that point, you know, either taking accountability to try to fix those problems is going to be—it’s just—it’s not going to keep and hold brands accountable. 

 

Like, they’ve got to find their own solutions. They’ve got to find the right people to help them not make mistakes like that because on a big, broad stage like influencer marketing, you know, it can be detrimental, and things, you know, things can catch fire quickly. So it’s the way of the future.

 

Katya Allison: 

That’s very true. That was a juicy conversation. 

 

I’ve got one last one, and really this one is so a question for you. What is the #CreatorsForEquality? What is that? 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Oh, I love that. So #CreatorsForEquality is an initiative that we worked with PR(iSM). They are a facilitation company for diversity, equity, and inclusion. And we work with them to—we actually hosted a small group and did some research. We heard—I mean, we spent hours on this call, hearing what their issues were, what gaps they were seeing, what problems they were having. 

 

And I think, you know, while it was beautiful, and they certainly found community and realized that they aren’t alone in what they’re experiencing, we were able to figure out what the general consensus was. 

 

So what we did was, we took that, and we worked with PR(iSM) to develop language that brands and companies could utilize and review to implement inside of their organization and in their business as well, so that we can start being a part of the solution, you know? Like, I don’t take for granted that I’ve been in influencer marketing for, you know, eight years at this point and have seen a lot and know a lot on the creator side as well as the brand side and am able to use the platform that we built to do that. 

 

So if those who are listening want access to, you know, Creators for Equality, I am happy to send that over to them. And I don’t know the best way to tell them to do that. But I’m sure you’ll put it in there. 

 

Katya Allison:  

I will figure it out. I will get it into the hands of anybody listening. You know, I appreciate you so much. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed talking to you. I love that we’re so passionate both equally about this topic and just having the conversation and continuing the conversation. Thank you so much for giving me so much of your time. 

 

Taylar Barrington-Booker:

Thank you. It was so much fun. 

 

Katya Allison:

Okay, it’s no secret. I am obsessed with this episode. First of all, I could talk to Taylar for hours—not only for hours but for literally “f o u r” four hours. 

 

We really explored how we can make those gradual changes that are impactful so that we can really be part of the change. The biggest takeaway for me from the podcast and honestly from the fireside chat is that we need to talk more openly about what change looks like for brands. It starts with the people behind the brand really leading the pack. Because, after all, DE&I is a movement, not a moment. 

 

Now, if you’re interested in watching the fireside chat with Taylar, which I highly recommend (remember the fireside chat was on understanding DE&I in the creator economy), or other fireside chats that we have, visit the on-demand events section of grin.co. That’s g r i n . c o. And subscribe to the podcast to get the latest and the greatest automatically for your listening pleasure. 

 

And most importantly, remember to keep grinning.

 

© Grin Technologies Inc. 2024. All rights reserved.

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