The fear of saying the wrong thing at work is something many people can relate to, particularly when it comes to sensitive topics around diversity, equity and inclusion. LinkedIn’s latest UK social video series looks to face this head-on, by spotlighting real-life situations and opening up these conversations in the workplace.
According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Future of Recruiting Report, Gen Z workers are looking for employers who value development and diversity, and are 17% more likely than Gen X to prioritise inclusive workplaces with professionals with diverse backgrounds. This is mirrored by LinkedIn’s latest consumer research, which has found that lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace (51%) is the biggest ‘red flag’ for Gen Z workers.
Today, LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, is releasing a new UK social video series, which spotlights some of the difficult and awkward conversations that certain people are subjected to in the workplace every day.
The 60“ social films address three DEI topics: visible difference, neurodiversity and race. These scenarios have been brought to life as: 'When your colleague makes an awkward assumption’, ‘When someone has an unhealthy obsession with your hair’ and ‘When someone misinterprets your tics’ and play out real-life situations that each expert has found themselves in at work, dealing with inappropriate or insensitive comments from their co-workers.
The goal of this series is to approach difficult conversations around DEI in the workplace, while educating and empowering professionals to create an inclusive environment. The campaign forms part of LinkedIn’s goal to support building diverse and inclusive workplaces, regardless of background or circumstance.
 *All figures are calculated research conducted by Censuswide and based on 2,065 workers aged 18+ between 24.03.23 and 29.03.23, Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
Taking inspiration from “water cooler” chats, LinkedIn worked with UK partner agency, VCCP London, to produce the series, which is set in the office kitchen - the hub of most workplaces and where many passing conversations on DEI subjects take place. Working with three expert voices on LinkedIn (Luke Manton, Laura Mathias and Stephen Adeoye), each was given a brief to create a 60-second spot before a microwave ‘dings’ on a DEI topic that they feel strongly about - based on a real-life scenario they have experienced themselves at work, and posted about on LinkedIn. VCCP worked closely with these LinkedIn voices on the series, which aims to deliver a serious message about DEI conversations, in a way that feels light and accessible. In each film, the two characters are played by the LinkedIn experts themselves.
Zara Easton, Head of Brand Marketing UK at LinkedIn, said: “Gen Z professionals want to openly discuss and address challenges of DEI in the workplace, and we see experts on LinkedIn sharing tips and experiences everyday to help people do this more. The content brings to life real stories we can all learn from, while shining a light on topics that younger workers care deeply about. We chose a playful direction, which plays off “awkward” British behaviour to capture people’s attention on these important topics in unexpected ways.”
Matt Lloyd, Deputy Executive Creative Director, VCCP London added: “It's a difficult conversation by its very nature. A lot of people are scared of saying anything for fear of saying the wrong thing, so we needed to say it's ok to get it wrong if you then learn from those mistakes. But we didn’t want it to be too earnest or worthy, we wanted the uncomfortable situations to bring a smile, and that’s where Hannah Berry George and her great comedic touch brought them to life in all their awkward glory.”
The content series will feature on LinkedIn’s homepage as well across Meta and will run until 17th July.
We wanted the uncomfortable situations to bring a smile, and that’s where Hannah Berry George and her great comedic touch brought them to life in all their awkward glory Matt Lloyd, Deputy Executive Creative Director, VCCP London