For Immediate Release
Portrait Art: The New D&I Business Tool
Diversity & Inclusion Leaders Giving Office Walls, Boardrooms a Facelift
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Canada — These days, diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a business imperative for companies.
A Nova Scotia-based business is offering companies a new kind of D&I tool: Great Women portrait art.
“In today’s hyper-competitive economic environment, organizations must evolve to succeed. Companies already use standard business tools – mission statements, logos, annual reports – to communicate what is valued. Now, they’re being invited to try a new creative tool,” says Great Women Productions (GWP) owner Jo Napier, who collaborates with her clients to create portraits of pioneering ‘great women’ whose ground-breaking work relates to their company or its values.
Portrait art isn’t really a new business tool - it has always been used to reflect legacy and values. Napier says “now is the right time” to use portrait art as a business tool: to, creatively and atmospherically, “invite Great Women into the room.” Why now?
“Because D&I leaders are looking beyond their D&I compliance goals; they’re looking for ways to embed D&I into their office cultures. And now is the time companies need to create inclusive-feeling work cultures - or risk losses… in market share, in their pools of candidates, even in profits. Great Women Portrait art can help them evidence something organizations are doing, every day, to make women feel they belong.”
Diversity Training: Does It Change Mindsets?
The data shows diverse, inclusive organizations aren’t just better places to work – they work better - and that an inclusive-feeling work culture is something that is expected today by the new generation of employees.
A 2021 report interviewing D&I leaders (Addressing Diversity and Inclusion: Going Beyond the Benchmark - Workplace Intelligence, Oracle) reveals 70 % of the new generation want to work for a company that reflects a genuine commitment to inclusion.
U.S. corporations spend $8 billion annually on diversity training but the research shows a dearth of evidence as to whether they really work. Work done by behavioural scientists reveals that a key issue centers on whether diversity training actually change mindsets.
Meanwhile, research by behavioural scientists - as captured in the book What Works: Gender Equality By Design author and Harvard academic Iris Bohnet reveals that easy-to-implement, cost-effective ‘design interventions’ can actually change mindsets.
And: updating the portraits hanging in hallways, offices and boardrooms is an example of a simple design intervention.
“Portraits are a portal to what is possible for employees. If the portraits that hang in an office are only of male leaders, what does that say
– and how does that impact the employees?”
Cultures of Inclusion: Attract, and Retain, Top Talent
Corporate leaders often agree that D&I is about four elements: winning in the marketplace; leveraging talent to yield the best performance; creating a high-culture for high-performance talent; and making progress over time, not overnight.
As part of that strategy, companies may soon be updating their art to foster a sense of inclusion and belonging among their valued talent base.
Great Women Productions (GWP)
Great Women Productions is a women-owned Canadian business based in Halifax, Nova Scotia that creates portrait art and products which reflect the female face of innovation.
For more information contact:
Jo Napier, Great Women Productions