Nielsen's 2022 ESG Report: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Submitted by Nielsen
Business Diversity and Community Engagement
In all that we do, we aim to embed the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Nielsen’s commitment to DE&I aims to accelerate our journey toward creating not just a company, but a media landscape at large that is more inclusive. To truly measure everyone, across all channels and platforms, we must uncover new insights into and about diverse, often overlooked communities and the content they watch. A truly inclusive measurement of the media—on both sides of the screen— is one essential way we aim to power a better media future for all people. Our efforts also extend internally, toward building and nurturing the talents of a diverse workforce and supply chain and by providing support to diverse communities.
Our DE&I approach centers on four core areas that are geared toward maximizing our impact both internally and externally:
Click here for Part 1 provided an overview of Nielsen's approach to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and a deeper dive into People and Products and Thought leadership. Today we focus on Nielsen's commitments to Business diversity and Community engagement.
As a global company with significant buying power, we understand that we have a role to play in creating a level playing field for business owners from marginalized backgrounds. Given that 82% of our global supplier spend was disbursed in the U.S. in 2021, our Business Diversity efforts centered on expanding our diverse vendor pipeline and spending, and on encouraging small business growth through external collaborations.
Our commitment to business diversity has accelerated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately impacted minority-owned businesses in the U.S. In 2020, we exceeded our corporate goal of 10% of U.S. sourceable spend on diverse suppliers and subsequently set a new goal of 15% by 2022. In 2021, we met that 15% with $104 million in spending with diverse suppliers. Our continued goal is to maintain our 15% target through 2024, with a stretch goal of 18%.
In 2021, our spending on diverse firms was focused on new and existing suppliers in the areas of technology, professional services and marketing and communications. We added nine new diverse firms to our supply chain, representing the greatest increase in new diverse firms in a single year.
We also continued our efforts to connect our employees’ skills and experience with diverse-owned small businesses that are either already in our supply chain, or have the potential to become part of it. Our Next Level Suppliers program enlists Nielsen employees to volunteer their time helping diverse suppliers solve specific business challenges. In 2021, four teams of Nielsen employee volunteers supported four diverse-owned suppliers by providing pro bono consulting on strategic needs such as marketing and sales strategies.
External and industry relationships play a key role in our ability to expand our business diversity pipeline. Our Global Procurement team collects diversity and sustainability information from new suppliers during the request for proposal (RFP) process. We continue to work closely with industry groups like the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council to share our procurement needs and understand the challenges facing diverse businesses.
Nielsen could not exist without the people and communities we interact with and measure. We work to empower diverse communities through external relationships and pro bono work. We also integrate community and stakeholder perspectives into our core business wherever possible.
Our External Advisory Council (EAC) is an important touchpoint in our efforts to better serve multicultural communities. The EAC, composed of marketers, media professionals and business and community leaders, acts as a sounding board and guiding force on our approach to measuring and representing the viewing habits of diverse communities.
With the addition of IllumiNative and RespectAbility, we have further diversified the EAC in 2021 and early 2022. IllumiNative, a Native-led nonprofit focused on shifting negative narratives around Native Nations and peoples in American society, provides invaluable perspective on this underrepresented group. RespectAbility, a diverse and disability-led nonprofit, offers its experience working to shift society’s perceptions of people with disabilities.
In addition to bringing these important leaders and perspectives together through our EAC, we’re keenly focused on how our work can benefit diverse communities. For example, we had over 100 engagements with clients, client business resource groups and community organizations to share our multicultural insights in 2021. We also worked with the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (an initiative of the Association of National Advertisers) and Media Framework, to provide aggregated metrics on the reach and audience profiles of diverse-owned media. The ultimate goal of this work is to increase investments in media owned by underrepresented groups who are often overlooked by advertisers and brands.
Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future.
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