A Tumblr representative spoke about the importance of business’ role in promoting diversity to a club at the Stern School of Business on Wednesday.
The event “Social Impact in Business” was hosted by NYU’s chapter of Net Impact, a global nonprofit that encourages businesses to be environmentally sustainable and socially aware. Social Impact Manager Bridget Kyeremateng talked to around 30 students for the first session of a monthly series in which industry professionals will outline their journeys towards their current jobs and opportunities that are available in their fields.
“I think we have gotten to a place in business where people want action,” Kyeremateng said. “People care about their business’ impact on the world.”
Kyeremateng’s work is mostly in intersectional feminism, diversity and representation. Her campaign, #blackexcellence365, was established to support black creators. She specifically worked to make the campaign intersectional, in order to represent those from many different backgrounds including black Muslims, black transgender people and other underrepresented groups.
“As an undocumented black woman who moved to the U.S from Italy at a young age, this sort of representation would have been something super beneficial for me,” Kyeremateng said. “I didn’t even know what it meant to be black until I saw posts on Tumblr back in 2010 of strong black women. It was then that I felt represented.”
Kyeremateng said that she was glad businesses were starting to consider their social impact to a greater extent. She emphasized the importance of representation in products because of the diverse range of backgrounds consumers have.
NYU Net Impact’s goal is to encourage business students to not only think about but generate positive social change, something Stern senior and Net Impact Co-President Alex Cao said people rarely associate with business students.
“Stern is often characterized as a school in which students don’t care about social issues but I think Net Impact is proof that we do,” Cao said. “Our large membership wants to be educated and promote social action in their future workplaces. Business and social impact go hand in hand.”
Stern sophomore and Net Impact member Melanie Sequeira said she first sought out the club in order to explore how to contribute to social good in business.
“I joined because I always wanted to get involved in social impact but didn’t know [how],” Sequeira said. “Net Impact exposes me to all different types [of social impact] and it is a great way to put my foot in the door.”
When wrapping up, Kyeremateng said she hoped attendees take the idea of influencing the social environment through business to heart when entering their professions.
“The most important thing that people can take away from my presentation is that if people can make their work impactful they should do it,” Kyeremateng said. “A lot of the time, when people are looking at internships or jobs people just want to work for the big name company instead of looking at the impact the company is even making.”
Email Mina Mohammadi at [email protected].