In a recent episode, Rene asks an important non-marketing question about representation. Christopher Penn explains that representation is about ensuring that diverse groups of people are given a spotlight, particularly in industries like entertainment. The importance of representation lies in the fact that humans mimic what they see and when they see someone who looks like them in a position of power, it sends an implicit message that they too can achieve success. Representation also unlocks human potential and can reveal undiscovered talent. In industries where people do not see themselves represented, they may feel excluded and not even try. Neuroscience and psychology have proven that representation is how people make decisions. Therefore, it is essential to have diverse representation in every field to create a world where everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential. Watch the video for more insights.
Content disclosure: the summary above was written by AI based on the actual transcript.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode, Rene asks a non marketing question.
Rene asks, What is the deal with representation? I keep seeing it all over the place.
What is it? And why should I care about it? Okay.
This is an important question.
representation, particularly within a context of, well, really any industry, but especially things like an entertainment representation is all about making sure that, that the people who are portrayed in entertainment are really just given the spotlight at all, are a diverse, a diverse group of people.
So suppose you go to a marketing conference, and you notice that every single speaker on stage is a middle aged male, right? That sort of sends a message to the audience that the people who are held in high esteem is that group of people representation says, let’s find a good mix of people, people who are gay people who are straight people who are black people, who are white people who are Christian people who are Muslim people who are Buddhist people who are short people who are tall, etc.
You get the idea.
It’s it’s about creating diversity so that more people are represented.
Again, why does this matter? Well, here’s the thing.
We, as as animals mimic what we see, right, we are attuned to what we see.
When we see someone who looks like us in a position of power, that is an implicit message that people who are like us, we can achieve that, whatever that is, right? Think about it, when a black girl sees Oprah Winfrey, she sees someone who’s an enormous ly successful business person, entertainer and things like that.
And doesn’t just notice that, you know, Oprah looks like her.
But it says, I could be that I could be that person.
Oprah did it.
There’s, there’s clearly a path for me to do that.
Maybe I can do that too.
When a gay boy, see someone like Tim Cook, who’s who’s openly gay, running one of the largest corporations on Earth, and doing a decent job of it says, my sexuality is not an obstacle to success, right, there is a path to a leadership position where I could be running a fortune 10 company, right? When a trans girl sees Nicole Maines, landing big parts on films and TV shows, that says to that person, I could do the same thing i The possibility exists.
And this is why representation matters.
We care about getting the most out of people, we care about Unlocking Potential in every field, entertainment, banking, science, mathematics, we want logically and rationally, we want the very best people possible.
In the field.
If we are business owners, we want the very, very best people we can hire on staff.
And if we have a group of people who are shut out, because they don’t see themselves, so they don’t even try.
In that group of people, we could very well have some undiscovered talent that could have been really useful, right? If someone like me, who’s of Korean heritage, looks at an industry and I don’t see anybody who’s Korean, you know, in any kind of position of power, that kind of tells me that the industry is not the right place for me.
Right? If I went to a marketing conference, I did not see other people of Korean descent on stage or how I’d settle for any East Asian descent.
Again, I would say, Wow, this conference really isn’t for me, at this conference is not an event that I’m going to get anything out even if that’s not true.
Because I don’t see people like me.
Now, is this.
Is this true? Or is this sort of just wishy washy touchy feely stuff? No, it actually is true.
This is how people make decisions.
neuroscience and psychology have proven this a long time ago, that representation is how people make decisions.
Right? It’s one of the reasons why you have popular people endorsing things right it’s part of a marketing strategy for influencers endorsing things because they attract a like crowd.
It’s one of the reasons why you see you know, companies taking certain socials.
stands because they know that that social stand is going to be supported by the people that are going to spend the most money with them.
Right? That’s that’s literally it.
This is really important, particularly in entertainment, right 1000s 1000s Of Black girls had written to Nichelle Nichols, in the decades after Star Trek aired to say how inspired they were to pursue a career in science despite, you know, crazy amounts of bias and discrimination in the field because they saw Lieutenant Uhura on the bridge of the USS Enterprise as a peer as an officer, as a member of the crew and not a maid or a servant.
Right 1000s of lesbians have written to Alyson Hannigan over the decades after her portrayal of Willow, on on Buffy on the TPCC in a healthy not objectified relationship.
When Willow and Tara was the the relationship that helped those women accept themselves and come out despite a culture that really didn’t accept them.
Right, every time.
Every time we opened the door to someone else’s race, orientation, background, etc, we create a world that’s better, we create a world where people can fulfill their, their potential, right, more artists, more scientists, more thinkers, we advance humanity as a whole.
And we are at a turning point right now in our civilization as a species as a species on this planet.
And we desperately need the very best talent, we can find the best people to solve the world’s biggest problems, you know, like climate change in the world, just sort of going off off the, off the rails.
If today a girl sees a scientist character on screen, who happens to be a lesbian, that might or inspire her to be that to become that and that girl tomorrow might act solve carbon sequestration, which we need.
For our continued survival as a species on this planet, we cannot afford to close the doors to human potential, now more than ever.
So this is why representation matters.
It isn’t just to make some a one group of people feel better it is to tell everyone regardless of your background, that the door is open.
If you’ve got talent, you got potential The door is open.
But each group of people needs to see one of their members represented in that conversation, whether it is on stage at a conference, whether it is in a newspaper, whether it is on social media, whether it is in a TV series, any place that where attention goes, representation has to flow there so that people see themselves, see the possibilities, and know that the doors open for them to play their part to live up to their potential as human beings.
So good question.
Very tough question.
Tougher hardest, tougher, more to actually do it, but worthwhile if we do.
Thanks for asking.
Talk to you next time.
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