It has been just over a year since we released our diversity and inclusivity pledge. And we hope you will agree that it has made a significant difference in the levels of representation across our platforms.
We have been working on a few things since our last update. We mentioned that we were hoping to broaden our content for those with disabilities and impairments and share an article every 6 weeks. We also wanted to try and improve the visibility of couples who are from the LGBTQI+ community. And a big goal for last quarter was to release our diversity filters. So let’s get into it and get you up to speed with where we’re at.
First things first, let’s remind you of the pledge and let you know how we’re getting on with achieving our goals.
1. We are aiming for a minimum of 1 in 5 posts you see on Rock My Wedding to feature Black, Black multiracial or other BAME couples.
2. We are aiming for a minimum of 1 in 10 posts you see on Rock My Wedding to feature couples from the LGBTQI+ community.
Between the 1st April and 31st June 2021 we shared the most articles we ever have. A total of 210.
A third of these posts featured couples or contributors from BAME and /or LGBTQI+ communities. We’re really pleased to have been able to maintain (and exceed) our representation goal in this area. 65 of the 210 weddings/articles (30%) fell into the BAME category. 65% of that figure were Black or Black multiracial weddings or authors.
Of the 210 posts, 16 featured LGBTQI+ couples. This is almost double the number of LGTBQI+ couples we featured last quarter so we’re really pleased to have been able to make an improvement here. We pledged that 1 in 10 articles would feature the LGBTQI+ community so we’re still falling short of that goal but we’re continuing to make progress.
We will continue to actively seek more LGBTQI+ weddings. If you are a supplier who has worked on any LGBTQI+ weddings we'd love to hear from you or indeed if you are a supplier who is part of the LGBTQI+ community, we'd love to hear from you and discuss the possibility of contributing to Rock My Wedding. And if you're part of an LGBTQI+ couple reading this, please do consider Rock My Wedding if you would like to have your wedding shared.
3. Having a more diverse selection of Recommended suppliers on our supplier directory.
We continue to recruit across the board and have a dedicated outreach to Black suppliers. We hope to see the representation across our Recommended platform continue to increase. We’re thrilled to have had the following Black-owned businesses join this quarter; M+H Cake, Dave Octave Celebrant, Charlotte Griffiths Photography, A Touch of Neveah, The Wedding Day Co-ordinators, and Ave Creations.
4. Having a more diverse voice across our features.
We continue to work with our Recommended suppliers to bring a variety of voices to our platform. Some features you might want to catch up on from this quarter are Wedding Gift Boxes, Afro Hair Care Tips, Neurodiverse & Wedding Planning.
We have more diverse collaborations planned for this quarter too.
5. Increasing antiracism within our team.
The team continues to have regular meetings concerning diversity and representation. The topic is something that really is ingrained in our day to day. And of course, we aren’t always going to get it right. When your feedback comes in we make a point of getting together to go over why we’ve received the feedback, how we can learn from it, what we can change to improve and do better and then we apply those learnings and try to push forward. And in terms of antiracism specifically, we continue to share experiences and learnings with each other in order to become better allies and to continue to be actively antiracist.
Diversity & Inclusivity filters
We have worked hard at making Rock My Wedding inclusive. The next step was to make that inclusivity accessible. Last week we introduced our new diversity and inclusion filters. After completing our diversity in business course and speaking with members of the relevant communities we have settled on the following group of filters:
Couple with children
East Asian Bride
Disability or Impairments
South Asian Bride
We know that you will have some questions about these filters and we would really like to hear them. Perhaps I can answer a few of the most frequently asked ones here.
Why is it so geared towards Brides?
We know that 90% of our audience identify as female, therefore, falling into the traditional role of the bride. We could add grooms in as an option but this would make for an extremely long filters list. And we know it wouldn’t necessarily get used.
How do you categorise couples?
Within our Real Wedding questionnaire, we have a section for diversity identifiers. These categories are there for couples to select. We will only ever speak about a couple in the way in which they have told us they identify. There is also an open text box for couples to offer feedback on our filters list and to offer their own alternatives if they prefer. We will then review any that seem to reoccur for potential inclusion on the main list.
Why don’t you have a filter for plus size brides?
Simply, we have never had a bride write in her questionnaire that she considers herself a plus size bride. And who are we to say who we think is or isn’t plus size/curvy/insert other body shape identifier. Our filters are also here mainly to make minority, underrepresented communities more visible. Do curvier or larger body sizes fall into that category? We’re not really sure. We have the section in the questionnaire now for couples to let us know if they would like to identify in any other way than the above categories and if we start to see that brides want to be identified by their body shapes, then we will of course discuss this and the possibility of adding it in as a category.
As with everything we do we welcome your honest feedback. And especially if it can be constructive. We want to make Rock My Wedding the best platform it can be and we hope that by being able to have an open dialogue with you that we will continue to evolve and become a safe space for everyone.
We continue to push forward. We continue to actively seek out real weddings and editorial shoots that feature BAME and LGBTQI+ couples. We continue to try and bring you a variety of voices and access to diverse suppliers. Our commitment to becoming the UK's most accessible and representative wedding media platform is as strong today as it was a year ago when we made this pledge.
And we thank you for all of your support in helping us achieve this. We thank couples for submitting their weddings to us, we thank suppliers for creating diverse shoots with us in mind. We thank suppliers also for graciously accepting the new submissions criteria we have released and we thank you, our community for all of your feedback, input and support. Together we can change expectations and representation across this wonderful industry. We have come this far and we have so much further to go.