How We Made DEI A Priority In Our Product
Like many features of our product experience, displaying diversity in our card catalog was inspired and motivated by our users.
Our Support team received a message back in 2019 from a user named Paige, and it read as follows:
“I like your card idea for my remote employees but all of your cards that show people (faces, whole bodies, just legs or hands) only show white people. It’s kinda weird.”
The feedback was disconcerting; at the time we only had a few dozen cards in our catalog, and very few showed any people. But Paige was right — all of the cards that did display people, or any parts of people, showed them as Caucasian.
The feedback made me feel mortified: the GroupGreeting team at the time was 90% people of color… including yours truly. I was overseeing the content for our catalog, working with several artists (the majority of whom were also people of color) on our cards, and failed to see the problem of approving artwork that displayed only one race of people.
While it would’ve been easy to blame the lack of resources, the limited budget, and the ever-changing landscape of priorities on our roadmap, it was definitely an oversight, and embarrassing that a user had to point it out! We immediately made a point to remedy the issue and committed to be more proactive about displaying diversity on our cards going forward.
And then the pandemic happened. As traffic to our site increased, so did the feedback about the lack of diversity:
“Hi, you need cards for non-white babies. Also, a card or two saying, congrats on being a father. They all say mother. ”
“Please add more diversity to your free card selections, i.e. African American holidays like Juneteenth or general cards depicting the main image as someone of color. ”
“C’mon GroupGreeting, wake up to diversity!!! ”
Since receiving all of that feedback a few years ago, GroupGreeting has made great strides in taking care to promote diverse images in a variety of card categories.
We work with our artists directly and are explicit about our goals for inclusion and diversity. It’s an ongoing process, but we’re happy to share that our efforts thus far have not gone unnoticed:
“I appreciate the variety, especially cards that represent diverse recipients.”
“I like the diversity in design and inclusiveness as well.”
“I like the variety of cards for diverse communities and events in our lives.”
At GroupGreeting we’re fortunate to work in a diverse team with colleagues of different races and backgrounds, who can speak many languages, and are located across over a dozen time zones.
We’re lucky to be in an environment where we can learn from each other and learn from our users, who are always inspiring us to consider ways big and small to try to make things better. It’s important to us as a company that our greeting cards reflect the great diversity of the communities that we serve, and we’re grateful to our users for encouraging us to do so.