It’s the hashtag forcing companies big and small to reveal their diversity. #PutUpOrShutUp is a movement created by Sharon Chuter, CEO of cosmetics company Uoma Beauty.
“You cannot say Black lives matter publicly when you don’t show us that Black lives matter within your own homes and within your organization,” says Chuter.
The concern is that companies are promoting messages that don’t match the diversity in the U.S. Chuter says it equates to a PR stunt if a company says they believe in racial equity, yet they themselves are not an accurate representation of true diversity, especially among their leadership teams.
Cleveland based Marketing & Communication Expert Lauren R. Welch says this is an opportunity for companies to get real with themselves.
“I think it says that they haven’t been taking, what a lot of us have known, equity and inclusion very seriously,” says Welch.
Companies like Milk Makeup, Revlon, and others are now revealing the diversity of their staff and leadership team and acknowledging they have work to do to diversify all levels.
“When you make that stance then it is a greater responsibility on your shoulders to ensure that you’re putting your money where your mouth is, your putting your resources where your mouth is,” says Welch.
A level of accountability to make sure brands that market to all, are also employing a qualified diverse staff.
“Talk is cheap, you need to pull up for real this time or please shut up,” Says Chuter.
Part of the call to action with the hashtag was to not shop at businesses until they revealed their diversity numbers. Although it started with the beauty industry, it’s now spreading to others and consumers are taking notice of where they do or do not want to shop.