3M and The BrandLab Team up to Expand Diversity in the Design Sector

3M and The BrandLab (TBL) have announced a two-year initiative (2020 and 2021) focused on driving diversity within creative career paths, including graphic and industrial design. This partnership aims to inspire young, diverse high school students to pursue creative careers, address opportunity gaps for underrepresented students and embody a more culturally diverse population of creative talent for organizations that have a global footprint.

The design talent collaboration includes the expansion of existing internship programs with The BrandLab, the addition of a classroom program, inclusive of inspirational workshops hosted at 3M Design, including volunteer engagement time and increased overall support between all partners.

“As a member of The BrandLab board of directors and in collaboration with TBL internship program, we wanted to do more to build on this important mission,” says Eric Quint, vice president, chief brand and design officer for 3M. “Designing for a diverse global population across many markets is a great opportunity for any organization, so having the right talent representing local cultures and perspectives is key to driving meaningful brand experiences together.”

Global companies have an opportunity to reach a diverse set of customers and stakeholders in meaningful and relevant ways across industries; therefore, it’s important to engage diverse creative mindsets and cultural backgrounds within organizations to bring different perspectives to represent the wants, needs and desires of all customers around the world.

3M has recognized this value among their own design teams and have partnered with The BrandLab, a local nonprofit organization focused on changing the face and voice of the creative industry of advertising and marketing, by guiding and preparing students of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, to address such challenges in the Twin Cities. In addition to 3M, Target has been a part of this program, and other global corporations are starting to show interest to join the initiative with participation, investment and commitment.

“We are excited to partner with 3M and Target as part of our capacity-building campaign, ‘Breaking Boundaries,’ to make sure we can provide more opportunities across additional markets for creative students to include design. The partnership between 3M, Target and TBL is one example of how TBL brings people and organizations together to address the opportunity gap,” said Ellen Walthour, chief executive officer of The BrandLab.

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