Bringing your authentic self to work can be more than a challenge for the LGBTQ community. But Indeed wants everyone to find the support to safely share their stories and their identities at the office.
In June, the job listings site launched a campaign for Pride month called #SoundtrackOfEmpathy, featuring pop singer Mika, which encouraged people to use music to express themselves.
The campaign included a Spotify playlist challenge, where people shared their own Soundtracks of Empathy, and a live streamed benefit concert, which raised $40,000 for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.
There was also an influencer roundtable featuring artists selected by Mika, who spoke about the shared language of music and how it naturally encourages empathy and sparks vulnerability.
Mika was an ideal influencer for the campaign because of his own authenticity, said Jennifer Warren, VP, global brand marketing at Indeed. The singer’s hit song “Grace Kelly” has recently gone viral on TikTok with the “Grace Kelly Challenge.”
“He’s been a strong advocate of inclusivity throughout his career, and his greatest songs are purely authentic to him, even if they weren't on trend,” said Warren. “It really aligns with our values and desire for a world of work, where everyone brings their whole selves. Mika talks about music being a lifeline for him growing up. We felt like we could draw correlations between how music can unite us as a global community.”
The impact was effective. Mika’s YouTube concert received more than 170,000 views. Influencers created 85 pieces of content inspired by the global campaign, which received 173,000 engagements and 7 million impressions. There were 1,400 mentions of #SoundTrackOfEmpathy on social media, leading to 6.3 million impressions.
For Mika, it was important that Indeed gave him the “freedom” to artistically contribute to the campaign instead of “imposing the way that they wanted it.”
“[Indeed asked], ‘What would you as an artist do to provoke empathy around this subject?’, which is one very close to my heart,” Mika said. “And that was very empowering. I was able to think about it from a really artistic approach. It wasn’t just a concert. I really wanted it to be something that you wanted to watch, dive into and I could touch your heart.”
When partnering with brands, Mika looks for collaborations that make him and other members of the LGBTQ community feel like “normal people” — something he struggled with early in his career.
“I remember auditioning for one of the biggest labels, and the head of that label said in front of my face, ‘It's all just a little bit too gay,’” Mika recalled. “In that moment is that humiliation that you feel when you're on the top floor of some fancy building in New York City and you're trying to get a record deal. You never forget, and it’s still quite an urgent subject.”
“We've become quite numb to basic endorsements,” he added “We need more of a deeper partnership in order to engage as an audience nowadays.”
Indeed has delivered with its overall #EmpathyatWork program, which provides resources about underrepresented groups in the workplace for employers and job seekers. As part of the program, Indeed launched “A New Beginning” in June. The spot, starring actor River Gallo, showed the importance of using proper pronouns during job interviews.