Diversity in External Communication: Merkle

Image by Merkle


Merkle (formerly Namics) is a full-service digital agency with over 550 employees at six locations in Switzerland, Germany, and Serbia. When it comes to diversity management, the company participated, for example, in the “trans welcome” program of TGNS (Transgender Network Switzerland) for the inclusion of trans* people in the world of work.


As part of the pilot for the Toolkit: Women & Diversity in Innovation, Merkle set itself the goal to establish diversity in external communication and increase its visibility. Therefore, Merkle revised the existing guidelines for gender-sensitive language based on constructive feedback received from the project team at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The guidelines were edited down to a concise two pages and complemented with real-life examples to illustrate their use. With the introduction of the “gender asterisk”, Merkle, positioned as an innovative digital company, has opted for a contemporary form of writing for equal consideration of genders.


Likewise, the visual language in external communication such as on the company’s website and in job advertisements was reviewed self-critically regarding diversity. Merkle intends to consciously use the upcoming rebranding to pay even greater attention to a balanced portrayal of diversity in photoshoots when creating new visual material. Especially, the group composition in images should be diverse in terms of visible diversity characteristics such as gender, age, and ethnicity. Moreover, Merkle strives for a balance in body language (e.g., who is sitting/standing in the picture?) and activity (e.g., who is speaking/who is listening?) to show different role models.