Marketing Leaders Speak Out on Diversity and Inclusion

By Advancing Diversity Archives
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CES traditionally has not focused on the diversity and inclusion business imperative with the exception of the Advancing Diversity Honors.  But, with industry attention on featured stages for women and people of color, coupled with a new brand focus on consumer experiences made possible through technology, this is beginning to shift.  A conversation emerged, addressing the need to marry technology with humanity to enrich, connect and protect human experiences.  For those in marketing, advertising and media, this requires that we raise the bar and hard wire diverse inclusion and purpose into actions.  Speakers from the Girls' Lounge, C Space Storytellers and Advancing Diversity Honors shared ideas and unique perspectives about the state of diversity and inclusion in the industry.  Their comments are excerpted below:

What would you say to the next generation of women about a career in tech?

Meredith Long, Chief Revenue Officer, Quantcast:  There is energy in the tech space, specifically around women.  It's a unique time and a unique alchemy.  To be part of that is a bit like catching lightning in a bottle.

Khartoon Weiss, Global Head of Verticals, Spotify: Grab a chip in the big game -- the 21st century of business.  Write the future with us.  There is no going back from here.  It's an incredible time to be coming into the tech space.

Aline Santos, Executive Vice President Global Marketing and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Unilever and2018 Advancing DiversityInductee:  Only 17% of startups today are cofounded by women.  Unilever is investing in female founders because it is good business.

Jennifer DaSilva, President, Berlin Cameron: We launched LLShe, backed by Refinery 29, at CES.  Women are transforming the startup culture by emphasizing social good and diversity.  We want to make it easy for the 62% of consumers who want to shop women-founded businesses but don't know where to find them.  Now they can.

What gender equality goals do you hope to accomplish in 2019?

Bob Liodice, Chief Executive Officer,ANAand2019 Advancing Diversity Inductee:  #SeeHer began in 2016 with the goal to reduce the amount of conscious and unconscious gender bias in ads by 20% by 2020.  We married the art of creativity with the science of measurement to create the GEM score, which is now available in 14 countries.  Today, we are increasing its scope to include multicultural.  We must spread the word.  Right now, there are 70-member companies of #SeeHer, which means there are thousands that are not.  At the end of this month, we are going to democratize the entire #SeeHer movement, so that if you become a member of the ANA you will become a member of the #SeeHer movement.  To build a chain we must have everyone involved.

Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble and2019 Advancing Diversity Inductee:  We are a huge advertiser, so we vote with our dollars.  I hope that 100 percent of our ads achieve a 100 GEM score (or higher) and that P&G's marketing organization achieves its 50/50 male/female staffing goal.  Equality and innovation are what we're seeking throughout our entire supply chain.

What are you doing differently in 2019?

Emily Soelberg, Vice President, IoT Solutions, AT&T:  The power of diversity is in perspective ... your company will be better at solving problems and innovation.  I am implementing a platform based on a conversation with one of our high potential female directors.  She said she was terrified of having children because of what it would do to her career.  This really struck me as a mother of two.  I decided to reserve "contractor funding" for women who go out on maternity leave, so they don't need to worry that their job will be left behind.  It will also encourage managers to give "juicy" projects to women who are (or may become) pregnant, so that they have equal opportunities to advance in their career.

How do you leverage purpose?

Jill Cress, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer,National Geographic Partners:  National Geographic just celebrated its 130th anniversary and purpose has been at the heart of the brand since its inception.  One of the things that makes National Geographic special is that it's a community for explorers; we think of ourselves as "purpose native," dedicated to understanding the world around us and keeping the planet balanced.

Brands that didn't start with purpose can work with us to identify those things that they haven't expressed that are in their DNA.  There are many brands that were born out of purpose, but it's not part of their narrative.  We are trying to help.  We are also tapping into the idea of purpose to connect with our audience and give consumers tools to make the world a better place.  We recently embarked on a multiyear effort to raise awareness about the global plastic trash crisis.  We are mobilizing communities to take a pledge to use less plastic to help the planet.  Leading by example, the six million copies of National Geographic magazine delivered monthly are now packaged in paper instead of plastic.

Why should my company commit to diversity and inclusion?

Jack Myers, Founder, MediaVillage and AdvancingDiversity.org:  Diversity and inclusion are good for business.  To succeed, companies need to develop and implement consistent, scalable and sustainable programs that directly support and advocate for greater diversity.  Every role, every person within the industry needs to be engaged in attracting, retaining and supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce.  Collectively, these strategies will bond us together and make us better as individuals, an industry and society.

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