DK Bartley, Senior Vice President, Head of Diversity and Inclusion of Dentsu Aegis Network, spoke with Verizon CMO Diego Scotti at the 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors Induction Experience, held January 9 at Aria Resort and Casino during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Scotti joined Bartley for a chat prior to his induction into the 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors. The two spoke about Verizon’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the future of the industry and the AdFellows program.
“Verizon has a long history of support and commitment to diversity and inclusion," Scotti said. "And marketing is one of the areas in which, in the last few years, we said we have not only a responsibility to increase diversity, but to also specifically bring new talent that can help us in the future.
“One of our signature initiatives is the AdFellows program, which is an eight-month rotation program during which we partner with our agencies to create an experience that every six weeks, the participants rotate across four agencies and Verizon,” he continued. (Learn more about AdFellowshere.)
Though the opportunity to intern in New York City can be a career-launching experience, it can also be cost-prohibitive for many candidates. “It is a really interesting program because all of the candidates are very diverse," Scotti noted. "We had 20 of them last year and this year 30, and it's all expenses paid. You know, one of the key things for us is to make sure that financials don't get in the way of people having the opportunities to come to a place like New York and really experience this city.”
Scotti and Bartley also discussed unconscious bias training, the need to create an inclusive culture and the impact of creating a sense of community. “Verizon is a place that not only hires people of color and people with diversity, but also really cares about inclusion," Scotti said. "You can bring all the diverse people in the world, but if they don't feel that they are included and can be accepted and thrive in the organization, they won't stay. I’ve seen the power of diversity in my own career.”
The Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors recognizes individuals, companies and organizations that have made consistent and successful commitments to advancing diversity and inclusion. 2019 Inductees included Kat Gordon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The 3% Movement; Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, P&G; Ricardo Marques, Group Vice President of Marketing, Budweiser; Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Verizon; Liliahn Majeed, Vice President - Diversity and Inclusion, NBA; Bob Liodice, Chief Executive Officer, Association of National Advertisers; Madonna Badger, Chief Creative Officer/Founder, Badger & Winters, and Alma Har'el, Filmmaker/Founder, #FreeTheBid.
Click below for additional videos from the 2019 Advancing Diversity Honors Hall of Induction Experience hosted by DK Bartley, SVP, Head of D&I, Dentsu Aegis Network:
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