Watch Now: Career Concerns? Are Diversity and Equality Off the Corporate Radar?

Conversations with the Community
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Jack Myers Leadership Conversations hosted four true visionaries and leaders whose careers have focused on advancing diversity from advocacy to activism. With COVID-19 impacting careers at all levels of experience and responsibility, it's important for all professionals to gain an understanding of the new dynamics impacting diversity, equality, and inclusion. Click above or below to watch Jack's conversations with Heide Gardner, Rachel Schnorr, Johanna Zeilstra and Phil McKenzie for an inspiring and informative hour dedicated to all those whose careers are in turmoil today and uncertain in the future.

This is an incredibly disruptive start to what I've referred to as the final years of a three-decade transformation of our industry. It's imperative that we move past transformation and advocacy and not allow the advances that we've been focused on are left behind. Building community, access to education, coordinated performance measures, collaborative messaging, mentoring, and financial solutions are pillars of our five-year plan of activism to accomplish a more diverse workforce that is more important today than it was even a few months ago.

Stories have been an intrinsic part of the Las Vegas Valley, heralding back to Native American traditions some 10,000 years ago. On January 8, 2020, we tapped into the same spirit of human connection to unravel the current discourse on diversity, equality, and belonging — specifically in the advertising, marketing, and media industry. In many ways, the story is complex, but the statistics showing a major diversity problem are strikingly clear: The industry's diversity retention rate for the first five years of employment is under 25 percent, versus an all-industry standard of 40 percent.

In my conversations with Heide, Johanna, Rachel, and Phil, I'll focus on "what now" and "what's next?" and the specific action steps to support it.

The question of how to integrate employee resource groups (ERGs) and ensure both differences and commonalities are celebrated is challenging at a time when employees are working virtually, How do we create collegiality and commonality in this environment?

Another important area of focus will be on how behavior might change following the pandemic. How do organizations create incentives on hiring, retention, and development of diverse talent; selecting a diverse slate of vendors; and adopting multicultural strategies that drive performance? From a growth perspective, it is critical that companies incorporate the same rigor to diversity metrics as they do to sales revenue and profitability metrics. These metrics become even more important when riskier and bolder moves are made towards equality.

There's still more talk than action when it comes to diversity, inclusion, and equality, and it's important to highlight the successful and scalable diversity initiatives. I'm looking forward to my conversations with four inspirational role models who are courageously blazing new trails to advance diversity from advocacy to activism.

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