FQ Panel: Open Communication, Shared Values and Growing Skillsets Key to Talent Retention (Video)

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Even a bit of rain in Cannes could not dampen the enthusiasm and knowledge sharing among top executives who took part in a panel session run by The Female Quotient. They provided insights into how media and ad tech companies are approaching the challenge of diverse talent acquisition and employee retention.

Moderated by MediaVillage and AdvancingDiversity.org Founder and CEO Jack Myers, the panel participants included AMC Networks President Kim Kelleher; Hearst Senior Vice President & CMO Todd Haskell; Ampersand CEO Nicolle Pangis, and Neuro-Insight Founder & CEO Pranav Yadav. They shared insights about hiring and retaining a pool of bright and diverse talent. The topic is often spoken about, but as Myers put it: when it comes to diversity, "the industry has been great at advocacy, but not so great at action."

AMC's Kelleher said that over the past two (pandemic) years, she has learned how to be a more empathetic manager. "We apply that learning to make sure we are as inclusive and equitable in everything we do," she said

Haskell shared insights into Hearst's major diversity initiative, Project Tell Me. "We get 10-20 of our brands to create content, tapping into the next generation of journalists from under-represented communities. Just last week, we [launched] the latest instance of this, called Future Rising," he said.

Future Rising, a storytelling initiative celebrating the impact of Black culture on American life, ran digitally across 12 Hearst brands including ELLE, ELLE DECOR, Esquire, Good Housekeeping and Harper's BAZAAAR. Haskell said that Hearst is very active within historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) journalism programs and runs paid internship programs with their top students.

Ampersand's Pangis focused on the industry's need for people with strong data skills, in particular those who not only read insights but can find ways to activate off that data. In terms of talent retention and career growth, Pangis very much advocates an always-learning mindset. "If you are doing the same thing over a three-year period, you're behind," she said.

Neuro-Insight's Yadav -- who spends a lot of time studying the brain and the impact and ROI of advertising campaigns based on subconscious recall -- spoke about how we are all similar when it comes to the hardware, the brain, but "culture and society are the operating system."

"We cancel people for the wrong reasons and celebrate them for the wrong things," Yadav continued. Instead, it's important to look for a diversity of mindsets. "The rest will follow if we are true to that," he said.

You can watch the full FQ panel above.

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