P&G's Marc Pritchard Sets Diversity Priorities and Goals for Ad Community (VIDEO)

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The following are P&G's Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard's opening comments for Advancing Diversity Week (September 20-23, 2021), the ad community's inaugural outreach to the emerging workforce of Gen-Z and a spectrum of diverse communities. (Marc's comments can be viewed in the video above.)

Mark Pritchard:

The theme for this week is "From Inclusion to Belonging." It reinforces our deep commitment in the marketing, advertising and entertainment industry to drive systemic change for equality. And it reinforces our deep commitment to develop a fully inclusive industry, where everyone feels they belong; can bring their full and unique self to work and make a difference every day, and where everyone has every possible opportunity for a fulfilling and meaningful career.

I'll highlight three industry-wide actions we're taking to deliver on these commitments.

The path to inclusion and belonging starts with equality, so our first industry action is to achieve equal representation in the creative and media supply chain -- agencies; production crews and media companies. This means every link in the chain, at every level, reflects equal gender representation -- 50/50 women and men -- and race and ethnicity representation equal to the U.S. population -- 13% Black, 19% Hispanic, 6% Asian-Pacific Islander and 2% Native American -- for a combined 40% multicultural.

According to a 2020 McKinsey study, the media and entertainment industries are seeing some positive trends, with women making up 49 percent of the workforce, compared to 38% for all industries. At early levels, women are at equal representation with men but inequalities still exist within senior leadership levels as women hold only 22% of C-suite roles. This must change.

The 2021 Myers Report indicates similar trends in race and ethnicity. At the early levels, representation nearly doubled in the last two years, with Hispanic representation doubling to 15% and Black representation accelerating five-fold to 20%. However, representation at the more senior levels remains low. We must build a better experience to both retain and advance diverse leaders to the senior levels in companies throughout the media and entertainment industry.

Among marketers, the 2020 ANA Diversity Study indicates that 63% of all marketers are women with 53% at the senior levels -- a 7-point jump in two years. That same study indicated up to 30% representation across race and ethnicity -- both overall and at senior levels. [We're] getting closer to our 40% goal, so we need to keep the momentum going.

So, progress -- but more needed. And companies everywhere are stepping up to go beyond recruiting, to create inclusive environments where people feel like they belong, and build meaningful careers with education, training, opportunity, empowerment and growth for all.

Equal representation enables accelerating our second industry action -- eliminate bias and racism through the accurate portrayal of all humanity in advertising, content and media. The images and words we create embed memories into our brains that form bias. So, it's our responsibility to accurately portray every human being regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, religion, body type, or age. No stereotyping, objectification, misappropriation, diminishing or denigrating.

The SeeHer movement is a driving force, and developed the Gender Equality Measure, or GEM, to measure accurate portrayal. Today, 57% of all ads tested are above average, up 12% since SeeHer started. Women representation in ads has increased by 21%. Sixty eight percent of ads have women as role models -- a 16% increase. Forty-five percent of ads show women in STEM careers -- up 54%. And 61% of ads show women as successful professionals -- a 22% increase. This progress demonstrates our power to make a difference … and we won't stop.

The Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, or AIMM, is doing similar work for race, ethnicity and LGBTQ and People with Disabilities communities. Here, progress is mixed over the past two years. Culturally relevant ad scores are flat for the Black community, up for Asian and Pacific Islanders, but down for Hispanics, LGBTQ and People with Disabilities. We all need to step up.

Accurate portrayal and cultural relevance help eliminate bias and racism and promote equality, inclusion and belonging. It is an important part of our jobs -- and we will be relentless.

And the third industry action is to eliminate systemic investment inequalities in the Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native and Indigenous owned-and-operated media ecosystem. Data is lacking, but estimates indicate that only 5% of U.S. spending is invested in multicultural media, with less than one percent in Black-owned media. We are clearly under-investing and we all need to step up.

In May, the ANA Board of 41 CMOs met to agree to several collective steps to achieve systemic investment equity. One, we've distributed a roster of over 500 media companies visible to all -- so there's no excuse not to invest. Two, we're creating new systems and resources with agencies for planning and buying for diverse-owned media companies. Three, we're making direct deals with diverse-owned media companies to ensure increased investment. For example, P&G is working directly with dozens of Black-owned and operated media companies, and accelerating programmatic, to achieve our goal to be the No. 1 media spender. We're doubling spending, then doubling again and again, while investing in new programming content to expand the media ecosystem. As marketers, it's up to us to invest to eliminate systemic inequities and make the ecosystem bigger.

These systemic actions are necessary because today's media system was built for the majority. We need to build a new system to enable full access, equal opportunity and a level playing field.

I could go on, but let's get started.

The issues are clear. We're making progress, but we must stay the course. Because when we achieve equality, inclusion and belonging, we get better innovation … better problem solving … more economic inclusion that makes markets grow … and more growth. Doing this work enables each of our companies, and our collective industry, to be a true force for good in society and a force for growth in business.

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