Diversity is a term that gets tossed around a lot in advertising. Everyone agrees that it’s important and that it’s something we need to do more about, but the definition doesn’t seem to be the same for all of us.
Here at The Advertising Club of New York we’re working to expand the meaning of “diversity” further. It’s not just about race. Or gender. Or sexual orientation. It’s not about hitting numbers or checking boxes. It’s about inclusion and bringing together a rich variety of voices, perspectives, backgrounds and lifestyles.
As advertisers and marketers, diversity is more than the “right thing to do.” It’s a business imperative. Creating a diverse and inclusive environment will help us create more compelling work that can speak effectively to today’s increasingly globalized market. In many cases, it has been proven to improve the bottom line.
As we push towards our goal of a more inclusive industry, agencies and companies need to keep evolving their culture. Efforts to uncover unconscious biases that are at work in hiring and promotion decisions, accessing outreach resources that are available to us such as the MAIP and The Creative Bootcamp programs, and doing more to make the industry a place where people from all backgrounds feel welcome are all steps in the right direction.
To rally advertising industry leaders around this cause, The Advertising Club has launched an initiative called i’mPART. It’s a movement that encourages and empowers agencies to Promote, Attract, Retain and Train diverse talent in advertising. In addition to financially supporting diversity outreach programs, the campaign serves as a call to action to everyone in the industry, from seasoned leaders to newcomers.
This year, we have partnered with social media agency Attention, creative agency Eleven and mobile messaging platform Snaps, which donated their time and work to help us create a social media campaign that is drawing attention to the issue of diversity in advertising as well as across all industries. We are asking all advertising professionals to apply a diversity themed overlay to their profile photos and to post why they stand for diversity using the hashtag #imPARTofDIVERSITY.
We hope to create a sense of community involvement and spur those in the industry to bring forward new insights and solutions about what we can do to create a more inclusive culture. It’s also a way for us to set an example as we show the world this is something that our industry truly cares about.
Together, we can make the changes needed to remain relevant as we seek to connect with consumers and an increasingly diverse and globalized culture. Let’s keep spreading awareness, sharing ideas, speaking honestly and, most of all, taking action to include voices and perspectives from all backgrounds and lifestyles into our businesses.
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