A GUIDE TO BETTER WORK THROUGH
Our work has the power to shape culture and change people’s minds
That’s both an incredible opportunity and a huge responsibility—and one we’re excited to take on.
We can’t just think about diversity, equity and inclusion.
We must each take action.
That’s how we change the world for good.
GSD&M is committed to fighting racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia and all forms of discrimination.
This guide is intended to help us actively break down the everyday barriers to equity that people face—both in the work we create and how we work together as an agency.
Change takes work. We will all probably screw up from time to time. But we will own our mistakes and hold each other accountable.
We will not give up because it’s hard. We won’t act like it’s unsolvable. We will keep going and get better day by day.
And we’ll do it together.
& means we don’t have to settle for one thing or another.
We can invite more people in & raise the bar on talent.
Treat each other well & do incredible work.
Tell more specific stories & appeal to a wider group of people.
Do the right thing & bring in more business.
& builds on what we have, then propels us forward.
Plus it’s built into our GSD&M DNA.
The journey may be tough at times, but we’re better for it
You don’t create great work by staying in your comfort zone.
So we’re gonna get comfortable being uncomfortable.
We’ll seek feedback from all kinds of people. And when we get that feedback, we’ll set our egos aside, open our minds, listen carefully and figure out how to get better.
You may read things in this guide that make you feel confused, conflicted and maybe even guilty at first.
But being less than 100% perfect on diversity issues doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a person with some learning to do. (And we ALL have learning to do.)
Remember, it doesn’t matter where you start—it matters where you end up.
Wondering how this project got started?
A letter from our CEO
In the summer of 2020, as people around the globe protested against racism and police brutality, a couple of our creatives wanted to make sure that GSD&M was doing more than just posting a black square to Instagram.
What began as some simple guidance around casting and production quickly snowballed into a guide that covers a range of topics about the work we do and how we work together as an agency to ensure that all voices get heard.
This guide is U.S.-focused and was written specifically for GSD&M, which is why you’ll see references to our core values of Winning, Community, Curiosity, Freedom & Responsibility, Integrity and Restlessness.
But we hope others will find it useful as well.
Chief Executive Officer
Does your work live up to our core values?
We’ve got some questions you can ask yourself as you create, review and produce work.