Diversity is everyone’s responsibility
It’s not enough to complain about a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion.
You have the power to do something about it.
So let’s be creative and solve some problems. Because that’s our job.
Even if you don’t directly hire people, you help influence who comes in the door, who feels welcome and how long they stay.
“Diversity is great, but we have to get the best people”
We can do both.
Of course, we want to hire the best talent and work with the best production companies, directors, actors and all the rest.
But if the quote above is something you’ve said or heard, think about what it implies and why you might think there’s a conflict between diversity and hiring the best people? (There’s not.)
The bar is NOT being lowered by investing in diversity. We’re upping our game.
If you aren’t finding the diverse talent you want, maybe you’re not looking for the right things or in the right places. The prestige of a person’s school or the size of their last agency isn’t always a reflection of talent. Age might not correlate to tech savvy, and so on.
Incredible people come in all demographics and backgrounds. We lose out on that when we assume that the best people are the people we’re used to seeing.
If you truly want the best people, cast a wide net.
Diversity isn’t just the future of advertising, it’s the now
But here’s the truth:
The general market is multicultural. And it’s getting more diverse by the day.
That’s why many brands are turning to their multicultural agencies for general-market work.
Wouldn’t we rather have them turn to us for multicultural work?
The answer is YES. And that means we all need to have the cultural fluency to make award-winning work that speaks to a wide range of audiences. It means we need to hire more diverse people.
This isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s also how we grow our accounts and attract new ones.
WHAT’S CULTURAL FLUENCY?
The ability to understand, appreciate, and effectively communicate and interact with people from cultures different from your own. Sometimes this is called cultural competence.
Diversity attracts diversity
People want to work where they are valued and have opportunities to grow. Before joining an agency, they look to see if people like them have been successful there.
If we want to attract smart, diverse and dynamic talent, we need to be the type of place that welcomes and fosters diversity, equity and inclusion.
Otherwise, great people will find a better place to use their talents.
Let’s retire ageism
We know ageism can go both directions—and neither is cool—but advertising tends to discriminate against older people, especially in creative. And it’s just foolish.
We miss out on a lot of talent, expertise and smarts when we push out or pass by older talent.
Plus people over 50 have $7.6 trillion in buying power, so it seems smart to have some of them on our team.
Don’t make assumptions about people’s skills, interests or digital chops based on when they were born.