As we near the end of 2021, we should all take a moment to acknowledge the progress we’ve made towards a more authentic future with meaningful representation. However, there’s still more work to do and we’ve got a long way to go. With that in mind, read on to learn what changes or improvements agencies hope to see more of in the new year regarding diversity, inclusion, and representation.
"I would like to see more businesses move away from thinking of DE&I as a focus for HR, and to rather consider it as a strategic business imperative. For an agency producing mainstream campaigns, having representation and inclusivity as core values highly impacts your creative work, which in turn is the best way to accelerate progress in society. That's why our work, workforce, and workplace culture are diverse and inclusive by design."
“In 2022 we are going to make Diversity and Inclusion broader terms including not only gender, sexual orientation or race. We need to bring new visions from people with disabilities, different origins, and backgrounds. We believe that diversity is a precondition to creativity. In 2022 we’ll keep investing in that conviction”.
"Our industry needs more representation, full stop. Junior, mid-level and especially senior talent. All of the programming, volunteering and awareness-raising agencies are doing means nothing if we’re not diversifying our teams and truly reflecting the world in which we all live. It’s mission-critical for growth and success – especially Black and Brown talent who need to see how they can growth within our industry. Although the market is competitive, agencies can’t make excuses about not having diverse teams."
"We should expect to see richer stories and increased reporting about the impact that inclusive programs are creating for marginalized communities. We need to see more results and more metrics that demonstrate that what we’re doing is working – with less posturing for the sake of being part of the inclusion conversation. Dedicated professionals are in this to improve the quality of life for people who face real barriers – and we cannot lose sight of that in the coverage."
"While some things that are measurable are not necessarily meaningful, setting audacious and uncomfortable targets are essential to tracking progress towards DE&I. I believe people tend to rest on the fact that a lot of initiatives are in flight, but don't pause frequently enough to question the real impact the initiatives have on the intended audiences. Setting targets, broadcasting them out loud, and regularly check-in – as you would with any other business KPI – is foundational to success."
"We are moving with conviction, but we aren’t there yet. We‘ve spent $20+MM with minority-owned businesses the past few years with plans to do more. And though our team now includes multiple ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, etc. our commitment is to continue expanding the diversity of our workforce at a rate that exceeds our goal of doubling Agency revenue over the next five years."
"2021 was about keeping the same energy from the great DEI rally of 2020. Progress has been minimal and the issues that keep us from engaging with and retaining diverse talent persist. We must tackle the issues at hand, not only by programming and investments, but also by personal accountability. People must commit to change on a personal level. I hope to see people doing more to draw historically excluded talent in and respecting their value in making great work."
"More BIPOC creatives at our agency and in the industry. Client and agency teams lighting up as they finally grasp the awesome power of BIPOC creativity, igniting a fire for groundbreaking, culturally relevant work that emotionally connects people to brands. Stronger client partnerships where we work hand in hand to positively impact our community and provide opportunities for more BIPOC to put their unique stamp on the industry."
"I’d like to see one improvement and one change in diversity, inclusion, and representation during 2022. The first is for all major advertising holding companies in the U.S. to demonstrate improvements in multicultural or BIPOC representation (Black or African American, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx and Hispanic, Two or More Races and other). The second improvement is to see one of our advertising clients — one that typically does not do it — add a complementary multicultural ad effort to their efforts this year."
"From Fast and Furious, to Calm and Curious.
It’s been a rush in the last years into understanding the meaning and implications of diversity and inclusion. This rush ensured not only awareness, but also a solid grounding on which we can build. With calm and curiosity, we will be able to move from accepting diversity and inclusion when they happen, to actively looking for diversity of minds, of ideas, of people."
“As prominent as DEI has become, we must ensure the focus doesn’t dull. There has been progress to acknowledge the crisis, and it’s a moment where we’ve got a voice. We believe education is key to unlocking the understanding required for change, so in 2022 we’re focusing on educating ourselves and, where possible, the industry - including a scholarship at Miami Ad School with a mandate to bring underrepresented individuals into advertising. We need tangible actions for results. Commitments will be empty without this.”
“Companies have made positive strides in communicating their commitments to their stakeholders. I’d like to see a move from just sharing to measurable, sustainable ACTION. This year is critical to ensure that commitments do not fall flat. Without a crisis, organizations tend to move on to other stories. The sense of urgency for equity is still crucial for the success of any organization. The real work begins now.”
"In 2022, I desire more organic organizational encounters through all areas of employee engagement through the strategy of continuous hybrid work models, the reach of employee experience extending through to global markets, blending of rewards and recognition, creating a dynamic team culture. In addition to internal education and recruitment to combine roles to capture diverse mindsets and cultural experiences traditional vs. non-traditional. Representation from entry-level positions to C-Suites. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion beyond the workspace and in communities."