Ogilvy China fosters borderless creativity through inclusion and progressive thinking

The agency gives us a glimpse into the process behind the work that drives social progress

von India Fizer , AdForum

Ogilvy China
Werbung/Full Service/ Integriert
Beijing, China
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Stella Sun
Chief Talent Officer Ogilvy China

Stella Sun, Chief Talent Officer at Ogilvy China, walks us through how they cultivate an open, inclusive environment and  engage with and support marginalized communities.


How do you make space and support your employees in marginalized communities, beyond hiring?

In the global employee satisfaction survey (All In Survey), 93% of Ogilvy China's employees believe that the company values diversity and is committed to creating a highly inclusive work environment. Such a high score stems from employees' full recognition of the company's practical actions of paying attention to and caring for different groups of employees. At Ogilvy China, we fully implement the talent principle of providing employees with an open, diverse, equal, and inclusive development platform, starting from the recruitment process. We aim to create an environment that cultivates multiculturalism throughout the entire career, from candidates to employees.

In talent attraction, retention, and development programs, all executives of Ogilvy are committed to and strictly follow the principles of openness, equality, and encouraging multi-background development to maintain fair treatment and opportunities among different groups of employees. For example, the company reviews employees' salaries and benefits every year to ensure that employees of different genders and cultures receive equal pay for equal work. The company also sets up a promotion committee to ensure fair development.

Take gender as an example at Ogilvy China, where nearly 70% of employees are female. Senior executives of the company and all kinds of training and development programs have an even proportion of men and women, and in many cases, the number of women is even higher. The company values the rights and interests of female employees, particularly working mothers. In the first year after the baby is born, female employees can enjoy flexible breastfeeding time of 1 hour every working day. The company has also set up a special mother-and-baby room/lactation room in the office space to provide a comfortable and convenient place for them.


In what ways does your team ensure that diverse, intersectional perspectives and ideas are included in the creative process?

As a creative company, Ogilvy serves our clients with the concept of borderless creativity and always promotes social progress through our work. In terms of organizational structure, the creative teams of Ogilvy China pay attention to the balanced and comprehensive structure of each personnel composition dimension, such as gender, age, education/employment/cultural background, and personal interests. This is the cornerstone to ensure that the opinions and voices of all kinds of people can be heard in the process of our daily work and creative output.

At the same time, in the process of creative ideas and output, members from different groups cross-examine to ensure that the works reflect the spirit of diversity and tolerance. When necessary, we also conduct external research to gather feedback from different groups on the work.


Calendar holidays and honorary months put a momentary spotlight on marginalized communities, creating a wave of temporary support and celebration. While this is a positive step, the industry agrees that authenticity comes through consistent engagement. What can brands do to maintain continuous connection with groups?

There are various ways to maintain continuous connection and authentic engagement with marginalized communities. Most importantly, making diversity and inclusion a core part of their company culture by incorporating it into their hiring practices, employee training, and internal policies. This can help create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace environment for employees from diverse backgrounds. Secondly, establishing a DEI committee that consists of members from different backgrounds and departments to ensure diverse perspectives are considered in the decision-making process when it comes to planning and maintaining initiatives that are dedicated to the marginalized communities. 

As an example initiative at Ogilvy China, we understand that different groups face different social and psychological pressures. Throughout the year, we provide free psychological assessment and counseling support to employees and their families through the Group EAP platform. We help them obtain safe and targeted consultation and assistance in a timely manner when they encounter difficulties and challenges in their personal and professional lives.


Which brands do you see as true agents of change, across the full spectrum of DEI, including social issues? How do they inspire you?

As an international creative agency, we work with numerous global and domestic brands that champion DEI and social issues. Notable companies we work/worked with include Huawei, KFC, and Nestle. These leading brands, as well as other clients of Ogilvy, strive to create a better society and environment through a wide range of initiatives, including but not limited to promoting gender equality, supporting vulnerable groups, and investing in infrastructure development in underdeveloped areas.

Taking Huawei as an example, the company believes that women are the cornerstone of the technology industry and are committed to supporting more outstanding scientific and technological women by providing them with more opportunities and platforms. In 2020, Huawei launched the Women in Science and Technology Initiative which have blossomed all over the world after three years of unremitting efforts. Additionally, Huawei invests in improving the quality of education for rural and marginalized communities, an initiative called TECH4ALL aims to provide digital skills training, develop innovative solutions, and collaborate with partners to help more communities to benefit from their cutting-edge technology.