Inside our transformation to a diverse and inclusive agency
28 Jul 2021
Diversity, inclusion, and equality take commitment.
And in the world we live in today, we dare say that ignoring it has consequences. People leaders like Thea Palmer, Senior Account Director & Services Lead, believe that “businesses will suffer if they overlook their responsibility of building and protecting a workforce that is inclusive, diverse, accessible, and welcoming to all.”
She continues, “We all must play a part in creating this change. Brands must seize this opportunity to do better.”
Considering that 88% of the advertising and marketing industry workforce is white and male, there’s much work to be done.
Creating a diverse and inclusive culture can inspire a significant impact on business and society in the short and long term. And according to the Canadian Marketing Association’s (CMA) 2021 Diversity and Inclusion in Canada’s Marketing Sector report, roughly 94% of people see a diverse workplace as a business growth opportunity.
In other words, it’s more than a buzzword.
As Chris Barnes, our North American Managing Director, puts it, “representation from diverse voices in business is an important part of creating exciting new dialogue and ideas. A welcoming and inclusive environment means that team members can be free to be themselves and not be constrained.”
Chris continues, “the business impact is clear, and employees can be who they really are and contribute freely to the workplace. It’s a simple but powerful statement by the business and its leaders that drive positive and impactful change.”
Therefore, we are firmly committed to making socially responsible business practices a symbol of our brand.
We understand the importance of diversity in the industry and have committed to becoming socially responsible recruitment and creative staffing agency.
Why is Diversity & Inclusion Important to us?
We recognize that racism and discrimination are still very much present in today’s industry. And ethnic minorities continue to be under-represented in leadership positions.
As a business that provides Fortune 500 companies with recruiting and staffing services, we must act responsibly in the wake of a labor market undergoing a long-awaited and necessary transformation that places inclusivity, equity, and diversity at the forefront.
Traditionally, the marketing industry (and probably the world as a whole) has defined the skillsets found in a formally educated and credentialed holder as superior versus a hiring process that values cultural experience and a broader world perspective.
As a business, we can bridge that gap.
Diverse and inclusive marketing teams make the world a better place for all. Why?
Because they’re able to create better strategies and achieve superior impact among the communities a brand seeks to reach.
Plus, in scenarios where a business fails to see the importance of becoming more responsible, the risks are far greater than the reward. Companies that choose to stay the course without transforming run the chances of finding themselves stagnant and stuck with a limited talent pool as potential employees won’t regard them as employers of choice.
Steps We are Taking as a Business to Improve Diversity & Inclusion
As we transform our hiring processes and expand our workforce to reflect better the communities we serve, we are taking steps to understand and respond to the needs of our diverse workforce and talent pool.
In recent times, we’ve been collecting applicant demographics to identify gaps in recruitment and pinpoint how our workforce makeup compares to the marketplace that has historically been and is presently disadvantageous to equity-seeking groups.
The data helped us better understand who may be excluded in our recruiting and hiring efforts. In turn, devise policies to better attract and hire stronger representation from marginalized groups.
Some of such policies include being mindful of the language used in job postings.
For example, we worked with a third-party human resources provider to evaluate if our job descriptions leaned too heavily on attracting men over women. This exercise resulted in us changing sentences such as ‘We are looking for a leader driven by…’ to ‘We are looking for a leader who is inspired by…‘ to attract more women to our job postings.
This year, we have set a new target in attracting and proposing four out of 10 candidates as racially or ethnically diverse. We have instituted processes that made sure our recruiters shared job openings on community pages and forums that attracted more diverse candidates. While at the same time identifying active and ongoing training for employees on inclusivity, equity, and diversity training at all levels and positions.
And there’s more.
We are increasing our sick, vacation, and mental health budgets. Plus, we are building stronger ties to the local community through collaboration with the Aboriginal and Minority Council, the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.
To deliver on strategy and keep ourselves accountable for this change we have set up an internal Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion committee. Led by Chris Barnes, who will act as our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) lead, the committee is charged with planning and administering our DEI strategy.
For Matthew Jankelow, our Chief Executive Officer, we still have work to do at all levels.
“We’re building a socially conscious organization, one that commits to increasing diverse representation at all levels of the business. Currently, our representation reflects that we have 67% of women in leadership, 50% of people of color in leadership, 25% of people of color in internal executive positions, and 50% of LGBTQ2+ in internal executive positions,” Matthew explains.
“I’m accountable for us to continue to change for the better,” he continues.
What does this mean for our clients?
Working with us means they partner with a supplier who is contributing to making the labor market more inclusive with a more robust representation of the diversity that makes up the global workforce.
We are a top global recruitment and contract staffing agency. We have successfully transformed several multinational blue-chip clients’ marketing teams focusing on the Marketing, Communications, Creative and Digital industries.
Are you looking to make a career switch into the marketing, digital and creative industries?
Visit our careers page to start your journey today!