In Summer 2020 we embarked on an especially important journey, one that saw the establishment of our very own Diversity and Inclusion Council, a committee of passionate and determined individuals seeking to make a change. Our aim was to create a space in which everyone felt respected, included, and represented no matter their age, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Key areas of focus
Over the past twelve months we have tackled several key areas within the agency, ranging from our recruitment process where we now use blind CVs and a statement within job descriptions pledging our commitment to recruiting diverse talent, to training and development by ensuring all committee members have completed the IPA Diversity and Inclusion certificate. On top of this, we have also worked hard to educate colleagues within the agency on crucial topics such as allyship, unconscious bias and microaggressions through interactive cross cultural awareness sessions, and a range of incredibly influential speakers such as Nat Hawley from Exceptional Individuals, who explored neurodiversity in the workplace, to Kathryn Jacobs, author of Belonging, providing her perceptions of diversity and inclusion and the crucial role it must play looking forward.
Following one of our cross cultural workshops, an employee said:
“I found it incredibly interesting and stimulating. I think it is so necessary too. To talk about these things and try to be empathetic with everyone is so important.”
Celebrating and championing diversity
This past June we have been celebrating Pride Month, an incredible month in the calendar where the power of individuality and diversity can truly be felt. Our aim is to promote allyship across the agency and our wider sphere to support our LGBTQ+ community and their enormous and enriching contribution to our society. Our work has ranged from sharing a ‘Pride Playlist’ to listen to whilst working, educating our employees on the history behind the development of the LGBTQ+ community, and of course, how we can become better allies in the workplace and foster an increasingly inclusive and diverse environment for all our colleagues.
The importance of allyship as we return to a ‘new normal’.
As we progress into July our focus will shift towards promoting racial and ethnic diversity and inclusivity and how, as the world returns to a ‘new normal’ and we return to our offices, that we can foster a space for everyone to call ‘home’. We will continue to run our cross cultural awareness sessions, a brilliant way to meet colleagues across the agency and promote a safe, open, and honest environment in which colleagues can share and learn from each other’s experiences. We will also continue to invite inspiring speakers to further our understanding, and work closely with the Conscious Advertising Network.
Keeping up the momentum
We know these are ongoing, long term commitments that we have pledged to make, and we understand that there is still much more we can do in this space, so we hope you will follow us on this journey, as we seek to create a more diverse and inclusive industry for everyone.