By Gina Grillo, CEO & President, The ADVERTISING Club of New York
Sometimes it's important to do the work that no one wants to do or broach a topic that everyone is staying clear of. Sometimes we have to push ourselves out of our comfort zones to make a difference.This week, The ADVERTISING Club of NY launched a new campaign for our diversity program called i'mPART to raise awareness of the need for diversity and inclusion across our community.The topic of inclusion stopped being just "the right thing to do" decades ago. If we want to be an industry that is at the intersection of commerce and culture, then we have to pay attention to both.
When we started working on the i'mPART initiative 3 years ago, all we knew was that we had to start somewhere and we had to impact an issue that dates back to the 70s. We could not predict how the community would react but we have been fortunate to have key industry support that has steadily grown over the years. The publishers in our community were the first to raise their hands, followed quickly by several mega brands who embrace diversity of thought including American Express, Unilever and Verizon (to name a few). Then, ad agency ambassadors started flowing to this movement. In an unprecedented attempt, our goal was to galvanize the agency, media and marketing communities to rally around the issue.
Our partner on this initiative is PwC, number 3 on DiversityInc.'s Top 50 list. Together we led the largest diversity survey to understand where the issue stands in the industry, what is considered most important when it comes to inclusion, and much more. These findings revealed that some of the best ways companies can cultivate diversity and inclusion in the workplace is through mentorship programs, conversations that encourage employees to set their own career goals, and establish a mission to hire a diverse palette of talent.
Our community is responsible for creating and distributing much of the media that defines our culture. If we hold ourselves accountable to ensuring that all people are represented in our communication as they are in life, then we remain relevant. If we don't, then we will be replaced. Whether it be transgender activism, the empowerment of young girls through better representation of them in our advertising, the discussion of what racial inequality looks like in Hollywood, or the passionate discussion of the pay gap, nobody can opt out of the inclusion movement.
We hope that your agency will join with Mediacom, Deutsch Inc., Fancy Rhino, Havas WW New York, the Interpublic Group, mono, MDC Partners, Kinetic, Attention, Eleven and many more to push the i'mPART effort and share with the world why you are proud to support a more inclusive industry. And as individuals, we hope you join Michael Roth, Carl Fremont, Gerry Graf, Laurel Rossi, Kat Gordon, Sandra Sims-Williams, Jon Kaiser, Brandon Rochon, Shelley Zalis, Tiffany Warren and countless others who, through their social media activism, are helping raise awareness of the benefits of diversity in business and rallying their fellow professionals around a shared movement.
There's still time for you to be involved. We want and need all of your ideas for how to better our diversity efforts and to continue to spread the importance of it in our world.
Share your ideas and show your support by using the #imPARTofDIVERSITY hashtag, where you can join with people both in and out of the industry who have been posting on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn about why this movement is so critical to our world today.
To join the movement, please visit: https://makesnaps.com/impartofdiversity