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‘Performative posting’: As agencies share their equality values online, staffers say they have to do much more for Black employees than post

Digiday 29 Jun 2020 04:04
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June 29, 2020 by Kristina Monllos

As agency and holding company leaders continue to release (or, at least, commit to release) their internal diversity numbers — after a call to do so by Black employees earlier this month — they’re also making public statements of their values, with promises to better their agencies by making them truly inclusive workplaces for employees of color. 

Some, like Wieden + Kennedy, explicitly state that they support Black Lives Matter and that if employees or clients don’t agree with that statement they should find work elsewhere. Others, like Cornett are laying out specific goals (one of Cornett’s: interviewees for new positions at Cornett must be at least 50% Black, indigenous and other people of color). 

In talking to agency employees and executives about the statements and commitments, some optimistically say that agency leaders are sincerely committed to change and transparency when it comes to equality in the workspace.

“My agency is taking it seriously,” said a copywriter for an independent creative shop, adding that he’s encouraged as the shop is hiring and has told him “they want to see and talk to Black creative talent and are making it a big focal point.” 

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