DEI initiatives get going in February | WARC | The Feed
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DEI initiatives get going in February
During February, brands and agencies on both sides of the Atlantic will be demonstrating their support for Black History Month in the US and LGBT+ History Month in the UK; WARC’s contribution is a new hub of the latest research and thinking on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
What are they doing
The Drum reports US agencies celebrating Black culture and art, championing Black talent and launching new internal diversity initiatives. R/GA is doing some of these too, but it also notes that BIPOC staff are often faced with additional workloads as a result.
“We see this as an extension of our industry’s habit of promoting busyness, over-working, performative work and grind culture, as a direct output of white supremacy’s influence on modern corporate ways of working,” the agency said.
“So … we want to reframe Black history through a lens of rest – revolutionary rest … we decided to dedicate our Black History Month programming and space to the prioritization, education and celebration of rest for and by the Black community at R/GA.”
In the UK, Little Black Book reports that Outvertising is running a series of outdoor ads which reimagine some classic ads of recent years in ways that are more inclusive of LGBTQIA+ audiences, ending with the tagline “Together, we can change the script”. Jim de Zoete, executive creative director at Across the Pond, noted that “Just by adapting a few words you can suddenly make the work, and the world, more inclusive.”
Why it matters
While the various activities that take place this month are to be welcomed, it’s worth noting that Kantar’s 2022 Inclusion Index was unchanged from 2020, suggesting that while we’re talking more about diversity and inclusion at work, that’s not necessarily being translated into action.
Employees appreciate DEI initiatives but there’s a sense that more than box-ticking is needed: systemic change is what’s required. And businesses that don’t address this could find it expensive if, as they threaten, as many as a quarter of employees leave their organisations due to the lack of inclusion or discrimination they have experienced.
WARC’s DEI hub
WARC has launched a DEI hub to help marketers navigate challenges and implement successful DEI strategies around the representation of diverse audiences and in hiring practices. This features the latest best practice, research, expert guidance and case studies, with help from from partners including the Advertising Association (AA) in the UK, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) in the US, creative analytics company CreativeX, market research firm IPSOS, the MMA, Outvertising, System1 and Unstereotype Alliance, convened by UN Women.
Sourced from WARC, The Drum, Little Black Book
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