Publicis Groupe, the agency holding company, is taking a variety of steps to boost representation and inclusivity throughout its organisation having rigorously assessed its performance in this area.

The parent of agencies including BBH, Leo Burnett, Razorfish and ZenithOptimedia analyzed its US workforce – today standing at 21,000 people – to gain a full picture of its current representation levels.

And it found that members of the Black community were under-represented compared with the US population as a whole, especially within senior leadership.

If these numbers made for difficult reading, Arthur Sadoun, the CEO of Publicis Groupe, suggested that being honest and open is a vital initial step in rectifying the problem.

“On this topic, humbleness and transparency is what matters,” he said on the Good Company with Michael Kassan podcast (Kassan is the CEO of MediaLink, a sister company of WARC – you can listen to the podcast in full here, or read WARC’s report: Seven steps Publicis Groupe is taking to improve agency diversity).

Action is also a critical element of Publicis Groupe’s strategy, too, as it seeks to create opportunities for Black employees across its agencies and brands.

Just as important is creating paths to senior leadership for Black employees, as well as ensuring that white team members are active partners in such endeavors.

The company is also identifying ways that it can support minority groups worldwide, as different markets have their own specific problems where representation is concerned.

Some granular steps Publicis Groupe are training staff on topics like bias and inclusivity. It will also run apprenticeships, career development, mentorship and coaching programs, and retool the recruitment process.

A Diversity Progress Council – made up of Publicis Groupe staff, select clients, academics and youth representation – will help measure its performance.

In a related step in enhancing representation, Publicis Groupe will “measure and make people accountable” through a mixture of key performance indicators (KPIs) which are tied to the remuneration of senior executives.

“There will be KPIs and measurement where people will be incentivized,” Sadoun said. “For this to work, it means two things: simple actions that are systemic, and accountability from leadership.”

Sourced from WARC