Diversity: It's time to make waves, not ripples

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 2 August 2018
Pippa Chambers

This first appeared in the monthy AdNews magazine. See what's inside here and support AdNews by subscribing here.

Long have we bemoaned the lack of diversity across adland, but instead of grumbling, perhaps we should just get on and make the changes? And by we, I mean each organisation’s CEO.

After all, and as IPG Mediabrands boss Danny Bass also puts it on page 34 of this edition, “it starts and stops with the CEO. That’s it”.

That’s not to say CEOs aren't making progress, but we’ve grown weary of sluggish moves.

Ripples of change are no longer ok. We want waves.

Forget pledges, industry body intervention or unified meetings, the power is already held by a fortunate few.

If Australia is such a great test market then surely the market is ripe for trying different hiring strategies and widening the net.

From more women in leadership to employing people with diverse or disadvantaged backgrounds, wouldn’t it be great to see Australia’s media industry leading from a forward-thinking multicultural standpoint?

72andSunny design AdNews August 2018 front cover

August in-print

It's worth noting that there are a handful of great initiatives in the industry, such as The Agency Circle, which all agencies should be a part of.

Diversity and inclusion is our main feature this month. A common theme within this is that more support is needed for parents-to-be, at work. Whether it's more paid leave or more flexibility, the needs are there and they vary. We went to 15 or so companies to ask for more details on what their polices look like. While we could only fit a handful in print, the full list will be online after the magazine is out. From there, you can weigh up the good, the bad and the ugly and perhaps it will serve as an inspiration to what your own company could do better at.

Diversity and inclusion is a hot topic and there's a lot of great things happening – too much to fit in these pages, but it's a topic AdNews will continue to follow. Keep an eye on AdNews.com.au for our podcast on the same issue, as well as an upcoming interview with Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign group founder Meena Harris, who is also Uber’s head of strategy and leadership.

Creative agency 72andSunny is the fourth agency to take on the front cover – depicting diversity and inclusion in our most colourful cover yet.

You will also see in this issue results from the AdNews/Magic Beans Diversity Index study looking at the make-up of our industry. Throughout May we surveyed you – AdNews readers – to get a handle on diversity across our industry. The results were eye-opening.

We've now only three issues left this year, being September’s Power 50 and Emerging Leaders issue, October's New Zealand special and November's grand 90th year AdNews Annual special. While our hand-picked agency covers are already secured, we'd love to hear ideas for our NZ issue and stay tuned for The Annual's Mock Brief ideas.

Lastly, with our Media+Marketing Summit Melbourne done and dusted, we now look ahead to our Lessons in Leadership event in Sydney on October 24. Email for more event detail.

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