Diversity (Nov. 2017) – Jonell Walden, VP of Engagement

Last week social media was buzzing with reactions to insensitive artwork on Corn Pops boxes. The misstep and oversight in the creative process created a firestorm for the Kellogg Company, the Corn Pops brand and their agency partner. It linked them with the Dove/Facebook ad and the Kendall Jenner/Pepsi debacles over the last six months and exposed a continual need for diversity in decision making roles within the agency world.

Agencies must strive for diversity along the lines of skin color, gender, background and thought. We all know this. Unfortunately, agencies are most diverse around the water cooler. We hire a diverse group of employees, but that diversity is not reflected in our leadership positions. Diversity must reach beyond the break room and the meeting room and it must make it into the review and decision suite.

In the marketing industry, often the primary targets for our messages are consumers whose backgrounds and experiences vary greatly from those of the brand or agency employees. This makes “diversity of thought” possibly the most important and impactful form of diversity needed in our agencies today. The willingness to consider a different POV is extremely valuable and ultimately improves your work and your clients’ business results.

As an entity, diversity of thought can be integrated and ultimately celebrated when we’re willing to seek input from others and incorporate their feedback into our work. We must do better!

What steps are you taking to improve your agency’s diversity of thought?