The Australian Advertising industry has a problem. We all know it, but like ostriches, we bury our heads in the sand. How many times has a coworker implied things like English isn’t my first language when it’s the only language I speak? More times than I can count. I kept telling myself that next time, I’d speak up, then next time came and I still stayed silent. Well, no more.
The recent Create Space Census by ACA took a deep dive into Diversity and Inclusion in the advertising industry in Australia. The study showed that one in five people say they’re likely to leave the industry based on a lack of inclusion/discrimination. In fact, according to ‘Only One In The Room’, only 16% of people in Australian advertising have a culturally diverse background. Considering how many creatively talented People of Colour (POC) I know, that’s just ludicrous.
If you want to help change that, here are 6 ways to cut the crap and actually push diversity:
1) Saying you employ lots of women does not count as true diversity. While it’s a good thing, women are no longer the focus minority in this industry. We need to consider the ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, age and more. If most of the women you employ are white, then you can’t call it diversity. At previous interviews with large companies, I’ve asked what their diversity is like and they’ve said “we have lots of women”. When asked if they employ many POC, the answer was ‘we’re working on it’ or ‘only in the finance department’.
Action: Put a hiring quota in place and hold your HR team accountable. Then reassess every 3-6 months.