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Slow Go At Diversity

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Employees and clients alike are asking for diversity in the ad agencies that they work for/with and nothing. According to DiversityInc, The 2008 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list shows that the big players are commited to creating an environment where the workplace reflects the communities that these brands serve. Why aren’t the agencies that help to build these brands getting on board quickly?

The New York City’s Commission on Human Rights started a probe into the complaints about the lack of senior minorites in advertising in early 2005. At that time, they found that less than 3% of the top earners at the top agencies were black. The numbers on other minorities were fuzzy. So after that, there was much to do about diversifying agencies. Every agency was making bold statements about their commitment to changing the face of their agency. Agencies set their own goals on hiring more minorities (some of those goals were really low). Arnold had the highest goal. NYC (along with Shomex) even starting hosting Diversity in Advertising/PR Career Days. There is one July 1st in LA.


While some of the agencies met their very low goals, qute a few, namely a few Omnicom shops fell short.

What is so hard about hiring talented minorities to contribute to the team? I suppose that dragging ones feet doesn’t help. As SuperSpy mentioned in May, Arnold just recently hired a Muticutural Marketing Group Director this year. Things like that must surely slow the process down. The goals were set as a result of a three year agreement with the HRC in 2006. The clock is ticking on that agreement.

What is the reason that agencies are having such a difficult time meeting their diversity goals. Is it lack of talent or lack of commitment by these agencies to do what they’ve so boldly said they would? What do you think?

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