by Jeff Beer
Originally published: September 21, 2017
The issues of racial and gender diversity are faced by companies in every industry with increasing urgency. The advertising world is not unique in this respect. But because it is responsible for millions of messages and images that, like it or not, consciously and unconsciously help inform society’s view of itself, the need for diversity among its ranks becomes even more critical. Employment statistics aren’t encouraging. According to a 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, of the 582,000 people employed in advertising and communications in the U.S., less than half were women, 10.5% Hispanic, 6.6% were black, and 5.7% Asian.
The issue has long been the subject of conference panels, white papers, and other industry reports, but increasingly, more groups are taking direct action to enact real change. This week, the agency 72andSunny joins the fray with an intriguing approach, one that acts both as a playbook for other companies to follow, drawing on the agency’s own progress on these issues, and as a call for new ideas and collaboration to add more proven strategies to the playbook.
“The 72andSunny Playbook” aims to expand and diversify the creative class by covering everything from recruitment policy, to employee support and retention programs, all with the goal to attract and keep as diverse a talent pool as possible.