by Edward Helmore
Originally published: September 30, 2017
Last year, in a pitch to competing ad agencies, the US food giant General Mills stipulated that agencies must be staffed with at least 50% women and 20% people of colour in their creative departments to win its business.
The directive felt like a watershed: the company behind brands such as Häagen-Dazs, Cheerios and Yoplait with nearly $18bn (£13.4bn) in annual sales abruptly demanding that the companies which fashion its public image have to be proactive in creating diverse workforces.
The move came hot on the heels of new research showing that proper gender and ethnic diversity has become important to the bottom line.