A note from our joint-CEO, Virginia Devlin, on our commitment to seizing this moment to take meaningful action around diversity and inclusion.
This post, by writer and designer Leslie Dwight, has taken over our social feeds this week, at least in the U.S. It’s an interesting thought.
Most of us wish we could move past 2020 and all the heartbreak that has come with it – from a global pandemic, to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, to continued violence against Black Americans and systemic racism against people of color.
But, as a global group of passionate communicators and problem-solvers, we have an opportunity and responsibility to use our talents to influence and change culture now and in the future. Our client promise is centered on influencing behavior where real life happens – in the moment. And no moment is more important than the one we are in.
In this moment, we must funnel our emotions and well-intentioned words into decisive action.
Internally, we will deepen our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This is mission critical to help us build stronger, more effective teams reflective of our world. It helps us create and nurture a better workplace culture. And it helps us arrive at better ideas and better client work. We will do this through measurable strategies, policy development, inclusion initiatives, professional development and training, and mentorship, sponsorship and recruiting of diverse talent.
We will continue to invite and embrace important dialogue in various forums, especially when that dialogue is difficult. In the U.S., this week we have had many thoughtful, emotional and raw conversations about the impact a history of racism and bias in our country has had on our colleagues, friends, families and communities. Growth often comes from uncomfortable situations, so we must be willing to feel uncomfortable to be able to positively grow.
We will drive change through our work. We will continue to counsel clients on how to authentically, responsibly and meaningfully address and support these important issues within their organizations and through their marketing. We will create and promote messaging, content and campaigns that resonate with people of all backgrounds, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, etc. to ensure their stories and voices are represented.
We will continue to support non-profit organizations focused on impacting societal change, specifically those addressing racial inequality and injustice. We already dedicate significant talent resources to pro-bono clients in local communities where we operate, such as the Ryan Banks Academy on Chicago’s South Side. We will commit to do more. And we will follow in the footsteps of IPG by making monetary donations to important causes driving real change.
These issues are long-standing and require long-term commitment. There are no shortcuts, but with your support and a clear strategy, deliberate focus and sustained action, we can do our part to turn this moment in 2020 into positive momentum and critical change for years to come.
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