Campbell Ewald Empowers a Culture of Deliberate Diversity

Campbell Ewald hosted a panel at Advertising Week focused on empowering a culture of deliberate diversity.  Coming off a controversy in early 2016 that sparked an industry conversation about inclusivity and how we can utilize marketing to shape culture and better reflect diversity, the agency brought members of its team to participate in a panel moderated by Kat Gordon, Founder of the 3% Conference. The panel included CEO, Kevin Wertz, CMO, Kari Shimmel, Ken Walker, Strategic Planner, Cultural Insights, and its diversity consultant, Korn Ferry.

Having experienced measurable change, C-E discussed for the first time publically, its top-down, bottom-up approach to creating an inclusive culture and the agency’s belief that true change ultimately comes from daily, deliberate acts. Terry Simmons, C-E’s consultant from Korn Ferry and One Team Consultants, provided key blind spots every agency should be aware of when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Highlights include:

  • Neutral is not enough. The measure of treating everyone fairly does not build an inclusive culture. You must look to provide deliberate and daily actions to create inclusion. 
  • Just because your agency or your employees live and work in a diverse community (New York, Chicago, LA, etc), does not mean that they know and understand diversity and inclusion. 
  • A 3rd party resource such as a diversity and inclusion survey is critical for senior management to have a true view of all employee’s perspectives on D&I. Leaders are often told what they want to hear, data enables leaders to see the shortfalls and respond.

C-E provided some clear action steps on creating inclusion from their experiences over the past year:

  • An inclusive culture must be employee-driven and empowered by leadership. Give your employees the platform to make change and invest time, resources, guidance and participation from leadership to bring employees’ ideas to life.
  • Actions create authenticity. It is critical to go beyond emails, press releases or trainings. Create experiences that help to broaden your employee’s perspectives. 
  • Develop measurable objectives to guide your progress. 
  • Don’t be afraid to make people uncomfortable. Confront relevant topics in culture by providing brave spaces where people can ask “un-safe questions”. 
  • Progress over perfection. Start with small micro-actions and realize that culture is something that is built daily.

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