IPG to Host National Day of Understanding Focused on Issues of Race, Ethnicity and Inclusion
IPG is joining more than 150 companies across the U.S. for the Day of Understanding, initiated by the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ on December 7th, 2018. Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO of IPG, is a CEO Action signatory; CEO Action is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and was launched in 2017. The IPG event will take place live in New York City at the company’s headquarters and will be webcast to locations around the U.S., with agencies across the country planning viewing events at their offices.
The Day of Understanding is intended to facilitate frank conversations and help bridge cultural divides inside and outside of the workplace. It is designed to include and to benefit all employees, regardless of race, gender or cultural affiliation. IPG’s participation is co-sponsored by the company’s global networks FCB, IPG Mediabrands and McCann Worldgroup; the event will feature top experts who will help foster discussion and greater understanding of the experiences of People of Color, immigrants, as well as specific religious and cultural groups. Speakers will also cover how various types of bias manifest, and will share tools to overcome discomfort about discussing and addressing these types of issues.
“Our identities have a lot to do with how we process what happens in the world and how we respond to personal experiences, as well as experiences in the workplace,” noted Heide Gardner, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, IPG. “Our world is super-charged with conflict based around racial, ethnic and cultural identity as well as immigrant status. How we experience this conflict influences our work and our experiences with colleagues and that’s why it’s so important that we provide a forum to talk about difficult issues at events like our Day of Understanding discussion,” she continued.
“Diversity and inclusion has long been a focus for all of us at IPG,” said Michael Roth, IPG’s Chairman and CEO. “We need to embrace our differences and provide opportunities for our employees to discuss them and to address how they affect our workplace. This is no longer an option for companies that want to continue to be successful – it’s a mandate. We want to ensure that our employees feel comfortable and safe coming to work every day, and that we address any issues that may arise. Forums like this are an important part of creating an environment where our employees can do their best work every day, and can all have an equal opportunity to succeed in a safe and respectful environment. These are complex issues and today’s programming is another step on our continuing journey of inclusion,” he said.
IPG’s participation in the National Day of Understanding is part of the company’s long-term commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, which includes a commitment to addressing common societal barriers to belonging and to maximizing contributions from diverse employees.
The company has reinforced its commitment to inclusion with communications from top executives, as well as hosting “town hall” conference calls following racially or culturally charged events, like those in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, and Kentucky. IPG also hosted a call with one of the company’s top immigration attorneys in the wake of changes to DACA policy that impacted current employees and their families. In January, IPG will launch a new resource, the Diversity and Inclusion Assistance Line (DIAL), a call-in line specifically designed to help employees work through diversity-related issues
IPG’s programming for the National Day of Understanding will feature:
- Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Author, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, Chair, Center for African-American Studies, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, Princeton University
- Katherine Phillips, Author, Diversity and Groups, Reuben Mark Professor of Organizational Character Management, Columbia Business School, Columbia University
- Derald Wing Sue, Author, Micro-aggressions in Everyday Life, and Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race, Professor of Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
- Kenji Yoshino, Author, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, NYU School of Law
IPG’s diversity initiatives include formal goals and objectives for agencies and executives, robust metrics to measure progress, strategic communications and applying internal and external research to shape a portfolio of highly targeted activities and programs as well as an array of events from its business resource groups – the Asian Heritage Group, the Black Employee Network, the IPGLBT, Somos, the Latino Employee Group, and the Women’s Leadership Network. IPG and its executives have been recognized for their work on diversity and inclusion by organizations including the New York Urban League, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Advertising Federation (AAF).
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