Agency 2020: Change makers discuss diversity within agencies

July 01 2016


If there is one key trend affecting the marketing and creative communications industry at the moment it is ‘diversity’ or, depending on your viewpoint, the lack of it. Diversity, in it’s very broadest sense, is a huge issue within our industry and most forward thinking agency businesses are driving the diversity agenda within their organisation.

In today’s industry diversity goes much deeper than simply gender issues. Race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, social background all come into the debate as agencies look to create as diverse a workforce as they can to ensure that the work they are creating for a diverse portfolio of clients is coming from a workforce that best represents modern society.

Following on from the recently published Agency 2020 article, which considered the current threat landscape to agencies, this article brought change makers from some of London’s leading agencies to discuss diversity within today’s marketing agencies.

Offering their views at the Chatham House Rules roundtable session hosted at The Riding House Café in London were: Fern Miller, global chief marketing officer at DigitasLBi, Gareth Moss, managing partner of The Blueprint, George Porteous, managing director at Accenture Interactive; Jasel Mehta, former international general manager at AKQA, Jonny Spindler, chief innovation officer at AMV BBDO, Laura Jordan-Bambach, D&AD president and creative partner at Mr President, Mark Lainas, chief innovation officer at Ogilvy & Mather, Matt Groves, former managing director at Edelman Digital, Nadya Powell, managing director at Sunshine, Neil Miller, CEO at POSSIBLE, Paul Doran, strategic partner at The Blueprint and Simon Wassef, executive strategy director at R/GA.

Beginning the discussion on a positive note, one attendee stated: “Diversity is definitely a key issue today and there are statistics that show that boards of companies with more women on them deliver a 36% higher ROI than other companies. That's a brilliant statistic and obviously within our agency the leadership team is primarily female oriented. So we see that there are opportunities within diversity and how the advertising industry as a whole is overcoming the challenge of previously being quite male dominated?”

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