Home IMJ Features A Diverse, Inclusive & Multi-faceted Agenda

A Diverse, Inclusive & Multi-faceted Agenda

IAPI have been pursuing a strategic D&I agenda for the past number of years and this year, several key initiatives have been launched that will further embed inclusion across their member organisations.

Charlotte Barker, Deputy MD, Dynamo spearheads the Diversity and Inclusion council for the IAPI Board and on International Women’s Day this year, she launched IAPI Inclusion Allies on behalf of the industry.  She has this to say about the initiative:

“If a Management Consultancy told you to invest in the latest piece of technology to enhance your business, you’d do it. But, when it comes to embracing diversity and inclusion, it’s seen as a ‘nice to have’, rather than a strategic imperative, though the management consultants would tell you otherwise. While our industry is reputedly more inclusive than many, we still have a long way to go to really reap the rewards of a truly diverse and inclusive workforce, a team that can create truly exceptional work.”

“We’re living and working through volatile times, with more uncertainty than ever before.  We have a rapidly changing world, huge cultural shifts and value definitions that are varied and complex, so the need for willingness to change has never been more necessary and imperative. But these are also exciting times, where we have an opportunity in Ireland to carve out our place on the map and take a seat at the table of global excellence for commercial creativity and media planning. We won’t do that if we continue to look inwards, and not out beyond the horizon.  While by no means a silver bullet, embracing the power of diversity is key to driving change. It can lead to improved brand equity and reputation. It can open new markets. It can build innovative, resilient teams. Don’t just take my word for it – ask McKinsey, or EY, or the Harvard Business Review if you need proof. Broadening our horizons allows us to make better decisions, accelerating the pace of change through complex times. So, it’s time to look at D&I as a serious mechanism for change, not only for our teams but for our bottom line. It makes sense – happier teams are more productive. We need to reflect the world around us, understand that creative and media talent comes from everywhere, and as our cities change profile so too should our teams.”

“In March we launched the IAPI Inclusion Network, designed using a peer-to-peer approach to ensure inclusion works from the inside out. This isn’t about the boss yelling at their team to be more inclusive; this is about recognising the fact that inclusion comes from everyone knowing you can be yourself, bringing your whole self to work and championing the same in others. The Network is made up of colleagues from across the industry that have committed to change, have completed non-conscious bias training and have begun to drive change within their own organisation as an Inclusion Ally. It’s simple, yet there’s so much to do. This approach means we can determine accountability for progress, broaden the network of support for D&I initiatives and work together, as an industry, to drive forward the change that our world demands. So, get involved, sign up to the Inclusion Network and move fast, because this rapidly changing world isn’t slowing down any time soon.”

Broadening the Socio-economic Profile of Industry Recruits

Earlier this year IAPI teamed up with Griffith College to launch the 2019 Creative Bursary.  The initiative was developed in order to encourage second level students, with an emphasis on DEIS Schools to consider careers in media, advertising and creative communications by encouraging them to participate in creative subjects and projects at an early stage.

Schools were required to re-brand their school logos as part of the application process and a panel from IAPI & Griffith College chose four successful candidates.  The monetary bursary of €10,000 will now be split out between these schools and several IAPI member agencies will provide the winning schools with additional training, workshops and “day in the life” experiences to really help inspire our future creatives.

The winning schools are Coláiste Eoin based (Finglas), St. Tiernans (Dundrum), Kylemore College (Ballyfermot) and St. Pauls (Clontarf).

IAPI will continue to target DEIS schools and rural communities in their nationwide Talent Attraction campaign to be launched this Autumn.

Tackling Ageism

As it transitioned through the digital era, the advertising industry became significantly skewed in favour of younger generations as the collective voice of digital natives took to the fore.  While we are making efforts at rebalancing the age groups and are thankfully, once again, recognising the value of experienced professionals, we felt we should more publicly celebrate their wisdom and skillsets.

For this reason, IAPI are launching a brand-new competition with the endorsement of Cannes Lions, Cannes Grey Lions.  The competition, open to all industry professionals over 50 years of age, will be launched this Autumn.  And, like Cannes Young Lions, the winning team will get to attend Cannes Lions week next June.  Mark Nutley, IAPI Board member and creative director, Goosebump has designed a suitably tongue in cheek logo for us.

Putting their money where their mouth is…

To help celebrate IAPI’s Diversity agenda, Steve Connolly, founder of Connolly partners, the Boston agency who now owns Connolly Partners in Dublin, have created a wonderful piece of inspiring advertising for the industry. Steve says; “Ours is a business of ideas. And the best way to evaluate an idea is with your eyes closed. See and judge just the idea, not the person who has it. Not sure I will live long enough to work in a world of simple meritocracy, but anything we can do to move us in that direction is a worthy spend of time”.

First published in Irish Marketing Journal (IMJ May/June 2019)© to order back issues please call 016611660

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