DEI Charter for Change

The Global DEI Charter for Change

<p>The Global DEI Charter for Change</p>

How can the marketing industry step up on DEI?

Marketing needs to change. Right now, one in seven say they would consider leaving their company and the industry based on a lack of diversity and inclusion.

The results of the WFA-led Global DEI Census show we still have work to do. We call on leaders at all levels in marketing organisations and their agency partners to build an industry of true inclusion, one that measures its achievements and is open when it falls short.

From our learnings from the global census, ran in 27 countries around the world, as diverse as Japan, South Africa, Malaysia and Brazil, we strongly recommend the following as the minimum requirements for all organisations, globally.

Actions on leadership

Actions around protected characteristics

Team-Work Create a diverse leadership team

Leadership must reflect the diversity of our global consumers and the richness of our intersectional identities.

Where groups are not represented, leadership must have strategies for short-term progress and beyond.

Investment in sponsorship schemes, reverse mentorship programmes and smart succession planning can create career growth for those in the organisation and attract new diverse leaders as well.

Research Understand and democratise your company's data

Leaders need to understand the data of inclusion: who is being promoted at every level and what barriers are holding particular groups back.

Measuring what you treasure is essential, however beware of bias in existing systems.

Guidance on effective change can also come via continuous feedback, listening sessions and/or employee networks.

Data should be accessible to everyone internally as part of a commitment to tackling the issues.

Verified Create transparent policies and publish them

Organisations must strengthen anti-discrimination policies and be transparent in policies, expectations of leaders and employees, and how to escalate situations when needed.

These approaches must consider the nuances of multiple identities and ensure policies are accessible and widely shared.

Ensuring they are being implemented is equally critical.

How others are tackling the challenges:

  1.    Making DEI a top area of focus

    Making DEI a top area of focus

    To stand any chance of fighting inequality through inclusive business and branding, we need leaders who will drive ED&I…

    Read more about "Making DEI a top area of focus"
  2.    Setting up country-specific ERGs

    Setting up country-specific ERGs

    It's challenging and isolating to be the 'only person like you' in a company, and Employees Resource Groups can provide invaluable…

    Read more about "Setting up country-specific ERGs"

How others are tackling the challenges:

  1.    Beyond reverse mentoring: avoiding age-bias in recruitment

    Beyond reverse mentoring: avoiding age-bias in recruitment

    The creative marketing agency RAPP mentorship program to help bridge the gaps between older and younger generations.

    Read more about "Beyond reverse mentoring: avoiding age-bias in recruitment"
  2.    Getting support to overcome ageism in the workplace

    Getting support to overcome ageism in the workplace

    Greys Matter was established to support businesses in their journey to become fully Inclusive and Fair. 

    Read more about "Getting support to overcome ageism in the workplace"

Caregiving Caregiving

Why? More than a quarter of respondents agreed that their company does not treat all employees equally when it comes to their caregiving responsibilities, rising to 40% among female respondents.

Key actions: Ensuring that decision-maker roles include leaders with caregiving responsibilities – for the young, but also for the elderly and the sick – can both serve as a positive example to others and encourage the adoption of flexible policies. Adding emergency caregiver support to employer benefits plans can actively support those with caregiving responsibilities.

Idea to steal: Companies should think of adopting policies that benefit parents and employees providing care to aging or sick relatives alike. Research showed that the focus of family-friendly policies favours parents over other caregivers. Failing to narrow that gap could potentially push some employees out of the workforce.

How others are tackling the challenges:

  1.    Supporting employees balance work and life responsibilities

    Supporting employees balance work and life responsibilities

    Kellogg’s Work + Family Hub provides a one-stop-shop to help support employees balance work and life responsibilities,…

    Read more about "Supporting employees balance work and life responsibilities"
  2.    Adopting policies that benefit all caregivers

    Adopting policies that benefit all caregivers

    Companies should think of adopting policies that benefit parents and employees providing care to aging or sick relatives alike.

    Read more about "Adopting policies that benefit all caregivers"

Gender Gender

Why? Women reported a low sense of belonging and more negative behaviours at work: a third said they felt undervalued and less than half agreed that management do not discriminate when it comes to hiring or career advancements.

Key action: Businesses need to understand and improve women’s lived experiences. Support plans need to be tailored to the cultural differences and employment conditions in each market, so that women feel valued and provided with sufficient support to progress their careers.

Idea to steal: The Diageo-led #CreativeComeback is a global creative ‘returners’ scheme to support women, non-binary and gender non-conforming creatives as they return to work after a career break of at least 12 months. Read more.

Race and Ethnicity Race and ethnicity

Why? In 15 of the 21 markets where race and ethnicity were measured, minorities were less likely to agree that organisations were actively taking steps to be more diverse and inclusive as were their majority counterparts.

Key action: Creating programs and spaces specifically designed to support and empower ethnic minorities helps show commitment and progress to populations that usually report poorer lived experiences.

Idea to steal: L’AACC launched tailor-made training program offering 17 young people, aged 18 to 25, from priority neighbourhoods in Paris, to develop the skills necessary to train for creative jobs in advertising agencies. Read more

How others are tackling the challenges:

  1.    Creating programmes dedicated to specific ethnic minorities

    Creating programmes dedicated to specific ethnic minorities

    Sodexo Canada has been recognized by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) as a certified Progressive Aboriginal…

    Read more about "Creating programmes dedicated to specific ethnic minorities"
  2.    Educating all on racial inequity and bias

    Educating all on racial inequity and bias

    Walmart US works with the Racial Equity Institute (REI) to offer training that examines the history of race in America as well as…

    Read more about "Educating all on racial inequity and bias"

disability Disability and neurodivergence

Why? People with disabilities are under-represented in the industry and tend to report a lower sense of belonging.

Key actions: Businesses should prioritise actions which help normalise and improve understanding of all forms of disability. Accessibility needs must be discovered and accommodated as part of the employee onboarding experience.

How others are tackling the challenges:

  1.    Challenging the stigma around disability

    Challenging the stigma around disability

    Barclay’s This is Me initiative challenges the stigma around disability and mental health in the…

    Read more about "Challenging the stigma around disability"
  2.    Setting goals and targets on Disability Inclusion

    Setting goals and targets on Disability Inclusion

    Over 15% of the global population live with a disability, but they are still the largest under-represented group in the world. To…

    Read more about "Setting goals and targets on Disability Inclusion"

lgtbq flag Sexual orientation and gender identity

Why? 35% of LGBTQ+ respondents reported feeling consistently anxious in their jobs compared to 27% of non-LGBTQIA+ respondents. 

Key actions: Companies must have policies in place to protect but also support LBGTQ+ employees. Benefits including pay, bonuses, parental leave, health insurance should be explicitly available to same-sex couples. Non-binary identifying employees should have their chosen identity recognised.

Idea to steal: Reach out to LGBTQ+ industry advocacy organisations, such as GLAAD (USA) and Outvertising (UK), which employer resources and training, including Ally and Role Model training.

How others are tackling the challenges:

  1.    Empowering people to be LGBTQ+ allies and role models

    Empowering people to be LGBTQ+ allies and role models

    Reach out to LGBTQ+ industry advocacy organisations, such as GLAAD (USA) and Outvertising (UK), which offer employer resources and…

    Read more about "Empowering people to be LGBTQ+ allies and role models"

Mental health Mental health

Why? 7% of respondents globally reported a long-term health condition and of these, 71% said they related to mental health. Moreover, a third of all respondents reported feeling stressed and anxious at work.

Key action: Providing and continually promoting mental health benefits so that they are accessible and top of mind is important. People managers should be trained in how to respond to mental health issues and have supportive discussions around mental health with employees.

Idea to steal: In 2021, Publicis Groupe rebranded Personal Leave as Wellbeing Leave, in recognition that when people get sick, it can be for physical or mental health reasons. Read more here.

How others are tackling the challenges:

  1.    Creating frameworks to encourage taking care of mental health

    Creating frameworks to encourage taking care of mental health

    Developed by the Barclays Legal Function in partnership with two law firms, the Mindful Business Charter is the first time that an…

    Read more about "Creating frameworks to encourage taking care of mental health"
  2.    Providing tools for employees’ mental health

    Providing tools for employees’ mental health

    EY’s “Better You” program in the US is designed to support the physical, financial, social, and emotional needs of…

    Read more about "Providing tools for employees’ mental health"
  3.    Addressing the stigma around mental health

    Addressing the stigma around mental health

    In 2021, Publicis Groupe rebranded Personal Leave as Wellbeing Leave, in recognition that when people get sick, it can be for…

    Read more about "Addressing the stigma around mental health"

Contributors

The Global DEI Charter for Change was developed with the input of members of the WFA Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce and other industry organisations, such as VoxComm, EACA and Creative Equals. To all those who shared their experience, learnings and insights with us, we are incredibly grateful.

Participating organisations