A view by Jane Wakely, Lead CMO, Mars Incorporated
Share this post
For global businesses seeking to lead rather than respond – to disrupt, rather than to be disrupted –a workforce with a diverse range of skills, perspectives and inclusive views is necessary in order to make transformation, growth and category leadership possible. This is absolutely the case at Mars, where we believe diversity of thought and approach, and a culture of inclusivity and partnership, helps us address business challenges and unlock opportunities.
That’s why through Kinship – a division of Mars Petcare – we’re harnessing the most diverse and passionate innovators in the pet world via start-ups and tech companies to create new integrated services and products that transform and better meet the needs of pets and their parents. Rather than focusing on individual IP, Kinship is forming diverse coalitions to create breakthrough solutions.
We need to be accountable for driving change beyond our immediate walls and sectors. Embracing movements such as the Unstereotype Alliance and Free the Bid mean we are driving change both in front of and behind the camera and behind the camera in the content we create.
At Mars, we are passionate about making a meaningful and measurable difference in this area – which is why we pioneered a partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to better measure our portfolio of work and understand HOW we are currently representing men and women in our advertising.
Upskilling our own teams and our agency partners’ skills in our collective unconscious bias is critical to making a difference.
Of course, true cultural diversity must go beyond gender. We’ve been working hard with our brands to leverage their power to foster a more inclusive form of marketing – such as Skittles which has been donating its rainbow to support LGBTQI+ communities, and our Maltesers ‘Lighter Side of Life’ campaign, which increased representation of people living with disabilities in advertising by using humour to help overcome taboos and break down barriers.
There’s still much to do, but I’m excited by the opportunity to use the power of our brands and continued collaboration amongst the industry, to help shape the diverse and inclusive world we want to see tomorrow.