Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast Briefing

October 22, 2018

19th October 2018

The World Media Group hosted an engaging and informative breakfast briefing featuring:

  • Manisha Mehrotra, Diversity & Inclusion Manager,Bloomberg
  • Jan Gooding, Global Inclusion Director, Aviva
  • Karen Fraser MBE,Head of Credos, Advertising Association
  • Mark Runacus,Founding Partner, Wax/On
  • Fiona Daniel, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, HSBC UK

Issues discussed included:

What is the business case for improving Diversity & Inclusion within media/advertising industry?  

  • A business with a strong Diversity & Inclusion strategy will have a more productive and engaged work force.   
  • The outcomes of a diverse and inclusive culture can have a powerful effect on a company’s ability to innovate and therefore a stronger performance on their bottom line.


What trends are you seeing across organisations when it comes to Diversity & Inclusion?

  • To improve inclusion you need a holistic approach, isolated programmes will be less effective.  Focus on attraction, retention and promotion throughout the organisation, and try to avoid token siloed efforts.
  • To make significant cultural shifts takes time, it will take years not months to make real change, for example Group M has had a diverse agenda for 8yrs.


How do you get beyond political correctness and have honest conversations?

  • It helps to focus on inclusivity and diversity; you need to have both to have an innovative and creative environment.  Remember inclusivity is about ALL of us and diversity is about valuing the differences we all bring.  Avoid focusing on silo issues e.g. it is as important to talk about BAME issues with non-BAME groups.
  • Encourage inclusive leadership = active listening, informed empathy, open sharing and allocate time and resources to allow business leaders to focus on inclusivity.


What are the day-to-day challenges of improving D&I?

  • Inactivity is a real challenge.  Because it takes commitment, time and effort to have an inclusive work force, the resources required can be a deterrent.  It is easy to make excuses ie only xxx applied for the role, however we believe it is up to all of us to attract and retain a diverse staff.  It is in everyone’s best interest to create a culture that values diversity and leverages diversity as a core strength. 


What steps can be taken to ensure that employees/teams recruit, retain and promote inclusively?

  • Recruitment at the graduate stage is less problematic but progression is a challenge.  
  • It is important that within any organisation that there are relevant role models.  
  • Examples of effective initiatives are: offering free role model training, offering equal parental leave, make hiring and hierarchy policy clear, open and honest.
  • There are specific issues at both ends of the age spectrum – only 5% of people are over 50 in the ad industry and less than 2% are women over 50. As a maturing society that represents a significant skills gap.  At the younger end of the spectrum, while lots of effort has been made there is no joined up planning and there is a significant drop out rate.  When speaking about generations in the workplace we have to ensure that we include all generations and actively connect across generations. 


For a little more insight:

Watch (only 2mins): https://vimeo.com/238463684

Read: Why I am no longer talking to white people about race? By Reni Eddo-Lodge

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