Doing Things Differently

What one thing would you like to see the industry do differently in 2022 when it comes to building a truly inclusive and diverse workforce?

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director


“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” These words, which are often attributed to Albert Einstein feel particularly apt in the wake of the pandemic. 

While we have collectively endured previously unfathomable loss and grief, with change comes opportunity. It is not hyperbole to say we now have a once in a generation opportunity to reshape the workplace for the better. 

With employees across the industry choosing change it is clear that expectations of the workplace are changing irrevocably. A change which gives employees and leaders alike an opportunity and a responsibility to make progress on the things that matter. With this in mind we asked RISE supporters what one thing they would  like to see the industry do differently  in 2022 when it comes to building a truly inclusive and diverse workforce?

Nikki Sehgal

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General Manager

Media For All

We’re on the bedrock of change. 

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to find comfort in ambiguity, be open and willing to learn and adapt to alternative ways of living and thinking. 

Now is the time to give people the freedom to navigate this new world with curiosity and surrender to the unknown; the freedom to show up as they are, where they are and how they are.

Whilst the industry may be suffering from diversity fatigue it’s important to remember that we still have a long way to go for people to feel like they belong and are represented at every level. 

The gears have shifted and there is an opportunity to add value through change and disruption, to make the industry truly inclusive.

Approaching people on a human level and building emotional connection is key to empowering your teams and creating environments where they can bloom. 

Vanessa Vidad

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CRM & Systems Manager/Inclusion Co-Lead


More in education. At all levels outside the industry and all levels inside the industry. To bring the talent in, the industry needs to show that it is a viable and welcoming industry to all to those thinking about their future and potential careers. There are great programs that exist for those coming into the industry at graduate level but I think it needs to start before that – more grassroots programs, end of primary school/all throughout secondary school. In the industry, the challenge of changing the way we think about marketing and advertising has already taken huge leaps but there is still a lot of work to do building an industry that looks like and represents the people and communities we talk to. C-Suite and those at board level have the power within their organisations to drive real impactful change – it’s not easy but we are very lucky within our industry to have so many different initiatives to be able to support this.

Sharon Lloyd Barnes

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Inclusion Lead and Commercial Director

Advertising Association

The one thing we would like to see the industry do in 2022 to help build a truly inclusive and diverse workforce is for everyone to work towards becoming an All In Champion. By demonstrating evidence against the action plan either by adopting the suggested actions or via your own initiatives, focusing on these initial key areas will ensure that we are all heading in the same direction, at the same time.

Your company can apply if you employ staff with a role in the UK advertising industry for example: media and creative agencies, brand marketing teams, media owner commercial and marketing teams, tech platforms, production companies, etc. and when you become an All In Champion, you will receive a marketing pack to use in your own comms along with featuring in the industry’s All In Hub.

Of course becoming an All In Champion does not mean the job is done but it would be a very good start.

Melda Simon

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UK Lead for the Unstereotype Alliance

UN Women

I would like to see more companies publicly share detailed diversity and inclusion plans including measurable targets and timescales. Transparency grounds everything and shining light on where companies can improve makes diversity impossible to ignore. We need to see more brands and creative agencies identify key metrics over a three-to-five-year time horizon and report annually on their progress.

From a brand’s perspective, it’s in their interest to be more transparent and disclose all relevant information. According to Global MONITOR, 65% of consumers say it's important that the companies they buy from actively promote diversity and inclusion in their own business or society as a whole.

Transparency is an important stepping stone towards a more diverse and inclusive ad industry. Knowing and understanding where you stand clears the path for improvements, innovations, and business-model changes that will accelerate the pace of change.

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