KEY TAKE OUTS
Building safe spaces doesn’t negate the need for difficult conversations. The concept of ‘safe spaces’ is one that has risen up the diversity and inclusion agenda, yet that should not negate the importance of difficult conversations. As Sarah Duggan, Co-Chair of Ogilvy Equals and Creative Copywriter, explains: “The way we embrace safe space is having somewhere to openly have those discussions.”
Listening is crucial, so is action. A key theme of the discussion was the need to not just listen to employee networks, but take action. For leaders to actively show people that these conversations translate into the everyday ways the business is run.
Allies are crucial to success. “It takes an army of allies to re-engineer an organisation. We know as an industry the work we do as advertisers goes into society and affects the status quo,” explains Natalie Narh, Vice-Chair of Ogilvy Roots and Social Content Creative.
Diversity and inclusion must not become a burden for diverse talent. Diverse talent must not face the double burden of being subject to inequality and also being solely responsible for creating the solutions to it.
Flexibility is a key driver of diversity. From a workplace perspective, one of the biggest opportunities of the coronavirus crisis is a once in a generation moment to rebuild and reset the workplace for the better. Key to this is embracing the opportunities afforded by flexible working. As Gabriella Field, Head and Founder of Ogilvy ReWired and Junior Strategic Planner, explains: “Being flexible is really helpful to both employees and employers. Having an open conversation helps people be the best they can.” As she explains it could be that an employee wants to get a 10am train because they are autistic, or because they are parents. The key is that flexibility creates the conditions they need to do their best work.
To read a full write up of the event, visit the dedicated BITE page, Collective conciousness: Learnings from Ogilvy's internal employee groups