{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Genuine question and attempt to understand: for those of you who are upset or unhappy about more robust efforts at diversity and inclusivity, can you explain why these efforts upset you? Or worry you?", "post_id": "61037462fda8a80024857afd", "reply_count": 165, "vote_count": 12, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }

Genuine question and attempt to understand: for those of you who are upset or unhappy about more robust efforts at diversity and inclusivity, can you explain why these efforts upset you? Or worry you?

likesmart
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The problem is that there aren’t enough experienced people of color. That’s a problem that needs time to fix. You need to give students the chance to learn about advertising, go to portfolio school, learn the trade. There weren’t enough people of color with advertising experience yesterday. You can’t just say poof! We want more black people! Let’s hire someone who has no relevant experience to be a CD or a leader! That causes tokenism and a mentality amongst their peers that just because someone is a person of color they are less qualified. We need to be patient. And stop acting like this can be fixed overnight just because we want it to. Hiring a POC who might not be as talent or experienced does a disservice to diversity efforts in the long run.

likesmart

Fact of the matter is agencies continue to say “I don’t know where the diverse talent is” but programs like the 4As Foundation MAIP (Multicultural Advertising Intern Program) which has been in existence for 48 years and has brought in over 4,000 POC into the industry since 1973, proves that qualified diverse people DO exist. The issue is layered. Either 1) they aren’t given opportunities and are overlooked for job opps 2) when they do enter into this industry there is nothing set up to ensure they succeed. POCs end up feeling as though they don’t belong, they’re the only one who looks like them in the room, and for some they’re only brought into big client pitches when the client wants to reach the multicultural consumer. 3) POCs are promoted into leadership roles at a much lower rate than their white counterparts and 4) theres a burnout happening at the mid level mark (3-5 years) and we’re losing great diverse talent to other industries (as tech, in-house agencies, etc) that DO ha e systems in place to ensure they succeed and feel a sense of belonging. So again, it’s not that there isn’t diverse talent out there because there are so many other programs aside from MAIP that prove there are (Mimconnect, ADColor, Marcus Graham Project, Women who Create, 100 Roses from Concrete, The Boom List, DiverseCreatives.com , and the list goes on and on). The issue is that no one is looking hard enough and no one has adequate systems in place to make sure they succeed. That whole “there isn’t enough diverse talent” is total BS. We’re right here! LOL

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As a POC, I myself have huge reservations about the push for diversity and how it's done. Because it's by the numbers and facile. Just as how most of us feel like a number in agencies, BIPOC feel like a color. It's like immigration challenges. When a country welcomes refugees but drop the ball on integrating them, help them establish a new beginning, and help them flourish so they can contribute to the nation. Instead they become INVISIBLE, sometimes derided and avoided, and left to their own devices, fall into poverty and destitute, sometimes resorting to crime. And then there's the whole "not in my own backyard" stance. (Which doesn't just apply to immigrants, but white homeless population.) As a POC and immigrant, I identify the parallels in corporate. As a POC male, I identify with the issues of white women treated by male colleagues. So many times I've been introduced to colleagues and when we pass each other, they look away when I try to say hi. I have been made to feel other, or people overcompensate by telling me how amazing it is that I can speak two languages and write in English as a copywriter 😂😂😂 Or the unconscious bias when someone verifies my words with a white copywriter. It takes conscious effort from everyone. Like training oneself to take a different route to work everyday to be exposed to different things. The work doesn't stop at hiring the same way I keep working at our relationship with my wife.

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The general lack of understanding of why it’s important to hire POC over white people in Fishbowl/ad bowls is embarassing and makes me worry for the future because we are the people who make pictures and words that influence the world. Reverse racism is not a thing. Saying ‘hire on talent level not skin color’ is basically the same as saying ‘all lives matter.’ The scales need to be rebalanced and for white people that means giving up our seat at the table to allow ‘others’ who have been shut out for centuries the same opportunities that we have violently and calculatedly kept to ourselves. Being willing to do so is really where true allyship happens.

likehelpfulfunnyupliftingsmart

All things may be equal with people, but no one gets ahead because of their talent alone. We need to overcome our feelings about POC and promote them even if they haven't succeeded at the politics game. There are more important things you can promote people for than who wasted the most time inflating their profile at the company.

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They're still ignoring disabled people.

likehelpful

It’s the adhd for me 🙃

The effort to legislate outcomes is what upsets me most. A certain number of x or y race or gender must be achieved…with little to no insistence on quality of talent. And, as you see happening with the halting of entrance tests for Magnet or gifted high schools, the result is a lowering of standards, not the raising of diverse people into better positions. You also can’t replace racism against one group with racism against another. That’s just morally wrong…and yet it’s what’s being preached in our own diversity training.

likesmartfunny

OP, it’s a pipeline problem and you saying it isn’t doesn’t change the fact. I see the books. I’ve always bent over backwards to make BIPOC hires because I want a more diverse team even before I was given a quota to fill. The industry needs to find young talent and give them a path into the agency. I’m talking high school and college. Portfolio schools are one way in. All these holding companies could stop woke-posting and make a real investment in the pipeline and actually see an ROI in amazing talent. They won’t because they’re not interested in fundamentally changing anything but perceptions.

like

Hiring or not hiring people based on skin color is wrong. Forcing people to self-flagellate in diversity seminars or else face the firing squad is wrong.

likesmart

Interesting, thanks for responding. That’s definitely not what I’ve experienced in terms of how agencies are looking for more diverse talent, and not what I’d encourage.

When diversity leans more towards one group than another… when the term is used, most of the time they really mean “we need more black people”, which isn’t really being diverse and inclusive of all the other races. When Asian or Latin talent are presented but told they aren’t diverse enough, then I think we have a problem. Stop with the euphemisms. Also, if we really wanted to be fair and equal, we would look at the current distribution of the US population by race and ethnicity, and use those figures as a starting point. More or less, the US is 60% white, 19% Hispanic, 13% black, 6% Asian, and the rest other races. Diversity efforts are more biased towards one group. It skews more heavily towards black when they make up less percentage of the population than Hispanics.

likehelpful

@OP I’m not sure I follow your question. I was responding to your comment that initiatives should index more toward one community than another because of more quantifiable harm. I guess I’m questioning how you’re actually quantifying harm in this instance?

Reminder to direct your anger at the billionaires and c suite suppressing your wages, gouging you on medical and education, and robbing and poisoning the natural resources that belong to all of us, and not your fellow workers/victims.

likesmart

Considering hiring BIPOC people is only one piece of the problem and the negative experiences we have once we’re in the workplace often stand in the way of us reaching leadership positions, I would say that all of us worker bees need to be on the same page and do the same anti-racism work. Also, think about how racial bias means low wages, healthcare, education etc impacts Black people more.

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“The work doesn’t stop at hiring”. YES 🙌🏽

likesmart

I’m gay all 12 months of the year. But thanks for making your logo a rainbow for 1 of those 12. What else ya got for me and your other LGBTQ employees?

likefunny

They don’t care about real diversity. It’s all about the token black hire in 2021.

likesmart

The lack of transparency and honest conversation about retention of BIPOC, I know a lot of people who want promotions and are being given the run around vs. transparent conversation. Their manager may too scared to tell them they aren’t operating at a level they should be because they’re scared of being labeled a racist or the budget priorities are elsewhere which means retaining TOC isn’t as high a priority. People in agency land only know how to sell in the idea of tough conversations, not how to actually have them.

likehelpful

Mostly because it’s to show and cater to other white people how diverse and inclusive they are instead of actually caring about the issues.

likesmart

It feels like agencies are more concerned with being perceived as diverse than actually being diverse.

likesmart

Still no one over 45 in the creative department. I’ve been in this industry for fifteen years and never been to a retirement party. How tf is that diverse?

like

I’m gay but we’ll think nothing of listening to a client who thinks putting a gay couple in their spot is too political. Or my company will help parents who want to foster but no initiatives have been set up to help gay couples trying to conceive. It’s all show.

like

Corporations will post a black square or make their logo rainbow for one month and then turn around to donate to orgs/politicians actively working to disenfranchise POC and take away LGBTQ rights

likesmart

Let’s start with this evaluation system you’re all taking as gospel. Who is setting the criteria? Who is the gatekeeper for the standards? If the “default is white male”, as a previous commenter wrote, then how does a POC or woman thrive? By fitting the parameters they have not contributed to or can’t express their true instincts within. That kind of second guessing oneself is not going to result in the best or most effective work. If authentic ideas don’t get approved by the while male supervisor or are not the way he would handle a situation with a client, the employee won’t get very far. And that’s the real reason we are where we are today.

likesmart

It seems like this is really the only employee initiative they are focusing on and they also forget to include many other marginalized groups such as those with disabilities or just women in general…I am obviously not against increasing representation for POC but something about how HR is going about it is leaving a bad taste in some peoples’ mouths

likesmart

As a POC I find that even at the portfolio schools there can be bias. I attended a portfolio school, finished and struggled to find an opportunity afterwards. No one would give someone with a mediocre book a chance just to intern. I eventually gave up and settled into design, that was almost 10 years ago. So to the person saying attend portfolio school, let me tell you it’s not enough. Especially when all the agencies just want individuals to win then awards.

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I agree with both ACD and WFM. It helps to have award winning work in your book. student awards, even awards that aren't big and international. You have to find a way to stand out from the crowd. don't know about biases in portfolio schools because I didn't attend one. But yes, industry is tough. And even when you do get in, you gotta work twice as hard to get half as far. Gotta toughen up.

I think people get hung up on “is this fair” - no, it’s not fair. The point is that for a lot of people it’s been unfair for a long time. So.

likehelpful

AD1 up for discussion is: is the second move wrong.

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