{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I'm a young female minority (black) on the Creative side. Curious to know how well you think your agency hires and promotes diversity?", "post_id": "5944070aaea77d001609aace", "reply_count": 31, "vote_count": 17, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }

I'm a young female minority (black) on the Creative side. Curious to know how well you think your agency hires and promotes diversity?

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Gonna say something that I would never say without anonymity, but please know I say this with the deepest respect. Our jobs are not "skills based," at least not entirely. Our clients, some of whom make billion dollar decisions, want to trust us. Some of them are outwardly racist. Some of them are ignorant and sheltered. Some of them are scared. They look to us for guidance, and want to know that we "get" them. They want to know that we understand their customers, who are, guess what? Also racist, fearful, ignorant. That's why advertising is so white by default. This is a huge, huge institutional problem.

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Pro-tip: everyone on this thread will have their name come up at One time or another in a conversation you will never be a part of where a group of folks will decide your fate. From the resource manager and the CD who staff the "good" projects to the finance managers setting up budgets, to new biz folks picking their pitch teams, to the HR head and department leaders deciding who gets promoted and/or what round you are when the layoffs come. You need sponsors across the board to make a career happen. And a break down anywhere across that chain can make it stall. If your agency culture is such that more of these players than less see value in all that u bring to the table....including your BlackGirl...stay. If not...suck the marrow out of that place and get as good a portfolio out of it as you can and bounce.

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Very wrong Huge. I can speak from experience that they will have absolutely no problem passing you over or firing you even if you're twice as good

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The disdain for diversity in some of these responses should give you your answer.

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Shouldn't hiring and promotion be based on skills first? I'm a minority, but would much rather my company hire on skill and personality rather than diversity

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True but u can't learn a skill if there is no one who wants to teach you to move up the ladder. Plus diversity is a way to open up various opportunities for people who need to learn vs having a set of people who knows it but can't bring personality and other things to the team. It's wack and boring. And if you can't diversify then you can be called a racist.

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Here's a fun fact. After years of trying to recruit women advertising is now 40% female. The percentage of black females is 1%. I can tell you from experience is not because of the same old tired narrative about not being able to find talent ..

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Find mentors! it doesn't matter what race or gender they are they have to champion you. Learn the business behind the business and always be ready to describe (during reviews and speaking with leadership) your contribution in the context of how you make your clients and your agency more money. Never start a conversation with leadership with "I feel", and don't get suckered into those conversations. Stick to facts.

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@ CD 1: thank you for your honesty. Speaking as minority, we need more honesty like this so we know where to take the real fight. @OP: I am not going to lie. This industry is incredibly hard for female minoritys to progress in. BUT. Fight. fight none the less and change will come.

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Well, I'm the only black female writer in my entire office so they put me in pictures and on intern panels. But there's a lot of minority Jr creative talent, but you don't see it hat same diversity in mid level & senior positions. A friend of mine who had been in our agency for 4 years just left the industry entirely because they hadn't been putting her on new interesting work. So they mostly lose out to other agencies or minorities leave the industry entirely.

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what is this "diversity" you speak of?

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We like to hire for 'a good fit' which basically means straight white people like us. We're trying to be better about it and think about hiring for the 'contribution,' aka diversity. A slow process but working toward it.

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I call my agency the cruise ship - old, white, mostly dudes, hard to change direction.

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It sucks. Keep finding those opportunities where you can. Don't let them relegate you to a back office role and derail your growth. It is a huge institutional problem without easy answers.

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My previous agency talked big game about taking initiative to improve diversity in our agency, then once we won a couple pieces of new biz, went on a white male CD hiring spree (9+ without a single non-white male CD). Today, the agency has more male CDs named J*** than they have female CDs total.

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Hate this damn diversity. Should be skills based not skin color or religion based.

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@LBI1 had the same exact experience

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There is such little diversity in hiring that there is no one to promote. Really hope this changes and kudos to you!

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@Creative Director I am referring to comments like "hate this damn diversity," and any others that assume an inquiry about diversity means that were talking about less skilled candidates.

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'see' the ones who already work for you. we are here but we are consistently overlooked unless a token is needed. look for systemic bias that exists in how you recruit & promote. Listen to us when we speak up & don't get all sensitive if we say challenging stuff that troubles you. we need role models to look up to & 'safe' people to talk to.

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