{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Is it ok to tell recruiters that you are searching bc your current agency lacks racial diversity?", "post_id": "5aa6d852f8c49c00136f7c04", "reply_count": 37, "vote_count": 16, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Is it ok to tell recruiters that you are searching bc your current agency lacks racial diversity?

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You can tell any recruiter anything you want. But I might phrase it diffrently than you do above. In general, I don’t think it’s a great idea to crap on your current employer - even if the place is a toilet. Secondly, if you say that X place isn’t diverse enough for you, then you put yourself in a small box. I don’t think recruiters have a list of agencies that are diverse vs. lily white agencies. So if you say you only want a diverse place, well - what do they do with you? Is Wieden diverse enough for you? Ogilvy? Translation? Who knows? It’s like asking them to place you but not telling them what job title you want. And if they don’t know what to do with you, they probably won’t do anything with you, which probably defeats the purpose of talking to recruiters. My move would be to say i’m tired of my current place for the same old reasons, and then add “for my next move, i’d really be excited to work in a more diverse place."

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@AD1 is is exhausting to be the single voice of an entire race in every meeting. It’s exhausting to be the one who notices things that people without the POC frame of reference simply don’t notice. Having to be the one to raise the red flag. All alone. Every time. Can you imagine that? It’s draining. After 20 years in the business, working for agencies large and small, I’ve never been in a situation where there were more than a couple of other black people in the creative departments. And I’m almost always the only black producer. How many black broadcast producers do you know? Can you count them on more than ONE HAND? It should not still be this way. When my leaving an agency reduces the number of black producers by 100%...it’s a layer of pressure that I don’t want or need. My job is stressful enough.

I do not think that anyone is benefitted by biting our tongues about diversity. Recruiters should be made aware that this is an issue worth considering. They should be made aware that diversity is a huge value to many job seekers. Let them in on the conversation and please don’t listen to anyone who is advising you from a position of fear. This doesn’t have to be a scary topic of discussion and it certainly shouldn’t be a reason for you to be limited. Unless you say “ I won’t go to an agency with less than __% employees of color,” this should not count as a mark against you. You’d like to find a place with a more diverse staff...not easy to find but it’s a worthy goal.

Best of luck, OP, and please keep us posted! 👍🏾

likehelpfulupliftingsmart
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@ArtDirector because working in an environment that is 99% white is draining as fuck.

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@AD1 Because being different is really hard. It’s hard to not feel like you can’t be your true self at work, and to not be able to relate to colleagues about your experiences as a person of color.
I often feel really alienated from my white colleagues, I don’t understand their humor or cultural references. I am other, and am constantly being “othered” in a million tiny ways, every day. On top of that there’s also microaggressions, and acts of racism that can range to subtle to downright egregious. It’s really really draining.

likesmart

@AD1 I’m assuming you’re white?

likehelpful

If you’ve ever been in a social situation where you’re the minority. You probably felt a little uncomfortable, a little on edge. You were probably acutely aware that you were in the minority and sometimes wasn’t quite sure what to say or do. Maybe you said something and it wasn’t the right thing. Now multiply all those feelings by 40+ hours and add 50 years until retirement. Drained yet?

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@AD1 because of this face.

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likefunny

Yes. Yes yes yes.

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@ACD1 great advice re: what to say to the recruiter today, but everything before that last sentence allows companies to get away from driscimination, sexism and more. Of course you should be able to say, "I want to work somewhere more diverse, and for a company who works toward that goal." Let's work towards holding our industry accountable in every way, not against.

likefunny

I personally feel motivated to work in an environment with more people that look like me rather than somewhere where I am one out of 4 people of color in an office of 60+ employees. It is also harder to connect with your coworkers who only approach you when they need something from you. @AD1

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Why is that important to you having a job

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It’s just so uncomfortable.

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I wouldn’t unless you will only go to agencies who are diverse which is less than 10% of agencies. It will significantly limit your options but you might be OK with that.

Just good knowing that.

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Yeah. Part of the reason why I got my job was because I turned down another agency for lack of diversity

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Although I am white, I can grasp what you and CW1 are talking about when you say it’s draining because being uncomfortable for any reason on a sustained basis would be exhausting.

That said, I agree with ACD1 advising you to temper how you flag this to a recruiter. Positioning it as a plus is good for them to hear (and hopefully they start hearing it more and telling their agency clients) vs a reason for leaving which might make it hard for them to help you.

I think sharing it as a contributing factor in an exit interview or your resignation discussion with a manager you trust at your current place could be eye-opening.

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Absolutely.

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Why not answer AD’s question instead of being condescending and vague?

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OP is racist af

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Get out of here Director 1. OP, I think you should be thoughtful in your phrasing, and make it more about looking for an agency that celebrates and embraces all the creativity diversity brings - something positive that may imply an opinion about your past agency but focuses on your future.

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Do some research to see which agencies are making a REAL effort to make their agency more diverse and inclusive. Then approach that agency’s recruiter (or your discipline dept head) and say, I want to come here because the agency is making a real effort to solve this issue in our industry.

No one can resist that!

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