Agency / Life
Published in

Agency / Life

Representation Matters

We are committed to making change in the marketing and advertising industry.

Systemic racism has affected all industries and businesses, disproportionately disadvantaging the Black community — particularly within advertising and marketing. Without making change to our own systematic processes, how can we expect change to happen? Experiences For Mankind is committing to listening, learning, and fostering change. We are making a promise to do more for representation. This includes remaining sensitive to the imagery we can impact that gets distributed to the world. This means showing up for our Black community to find more opportunity in an industry that often doesn’t represent them — in leadership, in message, in care to merely show up.

We are taking on this initiative to give our team permission for the hard conversations. To speak with clients on why their current campaign or imagery isn’t meeting our standards. This initiative keeps representation top of mind — to always take a second look before confirming we’ve taken the most steps we can possibly take to make sure the Black community has a place in advertising. If our team member calls out “representation matters here” to any of us, we will know why that person is calling us out — and can have an educated discussion on how to make change.

We are taking on this initiative because we know there can be more advertising and marketing professionals from more walks of life than we see now. Specifically for the Black community, we want to share out and show up more for professionals that may not be confident a creative career is attainable for them. We know there is not enough being done to groundswell new talent into this industry. We want to help.

This is work that needs to be done. And we promise to take action to change representation. We promise to ask other agencies and marketing teams to join us. We promise to deconstruct our own biases and ensure we aren’t contributing to more of the same.

CORE FOCUS 1: REPRESENTATION WITHIN IMAGERY

If we oversee developing new brand or campaign assets…

  • We will prioritize proposing BIPOC as primary talent
  • We will ensure diversity within final assets
  • If we cannot find talent from the agencies we’ve outreached to, we will find a new resource to do so
  • If the client does not oblige, there will be a conversation of representation to be had by leadership

If we have to use existing brand assets and no people of color are represented…

  • The representation conversation will be discussed with client by leadership
  • We will educate why this conversation is important, and important to disrupting the systemic industry issues
  • We will communicate that we recommend selecting stock or shooting additional assets for better representation for their brand

If we have a choice for stock photography…

  • We will prioritize BIPOC in our assets
  • We will ensure diversity within final assets
  • If we cannot find representation in the stock photography we have access to, we will find a new resource to do so

CORE FOCUS 2: REPRESENTATION WITHIN INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

  • We will outreach to local high schools of predominately BIPOC communities to partner and learn how we can help improve student skillsets for entry into an advertising and marketing career
  • We will form a paid apprenticeship program for BIPOC, to shadow our agency team members, gain first-hand work experience, and increase their knowledge and understanding of the industry
  • We will mentor college-aged students and any professional who needs support, provide access to our network, and finding opportunity in advertising and marketing.
  • We will formalize an inclusive recruitment policy and improve our hiring process to make sure we do not hire with bias
  • We will formalize bias training for long-term, continued reflection
  • We will look to create volunteer initiatives for individual team members to support the community programs of their choice

CAN YOU HELP? ARE YOU INTERESTED?

We’re committed to doing our part to make a difference and understand lasting change requires a true community effort. We invite you to collaborate if:

  • If you run an organization that can connect us to your students
  • If you are a student interested in a career of advertising or marketing
  • If you are a professional seeking mentorship
  • If you are an advertising professional seeking a job (we’re hiring)
  • If you lead an advertising agency or marketing team

We’re here to listen, learn, and empower change.

Javier Iniguez
Principal & CCO
jiniguez (at) efmagency.com

Morgan Graham
Partner & CXO
mgraham (at) efmagency.com

You can learn more about Experiences For Mankind on our website or contact us with an email. We’re always looking for brilliant clients and partnerships.

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