In our latest interview, we caught up with our Global Chief Marketing Officer Caroline Dean to discuss Isobar’s new Global Diversity Charter which launched on International Women’s Day, the importance of having a diverse workforce, and how a healthy culture is not just critical for our agency, but for the industry as a whole.
Why is celebrating women’s achievements and promoting gender equality so important?
Only through diversity will we achieve our true potential and we know that having a diverse workforce is the key to success. It’s a business imperative. As an agency, through the work we do, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to deliver work that can drive progress and change hearts and minds.
Isobar has launched the Global Diversity Charter. Can you tell us more about this?
At Isobar we believe in a Culture of Many, United as One. As a testament to this belief, we have launched our Isobar Global Diversity Charter and are encouraging our teams to sign up to this 10-point commitment and hold each other to account for keeping to its sentiment. This document is be a blueprint to life within Isobar. It captures our cultural ambition and documents the actions and beliefs in our agency that drives equality at work and in society.
What initiatives does Isobar have in place to drive greater gender diversity?
We already support diversity within our business and the valuable role this has in creating better campaigns for clients, shaping our culture and supporting our bottom line. We’re proud of the work that our teams across the world are already doing to promote diversity. And our research shows that it pays off. Over the past 4 years, our Digital Maturity Index has found a positive correlation between our highest performing offices and the offices that are structured in a way that best respects autonomy and diversity. Our teams who have the right balance of structure and autonomy are 20% more satisfied than our other agencies.
In Canada we’ve started tackling the divide by reviewing our hiring Practices, by removing pro-nouns from CVs so “he” or “she” is removed from the hiring conversations and our working space for example by creating all gender washrooms and access for people who are differently abled.
In India, Isobar has set up a Women’s Council with an eleven point agenda. This initiative includes assessing and acting on the infrastructure and process changes needed to support female employees in flexible working hours, maternity, and harassment issues. To ensure the council reaches all parts of the business they have appointed a Women’s Council ‘go to’ person in each of our offices.
It’s been reported that gender diversity progress isn’t just slow, it’s stalled. As an industry, how can we achieve greater gender diversity?*
We need business leaders to recognise the opportunity that a diverse opportunity presents, and act on it.
They need to create an environment that engenders strong connections and bonds between people in our culture. It is important we shape a non-hierarchical, open and safe space that provides the platform for true equality — empowering everyone, whoever they are and whatever they do.
Finally, what’s your commitment to diversity?
My commitment is to create the platform to communicate the breadth and strength of the diverse voices in our business.