Commentary

Celebrating Diversity At CES

The Consumer Electronics Show in January will be the venue for the first annual Advancing Diversity Honors, presented by advocacy group AdvancingDiversity in collaboration with WomenAdvancing, Jack Myers KnowledgeExchange, and MediaVillage.

Seems ironic doesn’t it, given all the flack CES received recently (and rightly so) for the lack of diversity in its 2018 lineup of keynote speakers. But hey, give CES some credit for recognizing that they screwed up. The group has since added some panels featuring female industry leaders to discuss diversity issues.

And now it’s added this this diversity awards platform which recognizes the positive steps and potential solutions that companies and executives have taken to advance diversity in the technology, media, marketing and entertainment sectors.

As you know, that territory is where so much of the recent and disgraceful sexual misconduct has been revealed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

So while such a platform is ironic on some levels it’s also very welcome if it can shine a light on potential solutions.

Of particular note to Adland are two honorees—Interpublic CEO Michael Roth and Heide Gardner, the holding company’s chief diversity and inclusion officer Heide Gardner. The holding company is being recognized for its decade-long effort to make diversity an integral part of its company culture. 

Sure the firm has had some bumps along the way, most recently the problems at The Martin Agency. But credit Roth and his team for confronting them head on.

There’s no magic cure for the lack of diversity in any industry. Problems won’t go away overnight and sincere efforts to provide solutions ought to be recognized, which seems to be what these awards are about.

Have a look at the other efforts being recognized by the inaugural Advancing Diversity Honors:

Unilever's Long-Term Commitment to Diversity through its Unstereotype Initiative - Aline Santos, Global Executive Vice President of Marketing and Head of Diversity and Inclusion

The Ad Council's Love Has No Labels campaign - Lisa Sherman, President and CEO

Ernst & Young’s Neurodiversity Program - Megan Hobson, Americas Administration Leader and Hiren C. Shukla, Automation Central Leader/Americas ASA Program

The iAB Education Foundation’s iDiverse Initiative - Randall Rothenberg, President & CEO and Megan Hauck, Director, iAB Education Foundation

Nielsen’s Diversity Development and Retention Program - Angela Talton, Chief Diversity Officer 

Springboard Enterprises’ Gender Equality Program - Kay Koplovitz, Co-Founder & Chairman

Crowdfundingroadmap Inc.’s Crowdfunding Education Diversity Initiative - Ruth E. Hedges, CEO and Industry Pioneer

 

 

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