Publicis Groupe is addressing the current racial crisis in the U.S. by seeking to “reimagine, design, and execute” new ways the Groupe can fight racism and provide opportunities for people of color inside the company.
“I am well aware of my limited perspective as a white male CEO in Paris,” said Arthur Sadoun, CEO/Chairman in a video sent to all Groupe employees on Sunday. “So as we work through this, I will need your help. It will take all of us.” He added, “We need to make right what has been so wrong for too long.”
Sadoun notes the company is committed, with the input of its employees, to answering four “fundamental” questions that will provide the framework for its new company-wide diversity platform.
The first asks how to provide more opportunities for black people at both the agencies and brands. The second seeks to find ways to foster a culture of growth and progress to create more senior-level black leaders. The third addresses how to best ensure white colleagues are active partners and strong contributors to the success of black team members. The last question recognizes racism is not restricted to America or the black community by asking how can the Groupe best support all minorities around the world.
“To answer these questions, we need all of you,” says Sadoun.
Sadoun also announced all U.S. employees will attend an all-day workshop on Wednesday, June 17 to “listen, debate, and ideate” on these four pillars. The day will be led by U.S. Chief Diversity Officer Ronnie Dickerson and her team. Sadoun also expects all U.S. employees to take a “day of pause” prior to the 17th in order to “reset and to heal.”
In addition, the diversity and inclusion team has provided a list of resources to help assist all staffers learn more about the black experience in America.
Sadoun admits this current social crisis is tougher than the COVID-19 pandemic because people are more responsible for its impact. “We see this moment clearly and will not squander it,” he promises “Together with all of you, we will do the right thing today and the years to come.”