Publicis Groupe has revealed that 5.4% of its U.S. workforce is Black. This includes 8% in junior levels, 4.6% in mid-level positions and just 1.9% at the senior leadership level.
These numbers are based on a workforce tally of close to 21,000 employees who self-reported their ethnicity. The Groupe is also working to encourage employees who have not yet self-reported their ethnicity to do so to further improve the accuracy and completeness of its data.
Global numbers are harder to document as French privacy laws ban the collection and use of ethnicity data.
“What has become clear is that too many initiatives and disparate efforts without focus does not drive the necessary impact to truly change things,” says Arthur Sadoun, CEO/Chairman, Publicis Groupe in an internal email.
“That is why today we deliberately want to take fewer but stronger actions with on-going measurement and accountability.”
He also points out this is an industry-wide problem. “These statistics, based on existing self-declared information, are within a similar range of that of other holding companies,” he writes. “It further illuminates the two critical issues for Black talent. One: access to our industry and two: career path to leadership positions.”
The Groupe has outlined actions to improve the diversity of its workforce, the first being the release and monitoring of the diversity data. The Groupe will measure progress and release data every year.
Also, the network will cultivate the careers of Black talent through structured career development programs and mentorship/personalized coaching. Access to opportunities, rate of promotion and metrics related to overall career development will be monitored, measured and also reviewed.
Publicis will also scale and aggregate current and new partnerships across historically Black colleges, local community schools and specific organizations. It will also work with sourcing experts from the multicultural community as well as revamp its hiring processes to make sure it is screening, interviewing and hiring with inclusion and diversity in mind.
Next, the company will make “disrupting everyday bias training” required for all Publicis employees. This consists of three learning tracks: “Understanding Everyday Bias,“ “Inclusive Leadership from Any Seat,” and “Bystander Intervention Training.”
This training has already started but will be available to all agencies by January 2021.
Another step: The investment of $50 million over three years on diversity, inclusion and social justice initiatives. In addition, the Groupe’s Marcel platform will launch a virtual apprenticeship consisting of how-to guides, online lessons, live workshops, networking, mentoring and gig opportunities for all its members.
And the Groupe is creating the Diversity Progress Council composed of Publicis Groupe members, key clients, academic and youth representatives to measure progress and evaluate on-going developments. The first meeting of this council will be held in September.
“Our actions need to drive diversity and inclusion in all its forms, across all minorities and identities,” says Sadoun. “We must also acknowledge the urgency and the intensity that affect the Black community in the US.” @PublicisGroupe