Havas London 'Presses' Forward With Diversity Initiative

Havas London is joining forces with diversity organization Creative Equals to make its own internal anti-discrimination framework accessible to all interested participants.

This “Press Pause policy,” which has been used by Havas London since January 2019, is available at creativeequals.org/press-pause and provides “zero tolerance” talking points to empower employees to "pause" an uncomfortable or problematic encounter before a number of potential next steps are taken.

These guidelines apply to both internal exchanges within a company, as well as those with clients and suppliers.

The move to open-source this policy follows what Havas calls “considerable” interest from other agencies after Havas London and Havas helia CEO Xavier Rees discussed its application at a recent Creative Equals CEO event. These requests also serve as a reminder the industry lacks a codified means through which its people can confidently challenge discrimination in all its guises, particularly in circumstances where a power imbalance may exist.

“No more turning a blind eye to comments, actions or requests we know are not okay,” states Rees. He adds this framework has since been used on multiple occasions to positive effect since its debut last year.

“They have led to some difficult, but necessary, conversations, each time with a satisfactory outcome that otherwise would not have happened,” he explains. “It’s imperative we work together as an industry to root out discriminatory views, and it has become increasingly clear that Press Pause is too important an initiative to keep to ourselves.”

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