Sparks & Honey, Omnicom’s cultural intelligence consultancy, has launched a diversity, equity and inclusion practice.
The new practice is led by Davianne Harris who also serves as Chief Client Officer at the firm. It will utilize the firm’s AI-powered cultural intelligence platform, Q, and a team of cultural strategists and experts from the DE&I space. It’s also partnering with advocacy groups such as ADCOLOR, GLAAD, and In for 13. The practice will also help clients keep abreast of the latest DE&I trends and offer custom analyses to help them address systemic inequities.
“For so long, DE&I was considered ancillary to an organization’s core business practices, but leaders now recognize that DE&I is a tangible and measured imperative that must be embedded within every aspect of an organization’s people, products, practices and partnerships,” said Terry Young, CEO, sparks & honey.
That’s probably true of some leaders, which is why S&H is launching this effort.
Although sadly I doubt that is true of all leaders. Adland’s own DEI track record is far from stellar. For many years various civic organizations tried to get the holding companies to publicly disclose their workforce diversity data to no avail. Some shareholders even offered resolutions to mandate such disclosures but were voted down.
It took last year’s brutal murder of George Floyd while in police custody and the international social upheaval that followed to get the holding companies to budge. But to their credit they did budge, revealing numbers that were woefully under-representative for most minority groups. Also to their credit, most of the HC’s introduced new initiatives designed to help boost those numbers and to generally be more effective in the DE&I space.
The full payoff could be years away, we’ll see.
And the S&H effort may help client companies improve their DE&I performances. We’ll see about that too.