The World Federation of Advertisers is unveiling what it is calling a “Global DEI Charter for Change” at the Cannes Lions Festival next week, with the aim of “driving real actions and improving the lived experiences for multiple groups working in the marketing industry,” according to the group.
Developed with input from members of WFA’s D&I Taskforce, the Charter identifies actions that the group says global organizations need to undertake to ensure a better experience for the one in seven members of the industry who say they could leave their company or the industry due to lack of diversity and inclusion. That finding came from the WFA-led Global DEI Census, which was published last year.
The Charter for Change identifies 11 main action areas:
Actions for Leadership:
--Create a diverse leadership team: Where groups are not represented, leadership must have strategies for short-term progress and beyond.
--Understand and democratize your company’s data: Leaders need to understand the data of inclusion: who is being promoted at every level and what barriers are holding particular groups back.
--Create transparent policies and publish them: Organizations must strengthen anti-discrimination policies and be transparent in policies, expectations of leaders and employees, and how to escalate situations when needed.
--Create psychological safety and support: Genuinely safe spaces allow employees to speak up candidly. Companies must invest in qualified facilitation for these spaces and have clear rules of engagement.
Actions to support Underrepresented Groups:
Action on Mental Health:
The Charter will be introduced the Cannes Lions Festival, where the WFA will organize several sessions dedicated to the census and charter during the week, including a panel discussion on Tuesday (June 21).
The Charter for Change also links to best practice ideas from across the industry.
“The inconvenient truth is that we still fall well short of where we should be,” on the DEI front, said WFA CEO Stephan Locke. “Many people in marketing, both at brands and at agencies, are still having a poor lived experience in their workplaces. Most of the issues are global and therefore we call upon all multinational organizations to implement real change across all the markets where they operate.”
Looking ahead, WFA is planning a second wave of research on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (in partnership with others) in 2023.
A copy of the Charter can be downloaded here.