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TIME'S UP/ADVERTISING Minneapolis Event Recap

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On May 14, 2018, women from ad agencies across the Twin Cities gathered at Colle McVoy to show their support for the TIME’S UP/ADVERTISING movement. The event was part of the movement’s launch when community meetings took place in 15 cities across North America to begin drawing a roadmap for real change. Here is a recap of highlights and learnings from the TIME’S UP/ADVERTISING Minneapolis event.

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TIME'S UP/ADVERTISING Minneapolis Event Recap

  1. 1. Minneapolis Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
  2. 2. May 14, 2018 • Colle McVoy • Nearly 300 women • 40 agencies represented • 4 panel participants • 18 discussion groups • Two-phase meeting, including a panel and breakout sessions • Minneapolis drafted its own letter in support of the movement, signed by attendees Minneapolis
  3. 3. 3 Pillars for Panel Discussion & Breakout Sessions 1. 2. 3. Outdated and/or biased HR policies and procedures Lack of representation in our agencies Lack of open conversation, training and education Minneapolis
  5. 5. What We Wanted to Know Outdated and/or biased HR policies and procedures Lack of representation in our agencies Lack of open conversation, training and education • What HR policies does your agency need to fix? • What’s been working at your agency so far? • What does mentorship look like at your agency? • Are these problems of recruitment? Retention? • How do we fight fatigue for underrepresented groups? • It’s easy to spot blatant offenses, but how do we address them? • How do we recognize the fear men have of women speaking up, and use it as a teaching opportunity? • How are women treated and viewed in other areas of the country? Part one of the day involved a panel discussion. Four women shared their thoughts and experiences related to company policies, solutions for issues surrounding diversity in the industry and opportunities for education, training and open conversation. The audience was quiet but thoughtful while listening to the speakers. Minneapolis
  6. 6. What We Heard Bringing in diverse groups starts with leadership Invite the “good guys” into the conversation, and set the standard with them Let me define what powerful looks like in my future • Women recognized that our community does a poor job of hiring women of color. • We are comfortable with people who look like us and have similar backgrounds. We need to bring in leaders who reflect people of all backgrounds. • We need to bring men into the conversation. Many want to be advocates, but don’t understand the issues. • Retaining good men and holding them up as the standard is critical for change. • Hold men accountable for being one of the “good guys,” and make it clear what that means. • Women are powerful in ways different from men. Change involves shaping a new world order. We need to recognize that traits like empathy are powerful. • We need to actively listen to women, especially young women, to understand what needs to change. What does change look like for young talent? Panel members and attendees noted the need for leadership to reflect the diversity we want to create in the industry, particularly related to women of color. The need to bring men into the conversation was a common theme. There was also a recognition that young voices in the industry matter when defining its future, so actively listening to them is key. Minneapolis
  8. 8. What We Wanted to Know Part two of the day involved breakout sessions. Eighteen groups of women discussed their takeaways from the panel, their own experiences in the industry and solutions to the issues we’re facing in advertising today. Points that stood out and hit home from the panel HR policies and company culture in and out of advertising Mentorship programs and internal education • Were there points that resonated or surprised you? • Are there solutions that came to mind that can be applied now? • What specific HR policies need to change? • What are some examples of companies doing it right? • How can we bring in diverse groups and foster growth? • How can we create educational opportunities and training around diversity, inclusion and awareness? Minneapolis
  9. 9. What We Heard Groups were passionate about the need for day-to-day actions to reflect the changes we want to see. Women talked about the need for advocates within their agencies, agency values overall and the implementation of more mentorship opportunities for women at all levels. Show me that you have my back It’s not just about HR; show me what my agency stands for and believes • Policies are important, but day-to-day values and behaviors mean more. • Structure agency core values around inclusion and integrity. • Actively coach employees on recognizing signs of harassment and give them opportunities to come forward. Connect me with women who can raise me up • Women feel isolated. Both inside and outside of mentorship programs, women need exposure to other women they feel comfortable talking to. • Make the agency a safe space for women to have “tough conversations.” • “Minnesota nice” has real implications. There is a need to teach women how to stand up for themselves. • Leadership has a responsibility to advocate for women with a story. People want to be unafraid to speak up, knowing that they will be supported. • Even if it puts the bottom line at risk, show that the agency advocates for women, even in client-facing situations. • There is a need for women to support other women at a peer level Minneapolis
  10. 10. When talking about diversity, women recognized the role of unconscious bias, even in themselves. Our own biases have prevented us from seeking out and fostering talent from different backgrounds. Groups also discussed the policies that have been set for women taking maternity leave, and the need for transparency around salary. What We Heard Recognize unconscious biases that exist in my workplace Fish where the fish are, not just where we are • We need help recognizing what we’ve come to view as “normal” behavior. Workshops and open conversations were provided as potential solutions. • We need to implement unconscious bias training opportunities within the agency for men and women. Help me see my equal value, as a parent and an asset • We need to recognize barriers to entry that exist within our industry and work to hire beyond “friends of friends.” • There are opportunities to invite diverse groups into the agency community, especially young talent. Supporting organizations like BrandLab (local) is a must. • Clients like Adobe and General Mills have great parental leave policies. They are good examples of how it should be. • There needs to be more transparency around salary. Women don’t know how much we should be paid and are afraid to ask. Minneapolis
  11. 11. Learnings for the Next Session • Be clear about who is invited in our communications, but do not turn anyone away (men, in particular). • Hold the meeting in a larger, more public venue. • We stayed as close to the TU/A event flow as possible, but in the future we’ll consider our community’s individual needs. There was lots of confusion about how the NYC feed should be used. We did not have enough time for local activation. • Allow more time for women to discuss personal stories and share with each other. The small groups were effective for open communication. • We will keep the discussion more targeted to a specific topic (rather than three) so people can provide clear feedback. • We need to consider accountability/measurement/tracking progress. • We should think about how we can partner with other local organizations. Minneapolis
  12. 12. Action Items for Minneapolis Market • Receive overall survey information from TU/A national, as well as specific survey results for Minneapolis to inform our next steps/areas of focus. • Based on this feedback, define the key issues that women in our market said need to be addressed first. • Partner with local organizations (i.e. Mpls MadWomen, 4A’s, AdFed) who can help execute on our mission. • Host a follow-up community meeting this summer to: - Share out launch event and survey feedback - Present the issues we will address first and how - Request nominations to build a local steering committee made up of people from across the local ad industry - Determine how best to identify and bring “manbassadors” (men how have demonstrated commitment to our mission) in to the discussion and action plan Minneapolis
  13. 13. Breakout Session Questions 1. What were some of the most interesting and eye-opening points that resonated with you today? 2. Was there anything from the discussion that sparked an idea or potential solution to help us overcome? 3. In your opinion, what are the most outdated/biased HR policies and procedures our industry is facing? 4. How might we overcome such policies? 5. Have you seen other companies or industries make progress in this area? If so, who? How? 6. As we think about the need to mentor people representing diversity, what might an ideal program look like? Have you been involved in any programs that could be replicated? 7. As you look back on your career, can you think of a training or education session (on any topic) that was memorable? Why? How might we apply those lessons to a new kind of education or training around the lack of diversity and inclusive culture? 8. Any interesting ideas on how the Minneapolis advertising community could come together to raise awareness and implement solutions? Minneapolis