Like many companies, agencies were caught flat-footed by the unrest spreading across the country. Most fell back on messages of support — some opted to give employees a day off for reflection — but the stark reality remains that agencies, despite years of talk of the importance of diversity, are not very diverse or inclusive places for many.
In recent years, agencies in particular have spoken regularly about the need to make diversity and inclusion a priority, to the point where the words “diversity” and “inclusion” became yet another set of buzzwords, according to agency executives. Programs were created to help a supposed “pipeline” problem that one media buyer told me this week was never really the case: “Everyone still says there’s a [talent] pipeline problem. There aren’t pipeline problems. It’s just that there are still a lot of white people who don’t want to hire a person of color who would quite frankly kick their ass and do a lot better at the job.
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