Since our founding, Collectively has aimed to bring greater diversity to advertising, but hasn’t always been explicit about what that means or what accountability looks like.
In May of 2019, we formed a Diversity Council that has served as both a forum for employees of color and an action committee. In collaboration with Collectively leadership, this council helped support and plan experiences for our employees and led to an internal mandate to present at least 40% influencers of color to our clients for approval.
But, as the past month's events have shown us, the work we've done is only the beginning. Being a genuinely anti-racist organization will take a comprehensive, inclusive, and action-oriented approach.
We've spent the past month listening, analyzing, and talking with our team about what's next. From that work, we've developed an action plan that begins now. We recognize this is merely a start, and that the task requires constant attention and ongoing evolution.
Developed in partnership with Collectively leadership and our Diversity Council and presented to our entire staff on June 24th, our plan outlines three key tenets:
As a next step, we're forming groups that will lead action across these areas of focus, and we're also investing in education and guidance from outside experts.
While we believe the work we're doing will evolve and manifest in the coming weeks, months, and years, we've taken immediate short term actions in the past month. These efforts have included:
- Donating $100 per employee to the anti-racist organization of their choice
- Engaging our influencer partners and community members in conversations about racism and representation (this offer still stands, please email us if you’d like to talk)
- Celebrating Juneteenth with a paid day off, educational resources, and company-wide discussion and activities.
- Developing an employee resource library, with specific materials related to our industry and influencer marketing
- Working with our clients to pause content, increase representation in their programs, and engage the BIPOC influencer community in more meaningful and long term ways
- Launching our Creator Portal, which allows our influencer community to self-identify their race & ethnicity. With this data, we'll be able to ensure better representation and pay equity. In the coming weeks, we will update this blog post to include an analysis of representation across our campaigns, as well as an analysis of pay across ethnic groups.
We've also analyzed representation within our staff. Our team is:
A full breakout of this data by role level and gender is below.
The most glaring issue with diversity within our organization is clearly at the leadership level, where 100% of Directors & Executives in our organization are white. This reality is unacceptable and not aligned with our commitment to being anti-racist. We'll be working on strategies to address this issue and report on our progress in our next accountability update on or before September 30th, 2020.
As an organization, we have a lot of work to do. We're thankful to our community and staff for helping hold us accountable, and we're committed to change.