The ad industry has a problem with diversity (you may have noticed this already) and Havas has now joined the ranks of London (and global) agencies in appointing what it calls a “diversity lead.” Is lead as important as director?
Anyway Sharon Annafi (above) from Business in the Community has won the job and a place on Havas’ diversity, equity and inclusion committee which reports to UK group chief people officer Ewen MacPherson and CEO Chris Hirst.
Annafi says: “I believe businesses play a fundamental role in shaping society. I don’t just want Havas to be the most inclusive organisation in the industry, but for us to drive the sector forward as a whole. Through the reach and agenda-shaping nature of its work, this industry has almost unparalleled cultural influence – and it’s important we use that influence as positively as we can.”
Indeed it is but agencies (along with other media companies) need to walk to walk by hiring more people from ethnic minorities. They certainly need to be creative about it, overlooking (perhaps) lesser educational qualifications than their often privately-educated white staff members boast.
Agency hiring should be on the up as the ad economy recovers. It would be interesting to hear where their recruits are coming form.