BLM response: FCB Inferno

20% of permanent staff are BAME. 5% are black.

BLM response: FCB Inferno

New initiatives

In July, our leadership outlined a comprehensive global anti-racism plan that touches all aspects of our business. The aim with the plan is for universal cultural competence with a shared responsibility to make this the new norm. It includes detailed actions on three fronts: workforce, workplace and the creative work. 

For workforce, the plan covers all levels – including leadership – and ensures that the leadership adopts innovative ways to foster and retain talent. With the workplace, the plan seeks to create a healthy and vibrant environment that is inclusive, engaged and actively roots out bias and oppression in any form. For work, the aim is for culturally competent work and solutions that serve our overarching goals tied to tracked KPIs. 

Changing suppliers like stock image providers, building new affiliations/partnerships, blind CV screening, rigorous job spec and promotion process reviews are all actions included in this plan that once fully implemented will change our whole business approach. 

In the immediate aftermath of the George Floyd tragedy, we took part in Black Out Tuesday and directed our employees to use it to better inform and educate themselves, and participate in the movement in their own way. As an agency we made donations to the following organisations: Black Lives Matter, Stand Up To Racism, Campaign Zero, Equal Justice Initiative and The Bail Project. We also run global listening sessions for our black employees, and another session for all employees to discuss our feelings in a safe environment.

Existing initiatives

We have several initiatives that are tailored for our London office. 

We were at 13% [in terms of staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds] in 2019, and we had an ambition to increase this to 15% for 2020, but we have exceeded this [current figure is 20%]. Our long-term goal is to be representative of the city in which we reside (40%) and our next checkpoint is 2022 when we should have reached (or exceeded) 30%.

We have bespoke training courses available for everyone across all departments. These courses (which we have been running for the past three years) are a non-judgmental, brain-based approach to acknowledge unconscious bias and what actions can be taken to disrupt bias when it creates damaging patterns in our business. They cover topics such as: how we hire and promote; the agency culture we create; our relationship with clients; and the creative quality of our work.

We have specific training for the leadership team, which includes a Hacking Inclusion workshop designed to help leaders best understand the inclusion challenges faced by minority groups and how they can represent a barrier to diversity. The workshop explores the value of inclusion, what the biggest barriers are to an inclusive workplace and shows how small changes in behaviour can make a big difference

Intentional Inclusion is our implicit bias training. This was first introduced in 2015, and, over the past five years, 68% of the agency has now completed the course. Our goal is to reach 90% completion.

We have a suite of training that we frame under the Intentional Inclusion banner, each workshop has a different focus and targeted content. All are designed to be highly interactive and to promote both reflection/learning and skill development.

We believe lack of diversity needs to be tackled from the ground up and at every level. This is why we choose to work with education, community and industry organisations, lending our time as well as money.   

That has included the rebrand and early stages of a larger project planned with Arts Emergency, a mentoring charity that focuses on helping marginalised young people most affected by rising tuition fees and cuts to the arts. 

We have also continued to encourage employees to give back by volunteering as career coaches with Future Frontiers, an award-winning charity that helps and supports children in schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in London. This programme will run again next summer, and we will be looking to double the number of staff taking part.

Advocacy Academy is a transformational social-justice, youth-organising movement for young people from London who are passionate about creating a more fair, just and equal society. FCB Inferno supported it by developing its brand identity pro bono, which was rolled out in January 2020 with more to come.

BAME pay gap

We are working with FCB globally on how best to collect and share this data moving forwards.

Return to main feature page

Topics