BLM response: Omnicom Media Group

Of the agency's permanent staff, 5% are black, 8% Asian and 6% other ethnic minorities. The response covers PHD, OMD, MG OMD, Hearts & Science, Drum, Fuse and the group's specialist services.

BLM response: Omnicom Media Group

The agency has combined its answers on new and existing initiatives

We knew we had a business full of people who desperately wanted to get things right, so we spent a lot of time talking and listening to the many colleagues directly affected by racism and issues with inclusivity, and in particular those affected by the BLM movement.

At the same time we reviewed our census results from 2019 and the various diversity and inclusion structures, processes and initiatives that already existed across the agencies, centrally and globally across Omnicom so that we had a comprehensive view on where we needed to go next to develop an infrastructure across the business that would support inclusivity as a tangible reality.

We also recognised that while there are systemic and structural issues externally which cannot be corrected by us alone, we should be the drivers of change, working on ourselves internally and then role modelling for others. For this to happen it was crucial that we put the right structures in place to combine the distinctive work and energy in each of our agencies with a more accountable, connected, collaborative approach across the group so that we could accelerate this change together.

Together, Omnicom Media Group UK (PHD, OMD, MG OMD, Hearts & Science, Drum, Fuse and our specialist services) is committed to providing a fully inclusive workplace, where everyone is able to bring their true selves to work, diverse voices and minority communities are valued, heard and well represented, and where everyone is able to thrive in a culture of equality, inclusion and fairness.

Here are some initiatives and areas that we have developed so far on our journey towards achieving this commitment: 

  1. Establishing a new organisational structure around D&I 

To drive long term and sustained change, we wanted to reset our organisational approach to D&I that used talent from across the whole of OMG in a collaborative format, with personal responsibility and involvement from the most senior leaders in our business. 

OMG Diversity and Inclusion steering group

The D&I steering group, chaired by the OMG CEO Dan Clays is responsible for ensuring we deliver against our stated ambition for diversity and inclusion, targets, timeline and the implementation of our diversity and inclusion programmes across the group. The steering group combines agency leadership and those who are actively involved in driving diversity and inclusion across the eight key areas of focus for our business. The actions and progress of this group are now reported and reviewed by the OMG Board. 

Cross agency diversity and inclusion advisory teams

We have developed eight advisory teams (OMG Multicultural, OMG Women, OMG Minds, OMG LGBTQ+, OMG Disability, OMG Socio Economic, OMG Working Parents and Carers and OMG Age) with 80  representatives from across the group working collaboratively to develop leading initiatives and programmes of inclusivity, support and belonging for the business to adopt, either at a group-wide level or for agencies to deliver through their own diversity and Inclusion programmes.

The OMG multicultural advisory team has already had over 70 people sign up to become part of a multicultural community network and they are currently exploring how best to develop micro communities within this group. 

  1. Re-setting our targets with a focus on representation, retention, recruitment, development: 

Omnicom conducted a group-wide census in 2019 which identified 8 areas of focus for diversity and inclusion. Racial equality and ethnic diversity were one of the eight areas of focus. 

We have since undertaken a rigorous approach to target setting.  "Diversity and Inclusion" is a business critical KPI and the whole business is in the process of setting stretching representation targets for BAME colleagues as a percentage of our total workforce by the end of 2022.

These targets will be broken down into black, Asian and other minority ethnic percentages across our apprentice, graduate, junior, mid-management, senior and leadership levels within the business. To aid this process we have undertaken a complete people audit across the business and created a toolkit to help each of the agencies develop their own ethnicity representation targets within a consistent format. This will allow us to publish overall OMG UK targets for the group and for the steering group to review agency progress every quarter.  

Jenny Healy, OMG UK's chief people officer is working closely with the agency leadership, the OMG steering group and the advisory teams to develop a robust recruitment, retention and development programme that will help us to achieve these targets.

  1. Everyone participating in education 


Like many others, we used the day to educate ourselves specifically around the Black Lives Matter movement. Omnicom gave colleagues the day to learn and reflect in whatever way they felt was appropriate to them on their journey of understanding. As a support to this, OMG UK hosted two group wide initiatives for our colleagues:

  • OMG Voices, a short film that included voices, thoughts and feelings from colleagues across the group and what they were personally doing going forward to inspire and encourage change.  

  • Unconscious bias session hosted by Femi Otitoju, founder of Challenge Consultancy. Femi held training session to highlight why unconscious bias is inherent in all of us, and how to recognise and deal with it both at work and in our personal lives.

Our agencies developed a wealth of materials and guides to support the education of their colleagues which we have since curated into Black Lives Matter educational portal for people to access in their own time.  

Looking ahead, involving everyone in an ongoing education programme to help drive inclusivity and become the best ally to their friends and colleagues is a priority. 

Reflecting real Britain in the work that we create

We want to make sure that we reflect real Britain in the work that we plan, buy and create on behalf of our clients. Our specialist ethnic division will be creating a targeted training programme to upskill our planners and buyers, and we will be reviewing our processes to ensure that the content we create and the talent we use is developed to reflect the communities that surround us. We will also review our supply partners, working to identify greater diversity wherever possible.   

  1. Listening and speaking up 

OMG Voices

We recognise the importance of continuously listening to our colleagues so that we can gauge sentiment and understand what our people believe needs to be done. OMG UK Voices, launched in August is an anonymous, quarterly survey designed to listen and track the sentiment of all our colleagues at OMG UK. It builds upon the census that we conducted in 2019 and is framed around the eight advisory groups so that we can use the results to help set targets, monitor progress and identify any potential new, emerging issues as they arise. Sharing the outcomes of the survey will be as important as participation, so all results will be available via the new OMG UK D&I portal currently being developed.  

A safe place to speak up

We have policies in place to report racism and discrimination in the workplace, but we are also aware that sometimes people don’t feel comfortable, have the safety, security or confidence to speak up so we have launched OMG Safe-Space, a platform where honest conversations, advice, ideas and solutions can be shared anonymously.      

BAME pay gap

We are undertaking a pay gap analysis in Q3. This will report on gender and ethnicity and we will publish the results once complete.

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