The Black Lives Matter movement has shone a spotlight on the institutional racism within our society and as a business; we must face into this reality in order to build a truly inclusive workplace. We acknowledge that there is much work to be done in order for us to attract a diverse workforce and create an environment where our people feel they belong. To do this, we must address many aspects of our business and renew the way we do things in order for us to make real change. Since the BLM movement we’ve focused on four key areas of progress:
- Global Inclusion Council and UK Inclusion Steering Group: As a first step, we have created a Global Inclusion Council made up of colleagues from across our network who will work to create a true culture of belonging where differences are celebrated and the diversity of our people is reflected. We are also recruiting a global chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer who will spearhead our approach at this level. In the UK, the introduction of our Inclusion Steering Group, chaired by our UK chief executive, Pip Hulbert, will ensure the delivery of our action plan and hold the business to account on our progress. We will focus on two workstreams addressing the experiences of our people and the way we do business and inspire growth for our clients.
Allyship handbook: We know that education is key, and we’ve created training modules, a bank of resources and an Allyship Handbook for all our people to broaden their understanding and take practical steps against racism. Our whole agency has completed a new mandatory ethics training and we’ll continue to add to anti-racism content into our learning and development programmes.
Sponsorship programme: We are aware that there is a lack of ethnic diversity at the most senior level of our business which we are addressing to ensure we build a sustainable, inclusive workforce. In September 2020 we will launch our sponsorship programme, pairing talent with senior leaders in an action-based, outcome-focused programme to achieve tangible progression, with black colleagues given priority. We know that change takes time, but this is one way in which we ultimately, aim to achieve a more balanced representation across the business.
Applicant Tracking System recruitment process: We recognise our workforce is not diverse enough and that we must adopt new recruitment measures to change this. We are reviewing the talent acquisition process to understand where we can interrupt bias, increase objectivity and attract more diverse talent to our business. We have brought on a new ATS which standardises our interview process and has introduced a scoring system. These measures ensure each candidate has an equal experience throughout the recruitment process, so selection is based purely on a candidate's demonstrated skill within a role, rather than perceived culture fit. Next up, we’ll be monitoring the demographic data of all our new joiners, introducing minimum requirements for shortlists and rolling out training for all our hiring managers.
We know that representation is important, and we’ve introduced new guidelines for our global communications teams alongside a more inclusive image library and style guide. We’re building a bank of resources which help us to be more inclusive in everything we do – for example, ensuring diversity is represented at our events and through partnerships.
We are mindful that there is still much work to do, but we are committed to ensuring Wunderman Thompson UK becomes a more diverse, inclusive and representative organisation.
In 2019, we brought our first inclusion and diversity Lead into the agency to help set our I&D strategy and accelerate our progress. We collected demographic data and employee feedback through our engagement survey to understand the needs of our employees and specifically, the disparity of experience between demographic groups. Our strategy sets out interventions to create an inclusive business in three key areas - our people, our clients and our communities.
In 2019 we also launched WT Roots – our business resource group whose aim is to champion greater cultural and ethnic diversity in our business and across the industry. Over 10% of our agency is now involved in Roots who are focussing on four key workstreams in 2020 - better understanding data relating to I&D; improving authentic representation of ethnic diversity in our work; supporting the business to improve policies and processes and evolving our cultural intelligence through resources, education and events. We acknowledge that we have not yet done enough to achieve racial equality and are committed to continual improvement on this front.
BAME pay gap
In the past, there has not been a consistent process for collecting ethnicity data across the agencies. This is what we are focusing on now – aligning everyone around a singular approach. We have committed to publishing the data for Wunderman Thompson UK and will do so as soon as we are able to.