Creatives share email template challenging CEOs on diversity disparity

Initiative claims 'statement of solidarity is not enough' from industry leaders.

Email Your Boss: initiative urges employees to take action
Email Your Boss: initiative urges employees to take action

Freelance creative duo Pip and Lib are urging employees to speak up about the impact of racism and white privilege in the workplace in light of the death of George Floyd.

In an attempt to improve representation across industries, the pair have created an email template that employees can use to contact their chief executives to discuss what can be done to support staff.

Deeming current efforts towards diversity "not enough", the template declares: "As an employee I am writing to demand for us to make an active change, and ensure that black and POC [people of colour] employees who currently work with me feel that they are working for a company who is invested in their well-being."

The template also includes a list of points that chief executives should consider when approaching diversity, including providing time off and therapy for black, Asian and minority-ethnic employees, donating regularly to black community projects and encouraging staff (especially whiite board members) to educate themselves on issues surrounding privilege.

"Together, we can change the future. A statement of solidarity is not enough," the email concludes.

The template is accompanied by a pair of social assets that encourage viewers to "email your boss". It was written by Lib and art directed by Pip. 

Pip and Lib: initiative says

"We wrote 'Email your boss' because too many companies and industries talk about racism from such a passive place," Pip and Lib told Campaign.

"In 2020, we shouldn’t accept just words, statements or apologies any more. We need action."

While the duo – who have created work for Instagram, Puma and Budweiser – recognise that a lot of companies have shared statements or posted black squares on their social media platforms to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter, they maintain that it is important for staff to hold their employers accountable, claiming: "Performative allyship will not be accepted any more."

They added: "As female junior employees, our own role and white privilege got in the way; we felt we had no voice. And subsequently said nothing. We realise now that you can educate yourself all you want, but saying nothing achieves nothing."

Last Wednesday (3 June), UK advertising and media leaders issued an open letter calling on the industry to address inequality and take action against racism. 

The letter referred to IPA census data that found the percentage of BAME C-suite executives had decreased year on year to 4.7% in 2019 from 5.5% 2018.

People from BAME backgrounds also made up a slightly smaller proportion of the overall workforce, dropping 0.1 percentage point to 13.7% last year.

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