"You cannot have diverse skill sets and outputs without inclusion," said Sophie Kelly, senior vice president of marketing for Diageo whiskey brands in North America.
This was the resounding belief from panelists at Campaign US’ annual Inclusive and Creative Top 20 in New York City on Wednesday night.
Kelly; Madonna Badger, CCO and founder of Badger & Winters; and Jackson Jeyanayagam, CMO at Boxed Wholesale, spoke about what companies are doing right when it comes to diversity and where they need improvement.
"The more diverse a corporation is, the higher the profits," argued Badger.
While the panelists had differing views on how marketers and agencies should achieve true equality -- filling quotas versus hiring the best talent regardless of gender or race -- they agreed that companies need to take real, honest looks at their internal teams and the creative they’re putting out into the world.
Kelly touched on how Diaego is getting the number of women and people of color up at the company and in its creative, while remaining genuine in its intent. Jeyanayagam talked about how Boxed helps its employees - especially factory workers with lower incomes - pay for their weddings and their children’s college tuitions. And Badger spoke about #WomenNotObjects - the initiative that shook the industry and the world by looking at - and trying to end - how women are objectified in ads.
Campaign US' I&C event honors 20 of the top brands and agencies which are leading the charge in cultural transformation.
The work challenges social norms by addressing issues such as racism and gender inequality in an unforgivingly bold fashion.
Every single submission received this year is having a profound impact on the community it's promoting and truly represents modern culture.