Are we there yet? PMG's Carly Carson says 'the tides will turn'

Every week, we ask industry insiders across all job levels and titles to share personal stories about equality, diversity and inclusion in adland. We know we're not there yet, but we want to document the highs and lows as the industry slowly transforms for the better.

Carly Carson
Account supervisor

Tell us about one thing that’s happened recently that leads you to believe there’s still a problem.  

I see young women instinctively sit at the back of a conference room rather than taking a seat at the table almost daily. It is going to take years to push the boundaries and continue to ask for more -- but hopefully by opening up the conversation, the tides will start to turn.

There's news released every single day that brings light to the fact that diversity and equality are still a major problem within the industry. Whether it's a clearly tone deaf advertisement, reports of sexual harassment, or a clear lack of representation from minority groups within advertising and tech spaces -- the examples are endless.

How about something that proves we’re making progress?

Creative work and diverse talent is being noticed and rewarded. There are more and more diverse judges at major industry award shows, more females in the C-Suite than ever before, and the general population is helping to act as a watchdog, which continues to demand more from companies.

Examples of progress are not just coming from inside the four walls of the advertising industry. Frances McDormand’s call to arms to employ Inclusion Riders in contracts during her Oscars speech and powerhouse works like Childish Gambino’s "This is America" music video are helping to raise the bar -- showcasing that diverse talent can create change.

What else needs to be done to get there?

We need to continue the conversation - we still have a long way to go to ensure that diversity and equality are just table stakes.

At PMG, we started WeCollective an internal organization focused around building a diverse culture. We work to raise awareness of issues like unconscious bias, coach and mentor, and ensure that our agency is taking the right steps to building a culture that values diversity at all levels. WeCollective has helped give voices to those who may have been underrepresented, and has helped create agency policies are inclusive.

Our hope is that more and more agencies take similar steps -- to proactively listen to the opinions of people of color, to women, to the LGBTQ community and continue to embrace change -- both through the work, and agency policy.

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