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IAA assembles diversity council with aim of 50% staff from diverse backgrounds


By Hannah Bowler | Journalist

November 23, 2021 | 3 min read

The International Advertising Association (IAA) has set up a Diversity Council and set an ambitious target to employ half of its staff from diverse backgrounds by 2024.

International Advertising Association launches the DE&I ‘Come One, Come All’ campaign

The IAA has launched the DE&I ‘Come One, Come All’ campaign

The IAA, supported by its members including Facebook, TikTok, Google and Nielsen, has launched the ‘Come One, Come All’ campaign to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ad industry.

Its newly-assembled Diversity Council will oversee the promotion and implementation of new and future DE&I policies. The council is made up of corporate IAA members nominated by council chair Sheba Nandkeolyar, chief exec of Australian-based MultiConnexions.

The IAA said the council will be a “tool to ignite change internally and to advocate for greater diversity to their membership globally.”

One of IAA’s KPIs is to have 50% of its workforce from diverse social, economic and geographic backgrounds within three years.

Bringing new talent into the industry is a core part of the campaign. The IAA’s managing director Dagmara Szulce said the campaign is “a way for us to reach out to people from different backgrounds, cultures and life experiences who might be interested in starting a career in advertising.”

Other KPIs include scheduling workshops, training and webinars for employers; undertaking research and debates that are specific to an individual territory; and sharing best practices.

The IAA’s first African president and chair Joel Nettey said: “Companies should embrace DE&I as a strategic tool and try to harness its potential to further their growth strategies. Once you see DE&I as an opportunity, then it becomes less of a challenge and more of a strategic asset that has to be developed and nurtured.”

As part of the campaign, the IAA will spotlight a number of diverse staffers at its member companies.

A networking app has also been set up to connect the 4,000 members of the IAA, pitched as a space for members to exchange inclusion ideas and collaborate on initiatives.

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