Disrupting the Talent Model to Fix Advertising’s Diversity Problem
It’s been a few weeks since the We Are Rosie crew attended the Advertising Week Conference in New York, where the entire industry convened to share the latest innovations in creativity and marketing. This year, we noticed and increase of panels and conversations focused on an industry pain point – how the advertising world can better create a more diverse, more inclusive workplace. Even outside the panels, we saw small group conversations online and IRL afterward where we heard a frequently shared sentiment – It’s important to talk about this issue, but when will we see the industry act on it?
We came back from the conference thinking about our own distinctive place and responsibility in the industry as instigators of inclusive working. We Are Rosie was built with the core mission of providing access to dignified work anyone who has felt underrepresented, underestimated, or otherwise pushed out of advertising, and it’s been a refreshing success to date. Our incredible community of 2,300+ media and marketing independent consultants is inclusive of all identities; we pride ourselves on connecting overlooked and marginalized groups with brands and agencies seeking a new approach to finding diverse top-tier talent.
It’s been a privilege to curate unexpected teams for our clients over the last two years, and we’ve witnessed incredible value from using the flexible talent approach. When we work with brands and agencies who embrace the concept of including freelance marketing experts to their projects, they not only open themselves up to a more modern way to get the work done well, but they also get to experience a variety of new perspectives that compliment full time staff. This is the mindset shift enabling new ways of working as the foundation of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.
We see how intentional flexible talent models open up the possibilities to different views, ideas and output. We see how the burden of operational changes can be prototyped through hiring freelance experts. And we also see both talent and marketing teams thrive when there is less of a barrier to access by working with our team.
Sure, organizational transformation can seem daunting – and we acknowledge it starts from the top down – but the other side of systemic change for good is a workplace that invites the growing community of independent marketing consultants as a path to more possibilities, more ideas and more voices – powered by people of all backgrounds. If the last two years working with industry leaders has proven anything, it’s that there’s a strong appetite for testing the status quo to stay competitive and find innovative ways to work, including a flexible & agile approach to building diverse teams.
As we dream big and build the future of work, we hope the conversations at next year’s industry conferences include embracing the incredibly diverse and growing community of independent consultants as a fresh approach to building an equitable, inclusive and diverse industry.