Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide has always placed a strong focus on workplace equality, and those efforts are paying off again, as it received a perfect score for the third year in a row on the Corporate Equality Index. The study, conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, measures LGBT-inclusive policies at Fortune 500 companies.
Ogilvy, which was named Adweek's Global Agency of the Year for 2016, ramped up its diversity efforts in 2007, when Donna Pedro, the agency's chief diversity officer, came on board.
"I didn't want our diversity strategy to be a check-the-box program," Pedro said. "[CEO] John [Seifert] is a real partner in building an inclusive work environment, and the LGBT community is part of that inclusiveness."
Ogilvy has professional networks, each sponsored by an agency executive, including one for the LGBT community called Ogilvy Pride, which create policies and programs to support each group. The agency also has led initiatives to support same-sex marriage and holds unconscious bias training for all employees and leadership executives.
"We were a pioneer and one of the earliest agencies in our industry to support marriage equality as a business imperative," said Joe Panetta, chief ethics officer at Ogilvy & Mather. "It is the right thing to do for our employees, clients and brands they represent."
Going in to 2017, Ogilvy will expand its diversity initiatives globally, promoting gender equality strategies for India, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
"The business case for diversity is very clear," Pedro said. "When we have diversity of thought, based on our perspectives and experiences, it drives great work, and it's a recipe for success."
Other agencies that received a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index include IPG, Edelman, Leo Burnett, DigitasLBi, MSLGROUP, Publicis Healthcare, Publicis Inc., Razorfish, Starcom and Sapient.