Diversity Achievement Awards
Diversity and inclusion is fundamental to Procter & Gamble’s business strategy. “As a company, diversity is vitally important and we consider it a competitive advantage. It’s part of our DNA in all we do,” says Linda Clement-Holmes, chief diversity officer, global business services. “I think there is a striking connection between our internal diversity efforts for our employees and our external outreach to our consumers. The principle and approach is the same…to foster a culture of inclusion so that everyone is valued and included.”
Jodi Allen, vice president of U.S. operations and North American marketing for P&G, cites two recent U.S. examples as hallmarks of the company’s diversity outreach: Orgullosa, a bilingual online initiative that celebrates Latina women, and My Black Is Beautiful, which encourages African-American women to define and promote their own beauty standard. “It is through the lens of diversity that we can meet the needs of our multicultural consumers,” Allen says.
Since becoming president and CEO of BBDO’s flagship New York office, John B. Osborn has made diversity and inclusion a cornerstone of his management philosophy. Under his leadership, the percentage of multicultural employees at the officer and manager level has doubled, and 30 percent of the agency as a whole is now multicultural. His involvement doesn’t stop there. Osborn is chairman of the board for the Center for Excellence in Advertising at Howard University.
Industry Career Achiever
Long acknowledged as one of the leading women executives in the ad industry, Mary Baglivo, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York and chair of the Americas region, is responsible for the largest agency within the global Saatchi network, while also running its Latin American and Canadian regions. In addition to her work with powerhouse brands such as Procter & Gamble, JCPenney, and MillerCoors, Baglivo oversees a diverse set of agencies including Conill in Miami serving Hispanic audiences, and Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi in Buenos Aires.
Michele Thornton, senior director of multicultural sales at CNN, spearheads the CNN Advantage business group. That internal sales team, formed in 2008, connects advertisers that want to reach diverse audiences with the relevant CNN content. Thornton also sits on CNN’s Diversity Council and chairs the AAF’s Mosaic Council Executive Committee.
“Our goal is to impact the industry and create a business environment in which the bottom line value of diversity is reflected within our hallways and across our business units,” says Josie Thomas, SVP and chief diversity officer of CBS. She has created a number of distinctive programs for CBS, including several that operate as part of the CBS Diversity Institute, which helps with professional relationship building and career development both in front of and behind the camera. For example, the Writers Mentoring
Program, a six-month program for diverse writers, has graduated 50 emerging writers and launched 25 careers.
Winning the educator award closes a career circle for FeliciaGeiger, VP, director of diversity and inclusion at Deutsch; she began her career in education working with autistic and emotionally handicapped children. “Our youth is the lifeblood of our industry and I am fortunate to be able to work with the students that are selected for the Most Promising Minority Students Program as well as with students at the High School for Innovation in Advertising,” says Geiger. “Teaching is my passion, and helping students from all walks of life thrive and grow is one of the most rewarding things for me.”
Three organizations are being honored as pioneers of diversity: Allstate, BET and the Torch Program. Auto insurer Allstate has “inclusive diversity” as one of its core values for its 32,000 employees and 13,000 agency owners. BET Networks, the groundbreaking provider of entertainment content for African Americans and consumers of black culture worldwide, now reaches more than 90 million households. Torch (Together Our Resources Can Help) provides New York City public high school students with career training and opportunities in communications and the arts.