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In September, HP sent a letter to its agencies asking for a detailed plan on how each would up its diversity quotient within 12 months. A month earlier, General Mills had mandated its agencies to have at least 50 percent women and 20 percent people of color working on its accounts. Other marketers such as Verizon have followed suit, and now agencies are scrambling to find a solution.
Some have turned to a practice already used by technology companies like Google: blind hiring, which seeks to remove any identifying factors—name, gender, ethnicity and even education—from the initial round of interviews.