Droga5 has promoted Tiffany Edwards to global head of diversity and inclusion.
She previously served as the agency’s engagement and inclusion director. Edwards first joined Droga5 in 2016 as its first DEI leader. Upon joining, Edwards said she mapped out a “five-year journey” to guide the agency’s DEI strategy.
“The role has kind of grown as I have grown,” she said. According to Edwards, her new role will be more client-facing.
“A lot of brands, at this moment in time especially, are exploring what their place is in the conversation around race and DEI,” she said. “I’m joining those conversations to really help them go deeper and make sure that they’re not doing anything performative.”
Essentially, she’s helping brands ensure their external marketing efforts align with the commitments they’re making internally. “I’m there to bridge that gap and make those connections,” she explained. Droga5’s clients include The New York Times, Facebook and Red Wing Shoes.
Edwards will continue to report to chief operating officer Susie Nam. When she first joined Droga5, Edwards said the DEI practice sat within HR, but she “made the case” a few years ago to make it a central part of the agency.
Droga5 has not publicly shared its workforce diversity data, but Edwards said the agency, which is owned by Accenture, has made it a goal to release those figures before the end of the year.
“We are actively working towards sharing those numbers; we just have to work out some different process things to make sure everything is as accurate as possible,” she said. “I am proud to say that as of today, as a result of all the work that we’ve done together over the past four and a half years, Droga5 is the most diverse it’s been. We’re becoming even more diverse.”
Dozens of agencies, including Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, R/GA and The Martin Agency have released their workforce diversity data in recent months in a bid to be more transparent. Many have done so as a result of #CommitToChange, an initiative started by advocacy group 600 & Rising that asks agencies to publicly share their internal diversity stats.
Since joining Droga5 in 2016, Edwards has helped establish a diversity and inclusion task force, affinity groups across the agency and the D5in10 Academy, a free course for creative individuals from diverse backgrounds who haven’t attended portfolio school. She’s also helped secure a training partnership with Glenn Singleton, author of Courageous Conversations About Race.
Edwards said the groundwork she’s laid at the agency over the past four and a half years has made Droga5 “properly equipped to have the conversations that we needed to have” following the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“We’d already begun the work together and the protocol on how to discuss race and the difficulties that can come with being diverse in this country,” she said.
“I love this industry. I love the power of creativity,” she said. “That’s why, 15 years into my career, I’m still here and still doing this work. I do believe if we get this right, this industry has so much potential.”