For Meaningful Inclusion, Ad Leaders Must Address Power Disparities

What many tout as diversity ends up looking more like tokenism

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Within the advertising and marketing spaces, diversity attracts increasing attention. In fact, when there are practices that negatively impact people from underrepresented backgrounds, the calls for adding “diversity” become amplified. But we can’t consider issues of representation without exploring power imbalances.

According to a November 2021 report, marketing is more ethnically diverse than ever at 30.8% in the United States. It would seem, then, that voices from historically underrepresented groups would be heard more clearly. But in many cases, it appears these voices remain muted, as seemingly every week we see companies creating ads relying on painful tropes or exclusionary of myriad people.

As such, we must address diversity in the context of power-sharing.



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