Havas Releases US Diversity Workforce Data as Part of Plan to Combat Racism

It’s the latest holding company to divulge this information

Havas logo over image of different hands
Following in footsteps of IPG, Dentsu Aegis Network and Publicis, Havas has shared its diversity data in the U.S. Havas, Pixabay
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Havas has released the makeup of its U.S. workforce, the latest holding company to do, in a bid to be more transparent about how diverse it is.

According to the data, 2.67% of employees who hold executive or director roles at Havas are Black, 8.24% are Hispanic or Latino and 5.79% are Asian.

Across the entire organization in the U.S., 6.11% of employees are Black, 10.8% are Hispanic or Latino and 9.66% are Asian. Roughly 7% of employees did not partake in the survey.

Havas

Havas said “goal-setting” within each agency will occur to ensure these numbers improve. Agencies will be asked to report progress to Patti Clarke, global chief talent officer of Havas, and its North American diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) committee.

In addition to sharing the data, Havas—which owns agencies including Arnold and Camp + King in the U.S., as well as eponymous shops in Chicago and New York—has outlined six other steps it plans to take in order to become more diverse and inclusive.

“We’ve assessed our business from end-to-end and have produced what we feel is a comprehensive U.S. action plan that will optimize our chances of making real change in how BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] employees gain access and opportunity in our organization and how they experience our business overall,” a Havas spokesperson said. “Like many, we have our work cut out for us, but we share this plan openly with the ambition that we can create progress together across our industry.”

The seven steps it plans to take include:

  1. Commit to data transparency paired with goals and accountability.
  2. Provide industry access to Black people and people of color. Havas plans to do this by implementing an apprenticeship program that will seek out people from “non-traditional paths,” such as those who are transitioning careers, veterans and high school graduates. Additionally, it plans to start a program that will focus on recruiting first-generation college graduates for entry-level positions. As far as internships go, it wants 50% of interns to be Black, Hispanic/Latinx or Asian by next summer.
  3. Rethink recruiting practices. Havas said it plans to examine “what a future recruiting approach looks like” and reassess the processes in place for onboarding as well as exit interviews. It did not share much detail beyond that, but as part of this step, said it plans to ask agencies to “provide their approaches to ensuring that the right voices and perspectives are involved in the strategy of our work from the start.”
  4. Enact a multi-tiered approach to education. Employees at all levels will be asked to participate in mandatory courses regarding bias, diversity and inclusion. Leaders at the mid-to-senior level will take additional courses on allyship and “building more inclusive approaches,” while executives will receive even further training.
  5. Supporting and growing careers. Havas is creating a management development program for employees of color that will focus on “accelerating their leadership development and advancement.” A mentorship program specific to staffers of color will also be rolled out, as will “talent assessments” that focus on identifying employees who have the potential to quickly climb up the ranks.
  6. Amplifying diverse voices. Havas said employees surveys will include more questions concerning DE&I. A North American DE&I committee will be established to ensure “the success of initiatives” and scale programs where appropriate. The company also plans to allocate more time and resources to its employee resource groups (ERGs). For instance, it said senior leadership will “take on executive champion roles to help ERGs advance their mission.” Havas said it will also consider stipends for ERG leaders.
  7. Ensure payment equity. Havas recently completed the 3% Pledge for Pay Equity, which involves a wage audit. For the remainder of the year, Havas said it will assess leadership “on their level of involvement” in leading DE&I initiatives, mentorship, recruiting and more. Next year, it said “accountability will be integrated into business planning objectives and bonus goals.”

While Havas did not provide specific timelines regarding when these initiatives will officially begin, most are targeted for the end of this year or sometime in 2021.

In recent weeks, IPG, Dentsu Aegis Network and Publicis have also shared their U.S. workforce data in some capacity. WPP has indicated plans to as well.


@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.
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