“We want to have a more diverse workforce, but we don’t know where to find diverse candidates.”
We’ve all heard some variation of this sentence. And in the past, there might have been some truth to it. Like it or not, hiring is often done through extended personal networks and hiring through personal networks often leads to homogeneity. Industry diversity doesn’t happen on its own; employers need to seek talent in new areas using new resources if they want to be truly inclusive.
The advertising industry had already started a long march toward diversity and inclusion, but the events of spring 2020 brought problems to light like never before. Now more than ever, the industry is talking about the importance of diversity in the workplace, brand marketing and the supply chain. But some leaders remain unsure of the next steps, such as finding, hiring, promoting and retaining diverse talent.
In June and July 2020 alone, new talent directories were born. The industry has stepped forward with a slew of platforms that make it easier to find underrepresented talented professionals in the industry.
As a helpful resource for anyone looking to broaden their talent pool, Adweek has compiled a list of curated talent directories and diversity-focused staffing agencies. This guide is intended to be updated regularly. If you run a staffing agency or a directory that features underrepresented talent and would like to be added to this list, please email Adweek’s diversity, equity and inclusion reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
28 Days of Black Designers
In February 2017, UX designer Tim Hykes featured 28 Black designers on social media for Black History Month. The project generated so much interest, the list now lives permanently on the website 28Blacks.com where you can find graphic designers, illustrators and creatives.
ANA certified diverse suppliers
The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) published a letter from major brands in which leaders admitted to spending only 5% of marketing budgets on multicultural segments and promised to “do better.” The next month, ANA published an initial list of 100 agencies and suppliers certified by one or more diversity boards, leaving those brands with no excuse but to hire more multicultural shops.
Saatchi & Saatchi content producer Sydni Chustz founded Bid Black in 2018 in response to the “don’t know where to find them” trope that so often keeps Black film talent from getting hired. By listing directors, producers and editors available for commercial work, Chustz hopes to “normalize Black voices in storytelling.”
Since 2008, Black Creatives has served as a resource for marketing professionals and business partners. Founder and CEO Reginald Christian’s agency now brags a network of over 15,000 creators, storytellers, artists and innovators ready to work across various fields.
Black Disabled Creatives
The beauty is in simplicity when it comes to searching for talent in marketing, media and design in the Black Disabled Creatives directory. A few basic drop-down tabs allow searching by industry, profession and region, and each professional’s profile includes their photo along with social media handles and personal websites.
Blacks Who Design
Searching for a product designer, art director, researcher or project lead? You’ll find all of that on Blacks Who Design. The talent listed in this directory is top-notch, with professionals like former White House creative strategist and digital director Ashleigh Axios and Twitter’s head of design and research Dantley Davis.