Diversity Is Everybody's Responsibility


By Carl Fremont, Chairman of the Board, AD Club of New York and Global Chief Digital Officer, MEC

We have made great strides talking about diversity openly in business but too often it is misunderstood or little real action is taken.

Diversity is Everybody’s Day job.

Ensuring that our talent represents a diverse group of thought, perspective, age, gender, ethnicity and overall background is critical for all of Marketing. We as an industry represent the consumers in which brands connect with. We must be in touch with the great diversity that makes up our country or fail to win consumers’ hearts and minds — and ultimately their long-term relationship with brands. In this era of social media, consumers are brands’ best advocates and can spread both favorable and negative brand sentiment quickly. So why not ensure that the marketing talent that is building a brand’s presence represents the very diverse audience in which the brand is appealing to?

I’M PART, You Should be Too

I am fortunate to have been co-chair of The AD Club of New York’s Diversity initiative, i’mPART, for several years. i’mPART forms a critical component of The AD Club’s mission that diversity isn’t just a number or a percentage. It isn’t just race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. Diversity isn’t just a box to check or “the right thing to do.” Diversity IS inclusion, variety and different perspectives. Diversity and inclusion means that the advertising, media and marketing workforce reflects the consumer marketplace that it serves. Diversity and inclusion drives profitability and growth through team performance, bigger talent pools, innovation and creativity.

Every year, The AD Club of New York raises considerable funds through its MEDIACTION fundraising program to PromoteAttractRetain and Train diverse talent in our industry. It is exceptionally rewarding to see the broad smiles on young talent from diverse backgrounds when we inform them they have won a scholarship or the excitement that mounts after professionals complete one of our many training programs.

As Chairperson of The AD Club of New York, I get to ensure that i’mPART is infused in the Club’s overall mission, and I also bring this responsibility into my job outside of The AD Club in my role at MEC.  As a member of the marketing community for over thirty years now, I am fortunate to do my own part to hire, train, retain and promote diverse talent into MEC, where diversity and inclusion are not just a corporate mandate, but an initiative taken to heart by our own talent which actively celebrates the many facets of our diverse MEC community.

We All Represent Diversity

Whether we realize it or not, each one of us has already embraced diversity in our personal lives through our day-to-day interactions. However, it is critical that diversity is well represented in the workplace and in our marketing community. But saying this is not enough. I hope that together, we can change the standards and practices of hiring talent so that each of us can say that i’mPART of creating and celebrating diversity and inclusion in our industry.