Equality Should Be The New Normal

From Jercole L. Govan, Founder/CEO, Govan Agency Inc., Creative Resource and Talent Management

As agencies have faced recent financial hardships due to the current climate, how do you think they can make hiring new talent a priority?

I’m not sure hiring new talent should be a priority in the current climate.  I believe the priority should be focused on ways to sustain those currently employed by the agency.  With that said, if agencies are in a position to hire new talent, in light of recent social and racial injustices, this would be a great time to reevaluate and restructure teams to ensure it reflects diversity.   This should include the position of creatives and/or staff and embrace individuals from all walks of life, socioeconomic classes and backgrounds.

How should agencies address the issue of lack of Black employees in mid- to senior to C-Suite roles? 

Agencies must be held accountable. Creating a system through HR that ensures inclusion and diversity among Creatives until equality becomes our “new normal” would be a good starting point.  This should include every position from the reception table to the C-Suites.

How do you think the new class of talent can reshape the agency landscape? 

I’m expecting this new wave of diverse talent to disrupt the status quo in a way that will positively touch all humanity.  It will impact conference rooms, brands, and ultimately the consumers. When I think about advertising and the creative world, I think of art that is created to touch the hearts and minds of everyone.  Using art to evoke or perhaps provoke emotions and inspire change.  Hopefully this new wave will impact the agencies in a way that breeds appreciation and admiration for all cultures and genders.  This authenticity will start within the agency and extend to the marketplace.

What advice do you have for the next class of talent entering the workforce? 

Show up ready to become fully engaged. Bring all of your thoughts, ideas, and opinions to the table.  Push against the grain.  Be a disruptor.  You are there to make a difference.

What does the conversation around talent look like one year from now? 

Let’s hope we are talking about the evident progress within the industry and how the changes have made a positive impact on the work culture, individual employees, and their marketplaces.