Momentum's Commitment to Inclusion; Q and A with Jennifer Frieman, Chief Talent Officer, Momentum Worldwide

Does your company/agency have any D&I initiatives? If so, what are they? What D&I initiatives are you most proud your company supports?

We have been dedicated to expanding diversity and inclusion, not just by changing the tapestry of our talent pool​, but ​by changing the landscape of the talent pipelines that feed our future. ​At Momentum, one of our core values is “Be One,” which resonates throughout everything that we do as an agency. We have a manifesto that supports this key value. The manifesto outlines the behaviors we expect from each other and how collectively, we can leverage our unique experiences to bring powerful ideas to life.

Over the years​, we have invested in creating a more diverse industry by doing things like leading the creation of the first Advertising and Marketing high school initiative in NYC, and partnered with the 3% conference to bring shifts in work/life balance that enable women to continue to advance their careers within the agency. This year we celebrated diversity of age through our sponsorship of the first-ever 40 Over Forty platform.

​Last fall, we closed our offices for “A Day for Meaning,” and spent the day with our employees interrogating our culture and identifying what inclusion looks like across all ​of our global offices. The outcomes ​from that day ​are now part of our D&I strategy for 2020.

Externally, we’ve partnered with Verizon on their Adfellows program, where they’ve done amazing work to welcome diverse talent and provide more exposure to multiple agency opportunities. Internally, we’ve committed our leadership to mentor​ing talent ​both inside and outside our walls. We’ve also initiated internal Inclusion leads and committees to partner with our agency Culture Clubs and put the concept of D&I at the forefront of how we treat each other. It’s important to us that all voices are heard and respected through structures that enable change, so these committees and leads have regular (monthly) audience with our Chairman & CEO and ​myself as the Chief Talent Officer. 

Can you share an example that highlights that the advertising industry is making progress?

For any psychological change in behavior to happen, awareness must precede anything else. In our case, the industry has started to ​become more aware. Even the expansion of hiring positions and teams to dedicate to D&I shows a burgeoning awareness. However, some of the most impactful signs of progress are the talent changes themselves—an increase in female CEOs, black strategy leads, ​a queer chairman,​ etc. The diversity of talent within the industry is also a sign of progress. It is not enough, but when I listen to the stories of our talent, I know we are closer to becoming an industry that can be “home” to anyone, providing them a place where they feel like they belong. But there is still much more work ​that needs to be done.

What are some tips/advice to encourage D&I efforts at agencies?

Today, simply see the power of the collective human voice. And whether that voice is focused on global warming or political disdain, the voice carries only when it is of the masses.