On Diversity & Inclusion

With Alma & We Are All Human

Throughout LIONS Live, we heard about brilliant creative endeavours to improve inclusion and diversity in the creative community, in branded communications and in business more broadly. The pursuit of gender equality, as well as fair representation of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC, is becoming a common goal for the industry. Estamos Unidos (a project to unify and support the Hispanic community) is just one example of how creative ideas can translate the goal into a reality.
Here, Claudia Romo Edelman, Founder of We Are All Human, and Luis Miguel Messianu, Creative Chairman and CEO respond to your questions on how we can better serve and unify underrepresented communities.
CLAUDIA ROMO EDELMAN
Founder We Are All Human
LUIS MIGUEL MESSIANU
Creative Chairman and CEO Alma

How can brands better support minority groups? We believe that brands have become real ambassadors to support minority groups. Corporations have the power to take our ideas and initiatives to a much higher level and on a bigger scale. Estamos Unidos is the perfect example and the tip of the iceberg of what campaigns can achieve when done right and when they harness the power of advertising and creativity as a force for good. While extremely special and important, the conversations and collaborations this campaign has sparked are only a fragment of what we can achieve when we support minority groups the way we've set out to do.

Is it dangerous to communicate with an entire MASSIVE community (Hispanics), when we should be looking at more niche aspirations and motivations? We don't believe it's dangerous, we believe it is powerful. Our mission has always been to unify and act as a community so that those aspirations and motivations shine brighter and are heard by a wider audience. It is time for Hispanics to be seen, heard, and valued, to move from invisible to visible. And that can only be done when we are together, not divided and singled out. We hope that this massive mobilisation of Hispanics is a model for other communities around the world, to be forces of inclusion, creativity and to catapult those aspirations and motivations towards solid action and results in our community.

Is it right to target people via ethnicity? Wouldn't it be better to target based on attitude? We don’t believe it would be better to target based on attitude. Targeting people via ethnicity is right, it is valuable and it is effective. We should embrace being Hispanic because it means so much to so many people. Having a name and the Hispanic Star symbol creates identity and a sense of belonging within the US that did not have in the past. By targeting people via ethnicity, we have tools, data and proper quantitative measurements to evaluate our impact and our success. How else would we know that Hispanics make up 12% of America's GDP and are the fastest growing minority in the country? The data we build has a lot of power, it is evidence of our value and presents infinite opportunities to boost progress and recognition of the Hispanic community.

Further insights from LIONS Live and WeTransfer’s Ideas Report

Natascha Chamuleau

Chief Advertising Officer, WeTransfer

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been happy to see a rise in inclusive initiatives, with brands and companies focusing their attention on diversity and inclusivity in their hiring and commercial activities. However, we still have a long way to go. To get there, I think everyone needs to take a look at their unconscious biases and assumptions and how these can be removed, particularly in the hiring process. When evaluating whether or not to pursue an idea, our research shows that 40% of creatives will ask themselves if the work is relevant and timely, while 30% of people question whether their ideas will make the world a better place. I imagine both groups welcomed thinking about the inclusion of people from different backgrounds, race, gender, sexuality and so on. You don’t only see this happening for artists and independent creatives, but also brands. We’re building on a collective consciousness, and while it might be slow, we’re making progress.

Susie Walker

Head of Awards, Cannes Lions

Diversity and inclusion will always remain pertinent to our discussions at LIONS while inequality and mis-representation remain, but we remain resolute in our belief in progress through creativity. The pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement have exposed even greater gaps in gender and racial equality but the appetite for change is real.

At LIONS Live, we heard how Shaftesbury is focused on making content to better relate to and inspire LGBT+ communities and about the work Diageo has committed to in order to make gender equality a reality in business. We know, from our ongoing studies with The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, that advertising influences culture: both positively and negatively. So, as an industry, we have a true responsibility to represent a more inclusive and diverse society. The fact that the latest report from the institute shows a decrease in the percentage of female characters featured in the work in 2019, (38.6% compared to almost 40% in 2018) highlights just how far there is to go.