One challenge Tinuiti has dealt with is the establishment of ERGs. The company had a few smaller, informal affinity groups that operate over Slack, but the main challenge was engagement with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Up until mid-2019, the D&I Committee was a small group with only about 20 total members and about 3-4 active participants. The committee’s main function was to find creative ways to celebrate the different heritages and cultures. As a result of the low participation, most of the work would fall back on to 1 committee chair. The D&I committee was tasked to determine a way to empower more employees to participate in the committee and commit to leading initiatives as well as brainstorm new ones.
Following the departure of the old committee chair in November 2019, an existing employee (now the D&I Manager) stepped into this role. The first initiative this person led as chair was the 2019 Strides for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tinuiti partnered with the American Cancer Society in Atlanta for swag and gear to send out to employees, and gathered volunteers to lead marches in each of the cities in which the company has an office. After the transition of ownership of the committee, the company launched a campaign to attract new committee members and increase the number of volunteers to spearhead initiatives.
The campaign to increase engagement doubled the committee membership from 20 to 40. In February 2020, Tinuiti celebrated Black History Month for the first time by spotlighting the Black leaders within the company. The initiative drove engagement, and the committee increased from around 40 members in February to 85 in May. The company now has a dedicated video/content subcommittee, a communications & copywriting liaison, and the committee is expanding and formalizing committee members responsibilities as a way to continue the momentum of the initiatives. This will allow us to transition the committee of 85 into dedicated ERGs as the company scales.
The advertising and marketing industry has been whitewashed for decades. We challenge all of our industry - our clients, our partners, or peers - JOIN US - take actionable steps to make your companies more inclusive. Double the percentage of your Black employees over the next 3 years at your companies. This is only the beginning of our journey, and we are committed to ensuring our business maintains these values.