Building diverse and inclusive teams is imperative to the future success of our organization and our ability to drive growth for our clients. Through an exhaustive needs assessment conducted across our network of advertising, public relations, media, branding, digital, social and event marketing agencies, we identified some of the specific barriers limiting our HR and Recruiting leaders' ability to attract, engage, and hire diverse talent at all levels. Foremost among these challenges was the ability to identify diverse candidates at the initial stages of the recruitment process when relying upon employee referral networks or external job postings.
In 2016, MDC Partners appointed an executive to lead diversity and inclusion across the organization, and among MDC's broad-reaching diversity and inclusion initiatives, this individual is charged with proactively identifying and recruiting diverse talent into our industry and our firms. This helps provide our network of agencies with increased access to, and engagement with, a pipeline of high potential candidates, while increasing opportunities for those who are passionate about pursuing and advancing their careers in marketing and advertising.
In addition to dedicated recruiting support, the MDC Partners Diversity and Inclusion team has also partnered with its partner agencies to evaluate their existing talent acquisition strategies, and advise on best practices that contribute to maintaining fully inclusive recruiting processes. To reinforce this, we have begun to roll out unconscious bias training and education to our agency leadership and HR teams, and we deploy regular communications to help facilitate the sharing of best recruiting practices and learnings from peers across the network. These communications have also allowed us to highlight specific opportunities to engage with potential candidates through our partnerships with programs designed to develop diverse talent in our industry.
I can think of no industry that is more dependent on its people than ours. Our clients task us with communicating with and making meaningful connections to their prospects and customers. To be effective in that mission and to thrive as an organization, it is essential that we build diverse and inclusive workplaces, with voices that represent all members of society. Diversity is critical to achieving our business objectives, and we have a responsibility as leaders to insist on environments that help people of all backgrounds succeed. In our shared commitments made through this pledge, we as leaders can accelerate and strengthen the impact we make.