WPP

Promoting LGBT Diversity

Challenge

LGBT people are under-represented in marketing, and LGBT people around the world often face discrimination in their personal and professional lives. We want to address this within our workforce and in our work with clients.

Actions

We aim to create an inclusive environment that encourages the recruitment, retention and development of talented people from the LGBT communities. Sir Martin Sorrell sets the tone from the top and is a high profile advocate for LGBT diversity. He was a keynote speaker on the business and economic case for LGBT inclusion at The Economist's Pride & Prejudice conference held in March 2016 in Hong Kong, London and New York.

Our agencies have launched LGBT networks including Global Team Blue Pride, Grey Pride, Ogilvy Pride and PrideM and work with external partners such as Stonewall and Reaching Out MBA. For example, Ogilvy Pride is Ogilvy & Mather UK's LGBT and Straight Ally professional network. It runs events and training sessions to raise awareness of LGBT equality and helps the agency to develop its approach. Ogilvy Pride organized 'Why Coming Out is Good Business', an event attended by over 150 external organizations and clients. Attendees heard from Sir Martin Sorrell and Lord Browne, the former chief executive of UP and author of the book, The Glass Closet on the importance of LGBT diversity.

We are also taking action outside of North America and Europe, for example our agency Wunderman sponsored the LGBT festival ShanghaiPride, which aims to raise the profile of LGBT issues in China.

Outcomes

We now have active employee resource networks for LGBT employees at our major networks. LGBT diversity is increasingly reflected in our work with clients including high-profile campaigns, such as Tiffany's first ad featuring a same-sex marriage and the Google+ Same-Sex campaign.

Contact

Andrea Harris: [email protected]

Within WPP we value diversity and we want our people to bring their real selves to work. We want to be a visible voice on LGBT issues in our industry and to work with our clients to help make LGBT diversity more visible in marketing. There is a clear commercial rationale for brands to be supportive of and reflective of LGBT diversity — LGBT buying power is significant and growing.

Advertising Week 2017

Check out CEO Action signatories at New York Advertising Week.

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