Q&A on DE&I in the digital advertising workspace – IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee

May 23rd, 2022

Across the month of April, IAB Europe kick-started key topics of corporate responsibility in the digital advertising industry. A lack of understanding and accountability on key issues such as the environmental and economic impacts of digital advertising and the need for more diversity and inclusion across our ecosystem is more apparent today than ever before.

Our series discussed and debated what’s happening in our industry currently, why it’s important that we take action now and what needs to be done to take responsibility and ensure a great future for digital advertising.

To continue the conversation, we caught up with some of the members of IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee, to discuss diversity and inclusion under the theme of recruitment and the workplace in digital advertising. We explore what some of the biggest challenges and opportunities are, talk about what companies can do to embrace more diversity in the workplace and assess what we can all do to ensure more diverse talent is included in the digital advertising ecosystem.

A Q&A with:

Gosia Adamczyk, Head of HR, Verve Group

Q1. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges when you think about diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Gosia – “There are several challenges I can think of in terms of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. First, managers and team members often don’t realise that they are being non-inclusive – they use non-inclusive language due to old habits, they make hiring decisions based on unconscious bias, and they tend to be closer and promote team members that are like themselves. The more educational initiatives we introduce in the organization, the more inclusive the workplace will become.

Another major challenge is the fact we’re sometimes simply missing the diverse talent in the market. This is a more complex issue, and we should think about the solution by investing in education and supporting junior talent.”

Q2. What are the biggest opportunities available today for more diversity in the workplace?

Gosia – “I believe creating educational programs for juniors or people that want to switch their career paths especially targeted to reach a diverse audience is something that will not only benefit us in a few years, but also support society. We should focus not only on solving our hiring problems and positioning ourselves as an inclusive organisation, but on solving a global issue and ensuring we’re building a better future for future generations.”

Q3. What do you think companies should do to embrace more diversity & inclusion in the workplace, to ensure it is the new normal and not just a box tick exercise?

Gosia – “First of all, top management needs to understand the benefits of having diverse talent in the organisation. Diverse personalities, opinions, and backgrounds help us to notice a different angle and give us an opportunity to have healthy discussions and develop ourselves.

When management notices the true advantages, the urge to hire diverse talent and build an inclusive workplace will be authentic. With this authenticity as a foundation, we can work on educating different layers of the company and adjusting our people processes to match the need.

If top management doesn’t see the benefits and the real need for hiring and retaining diverse talent, the D&I initiatives will not be as effective as they could be.”

Q4. What steps are you or your company taking to bring on more diverse talent in digital and programmatic advertising? Have you seen any examples of companies that are doing this well?

Gosia – “The game-changer for us was when we decided to start recruiting globally and support relocation of the talent from different parts of the world. It helped us to naturally become more diverse as a team. We’re building intercultural awareness by speaking about differences in the communication styles, showing people diverse cultures, celebrating global holidays, and ensuring we’re being inclusive in our language and behaviors.

Speaking about the recruiting process, we work on our job descriptions to ensure we use inclusive language. We also include different team members in the process to ensure we’re showing a candidate an opportunity to talk to a diverse team and get answers to potential questions about being an inclusive organisation, and get a fair evaluation of the candidate.

Speaking about the future, we’re planning to start intense educational programs too. We want to conduct training on how to handle unconscious bias during the interview process, and we want an intercultural communication workshop to be a part of our standard onboarding process, to name a few initiatives we’re currently working on.”

Q5. What Diversity & Inclusion initiatives has your company implemented that have worked well and resonated with you?

Gosia – “We’ve started speaking more about the language. Often, we don’t realise that language is a powerful tool – it shapes reality and can make people feel excluded even without having wrong intentions.

We are now talking about inclusive communication. We are careful about designing messages and we raise awareness across the team.”

Q6. What is the one thing you think we can all be doing now to ensure more diverse and inclusive talent is represented in digital and programmatic advertising?

Gosia – “I think we should team up and make educational programs available for diverse talent in order to allow them to enter digital and programmatic advertising. We should think about the future and work together, not under one company’s name only, but holistically as an industry.”

Original post here: https://iabeurope.eu/blog/diversity-inclusion-blog-series-a-qa-on-the-importance-of-diversity-inclusion-in-the-digital-advertising-workplace-with-iab-europes-programmatic-trading-committee/

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