If you’ve ever sat through an interminable, self-congratulatory industry awards program, you’ll be pleased to know that the 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors is definitely not like that.
The awards recognize and honor best practices for advancing diversity and inclusion, and were created last year by one of the advertising and media industry’s best-known thought leaders, Jack Myers. They’re produced by Myers’ AdvancingDiversity.org, and will be held January 9th in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show—specifically at the ARIA Hotel Conference Center, where more than 400 CES attendees are expected.
The 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors take a fresh approach to awards programs. In an experiential format created in 2014 by the Sundance Institute and the design and consulting firm IDEO called “Creative Tensions,” a moderator leads 100% of the attendees in exploring attitudes, conflicts and challenges. The objective is to find a path to the middle in solving common problems. At the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors, the honorees themselves will serve as catalysts—or provocateurs—in the group discussions.
Eight executives in media, marketing and advertising are being inducted, including:
Madonna Badger, CCO and Founder, Badger & Winters, for gender equality in advertising.
Kat Gordon, Founder of the 3% Movement.
Alma Har’el, Director and Founder of #FreeTheBid.
Pam El, CMO of the NBA, for gender and diversity leadership.
Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers, for its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing.
Ricardo Marques, Anheuser-Busch InBev group vice president of marketing core & value brands, for Budweiser’s diversity & inclusion campaigns.
Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, P&G, for diversity leadership.
Diego Scotti, CMO, Verizon, for its AdFellows Initiative.
The program is followed by the Inclusive Talent Job Fair, with recruiters from the world’s biggest agencies, tech companies and media brands. It’s designed to be a natural complement to the awards—honoring diversity in the workforce, and creating opportunities for those entering the field.
“It’s important to me for MediaVillage to be a leader in gender diversity, and to be at the forefront of advancing the industry and getting out ahead of recognized trends,” Myers says. “One of the biggest and most important trends was understanding the need to attract a diverse talent pool, and our industry is underperforming.”
Diversity remains a challenge in media and advertising, Myers says, because like other industries, it’s relationship driven—people tend to hire people like them, from the same colleges and social circles. “And it’s New York and Los Angeles centric,” he adds. “The cost of living is high. Salaries are historically low. A lot of young people have not been able to make a go of it. Talent acquisition has been reasonable, but talent retention has been terrible.”
In addition to the value of diversity to the industry overall, Myers says, he saw the awards initiative as an important business opportunity. “We’re investing in it, it’s good business for our industry and for our clients to have a voice in the diversity conversation,” he says.
Both events are owned by AdvancingDiversity.org parent MediaVillage, a membership-based research and marketing-communications organization founded by Myers for advertising and media companies and professionals.
This year’s recipients join the 2018 inductees, including from the Advertising Council (Lisa Sherman); Crowdfunding Roadmap (Ruth Hedges); Ernst & Young (Megan Hobson and Hiren Shukla); Interactive Advertising Bureau (Randall Rothenberg and Megan Hauck); Interpublic Group (Michael Roth and Heide Gardner); Nielsen (Angela Talton); Springboard Enterprises (Kay Koplovitz); and Unilever (Aline Santos).