Our social sustainability plan
Diversity and inclusion
The communications industry has for a long time been criticized for being homogeneous and for creating communication that reflects the industry’s reality, instead of reflecting the world which it is communicating to. In order to maintain increased growth, companies and agencies need to be represented by the perspectives they want to include in their communication.
One of Essen’s sustainability goals as an agency is to change the industry by promoting and affirming diversity. In order to do so, we have created this document, which in a structured way, lets us define what diversity and inclusion is, set our goals and actions and evaluate and measure our work and accomplishments.
Diversity work means working towards preconceived notions to create openness to differences, working to ensure that differences are seen as success factors, and working to involve.
Diversity work is also about critically examining internal and external structures and norms and seeing how the organization can be developed to be able to make better use of and benefit from similarities and changes.
2.1 Definition of diversity
Everything that makes you who you are and what makes you different from someone else, to include race, gender, religion, ability, age, sexual orientation, background, education, experiences, talents, skills, and much more.
2.2 Definition of inclusion
The practice of leveraging diverse perspectives, backgrounds, skills, and talents to allow each employee to feel valued and able to contribute to his or her full potential in achieving the mission of the agency.
2.3 Diversity & inclusion
Together, diversity and inclusion are strategic business imperatives that are part of who we are as an organization and how we do business, allowing us to leverage the diversity of our staff to achieve the agency’s mission.
3. Goals and actions
Essen’s overall goal is for the communication industry to reflect the diversity in society.
3.1 Short-term goals:
We want to implement a deeper knowledge about diversity within the agency and increase the understanding and insight that differences promote and develop the organization.
3.2 Long term goals:
We want to be a pioneer and innovator when it comes to diversity, as well as to support our clients with the benefits of this.
3.3 Diversity goals at Essen:
Ethnic diversity on agency, management and board level
4. Actions and initiatives
4.1 To deal with the society problem from the bottom we:
- Cooperate with organizations that gives us the opportunity to work directly with the youth in socio-economical deprived areas, in order to introduce, involve and inspire. “What you can’t see you can’t bee.”
- Initiate an internship-program where we prioritize and focus on URM-groups.
- Initiate an entrance-scholarships with the foremost design schools in Stockholm and New York.
4.2 To implement a deeper knowledge about diversity within the agency and increase the understanding and insight that differences promote and develop the organization, we:
- Invite external expertise-lecturers to educate us, give us new perspective and tools to achieve our goals.
4.3 To affect our day to day business we:
- Do our best to staff diverse teams in our productions
- Show diversity when creating image banks
- Use an including tonality
- Share our job ads in selective forums to reach underrepresented candidates
- Recruitment: positive different treatment on equal competences if possible to increase diversity
4.4 To become a pioneer and a initiator in the business we:
- Communicate our work and achievements
- We encourage others in the business to do the same by presenting direct key values
5. Implementation and anchoring
The diversity strategy should be the same for all our studios, although the initiatives can differ.
Anchoring of the plan will take place through the perspective that, Essen as an agency will develop even better and more healthy brands. There is research that shows that more diverse companies have better well-being, better quality, better efficiency, and that mixed groups also have higher innovation. We should see diversity in our productions as a possible competitive advantage. The diversity perspective must be a natural part of the business and will be a standing subject on our conference agendas.