VMLY & R Commerce UK won the ‘Diversity & Inclusion Company of the Year’ category at the Drum Digital Industry Awards 2021. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal their success secrets…
Being a future fit agency is not just about new technology, proprietary data, and bringing new products and services to market. For VMLY & R Commerce UK, it’s also about understanding the communities in which our customers engage, serve and reflect.
VMLY & R Commerce UK (formerly Engineering) began its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) journey long before industry demanded it from agencies.
Since its inception several years ago, Exco leadership has formed part of the steering committee of WPP Roots, a network dedicated to advocating greater racial and cultural diversity within the creative industry. Soon after we launched Geometry Roots, a grassroots community within our business whose sole purpose is to provide accessible, non-learning for everyone.
We work with inspiring the future, we encourage our leaders to engage with local schools, and share their non-linear journey in the industry, We launched The Incubator, our work experience program for young people aged 16-18 from the most diverse backgrounds, We partnered with the School of Communication Arts to even An older group can work with us to solve some of the biggest creative challenges brands and companies face today.
We ensure that all of our development and innovation efforts are measured and reported. For the second year in a row, I worked with Investing in Ethnicity to drive transformation across 5 core pillars across our business. This year we will launch The Inclusion Experience (IX), a strategic advisory firm that works with clients to bring about sustainable cultural change within their organisation.
By 2030, 37% of Londoners will come from an ethnic background. Not only will data, new technologies and platforms be the only areas that will keep our business relevant for the future, but so will the diversity of our employees.
VMLY & R Commerce UK has invested in DE&I research that will help the company expand and understand its customers how to create a more culturally relevant business and launched World Woman Hour, a social campaign to inspire the next generation of female leaders.
Our most diverse and unique work of the past year is the International Women’s Hour. A social campaign first we launched for the International Women’s Foundation. The world is full of inspiring, brave, strong, amazing women. Broadcast on Facebook Live, On International Girls’ Day October 11, 2020, we brought 60 of them together to tell their stories, in 60 seconds each. Just enough information for young women to find their hero.
3,228,808 people were reached before the event on Facebook/Instagram, with 5,889,592 impressions. Prior to the event on Twitter, there had been 1,500,000 views of the trailer globally. The video has garnered 850,000+ views while reaching over 4 million people. After the event, its impact was felt even more. Translated into several languages and educational programs on 6 continents.
The International Women’s Watch continues to inspire young women to this day and beyond. It is a global movement that aims to continually help young women see that it is possible for them to realize their dreams.
Other examples include:
- Measure, implement, and report on development efforts by working with an investment in sweat to drive transformation across five core pillars across our business, achieving Employer Excellence status.
- The launch of The Inclusion Experience (IX), a strategic consulting firm that works with clients to bring about sustainable cultural change within their organizations.
- Incubator Program – a work experience program for 16-18 year olds from diverse backgrounds.
We make a difference.
- Our Executive Committee is made up of 75% of women leaders.
- 15% of our employees come from diverse backgrounds.
- We have seen a 50% increase in miscellaneous appointments for the period from 2020 to 2021.
- We have completed 402 hours of DE&I training, averaging 2.5 hours per employee.
- Our gender split within the agency is 43% women/67% men.
This entry was a winner of the Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Find out which Drum Awards are currently open for entries.