Sunday, September 21, 2014

12082: Color Commentary Critique.

The Tiffany R. Warren interview at AgencySpy garnered more comments that ultimately show diversity remains a dream deferred—and Chief Diversity Officers are perceived as token appointments perpetuating the notion of Delegating Diversity. While the AgencySpy thread managed to avoid attracting blatantly racist remarks, many of the opinions were clichéd—and a few were arguably flawed.

LetsBeHonest typed:

International award shows (Cannes) hand out awards to diverse groups such as Asians, Hispanics, Africans, African-Americans, Caucasians and everyone under the sun. It all comes down to talent — not skin color!

Not necessarily true or relevant to the main conversation. Award shows continue to be dominated by White men—from the entrants to the judges. White women are poorly represented as judges at Cannes, and minorities are more invisible. Pointing to international awards contests, by the way, is hardly an accurate gauge of anything. Besides, the discussion is about the dearth of diversity in our field, which extends beyond the creative department.

ExactDerp added:

Diversity is all about just Black and White. Latinos are getting there while Asians are still ignored. That’s ‘murica for you

Well, diversity might appear to be “all about just Black and White”—but only because Blacks and Whites have spent the most time publicly sparring over the issue. Also, based on the Marcus Graham Project Infographic, it’s not right to think “Latinos are getting there” in advertising agencies. The group remains grossly underrepresented in the field. That’s Madison Avenue for you.

trudathomey opined:

If [Tiffany R. Warren] wants to make a difference, she should ask John Wren to grant her hiring authority over any and every Omnicom shop in the network with less than five full time minority staffers.

Without hiring authority, she’s useless. Heartbreakingly so because people of color in general market ad shops need a real advocate.

Disagree with these statements. At the end of the day, Warren is a glorified HR executive. Sorry, but HR executives are not truly qualified to judge and hire candidates. When was the last time an HR executive—or even an in-house recruiter—actually made the call on hiring someone (excluding direct reports)? Warren doesn’t need hiring authority; rather, she needs firing authority. She needs the power to influence the managers and leaders with hiring authority and force them to broaden their talent pools. Or face termination. Period. And if it’s really going to work, Omnicom CEO John Wren has to lay down the law versus having Warren attempt to legislate and enforce matters. Wren must be the real advocate, which should come naturally for a Pioneer of Diversity.

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