Campaign chatted with Omnicom SVP Chief Diversity Officer Tiffany R. Warren at the Omniwomen UK Leadership Summit, a divertsity day where gender equality trumped general equality—as shown by the photo above. The White holding company revealed women comprise 48% of its UK senior management teams and boards, which is a whopping 60% higher than the industry average. Why is Omnicom willing to share its gender figures, but not its EEO-1 data? Event attendees received a card presenting the company’s “global workplace harassment policies” and a 24-hour hotline number to anonymously lodge grievances. “I support those who have been impacted by those incidents [of sexual harassment]. Everyone should have a voice,” declared Warren. “Everyone has a different #MeToo story, and we have to have room for all of those… People are taking notice [at Omnicom] at all levels.” Especially people who are White male perpetrators and/or predators. Warren said her CDO focus for 2018 is “intersectionality”—as opposed to integration or inclusion…? “Gender equality is having a moment, but not all people understand that there are still many marginalised groups that are underrepresented,” explained Warren. “It’s not enough to have diversity of thought, you must have diversity of people.” Um, if not all people realize the dearth of diversity at this point, what does that say about the effectiveness of Chief Diversity Officers? Does the Ebony Power 100 honoree even realize she’s among the less than 100 Black female executives in the industry?
Omnicom diversity chief: ‘This time is different’ in dealing with inequality
Tiffany Warren, the chief diversity officer for Omnicom Group, said she believes “this time is different” for dealing with sexual harassment and inequality within the advertising industry and pledged to support victims of harassment.
Warren spoke to Campaign at the fourth annual Omniwomen UK Leadership Summit, Omnicom’s conference and training day aimed at increasing the influence and number of female leaders across the network.
The holding company, which owns agencies such as Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and TBWA, announced at the summit that its UK senior management teams and boards comprise an average of 48% women, which it says is 60% higher than the industry average of 30.2%. Omnicom’s figure has not changed since last year, but the 48% statistic represents a 20% rise at the company within the last three years.
Omnicom addressed the issue of sexual harassment by giving Omniwomen attendees a card that outlines the company’s global workplace harassment policies. The card lists the number for a 24-hour hotline that employees can use to make anonymous complaints.
“I support those who have been impacted by those incidents. Everyone should have a voice,” Warren told Campaign. “Everyone has a different #MeToo story, and we have to have room for all of those… People are taking notice [at Omnicom] at all levels.”
Asked whether women at Omnicom would be legally protected if they spoke up about incidents of harassment despite having signed NDAs, Warren said it was not her place to answer that. Reports of harassment go through the HR and legal departments, she explained.
Omnicom said at the summit that its gender pay gap report would be revealed within the next few weeks. WPP released its report last week.
Warren could not say what employees could expect from Omnicom’s figures. However she said the ad industry needs to recognise that the systems it has in place “aren’t working anymore.”
Her focus as chief diversity officer this year will be on intersectionality, she said.
“Gender equality is having a moment, but not all people understand that there are still many marginalised groups that are underrepresented,” she said. “It’s not enough to have diversity of thought, you must have diversity of people.”