Advertising Age reported new JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Tamara Ingram—who replaced Gustavo Martinez—declared, “Top of my agenda is diversity and inclusiveness. Not only is it going to be top of my agenda, it’s going to be top of all my executives’ agendas and top of every country manager’s agenda.” Of course, Ingram’s really just talking about diverted diversity; that is, she’s out to promote White women in the field. Granted, it’s a major step towards progress, as her predecessor was allegedly out to rape White women. “I absolutely believe to the core of my being that diversity of people creates diversity of thinking, which enables diversity of ideas,” gushed Ingram. “I genuinely believe we have not tapped that diversity and that inclusiveness in our workplace. It is our duty to produce a more positive narrative and to include all our people in order that we live in safer times.” Ingram genuinely admitted JWT has “not tapped that diversity and that inclusiveness in our workplace,” despite the fact that parent holding company WPP is “perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organisation.” It should also be noted that prior to assuming her new position at JWT, Ingram held leadership positions at Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Worldgroup, where she failed to deliver on her core-of-my-being beliefs and duties regarding diversity.
New JWT CEO Sets Out Diversity Agenda at London Event
Tamara Ingram: ‘It Is Our Duty to Produce a More Positive Narrative’
By Emma Hall
On just her fourth day as CEO of J. Walter Thompson Co., Tamara Ingram has already set out a clear agenda for diversity.
Ms. Ingram chose the London launch event for a JWT film series called “Her Story: The Female Revolution” and a new report on “Female Tribes” as the backdrop for her first public engagement since taking on the CEO position.
Speaking without a script, Ms. Ingram said, “Top of my agenda is diversity and inclusiveness. Not only is it going to be top of my agenda, it’s going to be top of all my executives’ agendas and top of every country manager’s agenda.”
Ms. Ingram was speaking at a movie theatre in central London’s Piccadilly Circus called Picturehouse Central, in front of an audience of 130 people, made up of JWT staffers, CEOs and senior marketers, academics, and representatives of the British government and diversity groups.
Ms. Ingram’s predecessor, Gustavo Martinez, left JWT “by mutual agreement” last week, after Erin Johnson, chief communications officer at the agency, filed a lawsuit claiming that he had made multiple “racist and sexist slurs.”
Explaining her reasons for championing diversity, Ms. Ingram added, “I absolutely believe to the core of my being that diversity of people creates diversity of thinking, which enables diversity of ideas ... I genuinely believe we have not tapped that diversity and that inclusiveness in our workplace. It is our duty to produce a more positive narrative and to include all our people in order that we live in safer times.”
The documentary series highlights the gains by women in the last 50 years, and features interviews with female leaders including Hillary Clinton and Chilean president Michelle Bachelet. It was co-produced by J. Walter Thompson Entertainment, and executive produced by the agency’s global creative director, Jaspar Shelbourne.
Originally James Whitehead, executive partner at JWT London, was going to introduce the film’s director, James Rogan. The agenda was changed so that Mr. Whitehead introduced Ms. Ingram, who made her remarks and then introduced Mr. Rogan.
The film was followed by a panel discussion hosted by TV journalist Kirsty Walk with panelists including U.K. businesswoman Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho; Caroline Dinenage, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and Minister for women and equalities; Richard Cristofoli, marketing director at department store Debenhams; and Rachel Pashley, JWT’s global planning head.
Is anyone ever going to pay enough attention to get actual stats in the United States? A journalist, a lawyer, someone?
Because I know the first thing the holding companies will do to throw up the smokescreen is lump global data in there. "33% of our managers are diverse (women in Malaysia, white women in the UK, etc.)." Totally leaving out ethnic diversity numbers in the USA.
Then they'll count white women, and white gay and lesbian men and women, as minorities. And leave out ethnic diversity.
Then they'll lump roles and duties together, so that the few Black agency employees out there, clustered in janitorial and security staff, will make it seem like the pathetic numbers are slightly less pathetic.
Then they'll count temporary visa holders in America with the same weight as U.S. minorities, so people like Gustavo Martinez will be held up as an example of "advancement" in Hispanic hiring, while actual Hispanics in America continue to be shut out.
Then they'll partner with the 3% Conference to conduct an GENDER diversity survey in individual agencies, and leave out ethnic diversity completely (or lump Black janitors and racist overseas South Americans in there because white women really can't tell the difference). They'll give themselves plenty of press and awards for this solution.
Meanwhile, as Diversity Inc. pointed out, we'll still be living in a Madison Ave. agency world where of the 150 people mentioned on the JWT web page, ONE is Black.
A world where someone randomly assembled 500 people working in American ad agencies and SIX were Black.
If those two bits of data together don't show you that something is massively wrong with Madison Avenue, I don't know what else does. You'd have to be blind to pretend to miss that.
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