August 3, 2020

Decoding culture is at the center of everything we do at DeVries Global, which has made truly examining the world around us in the past couple of months very painful. We are observing a culture tainted by systemic racism, inequality and social intolerance. As we’ve looked deeper within our own walls, we acknowledge that pure observation of culture is unacceptable. We have a responsibility to be advocates and active agents of change. A change that begins from within us and how we work.

Today, we are sharing our agency’s 2019 diversity data, in accordance with the Equal Employment Office’s (EEO) standards. While our hiring rates in 2018 and 2019 comprised 30% diverse talent, and the same data for 2018 would have included 12% Black talent, several of whom had been with the agency for a decade growing to VP and SVP, we know that there is work to do to restore our previous levels of diversity, and to create a team and environment that reflects the culture we want to work, live and thrive in.

But, we will do more than simply acknowledge where we are today. We are focused on an immediate future with clear, measurable steps to identify and inspire greater representation, and truly uphold one of our core values of inclusivity. We are focusing in several key areas:

Change our Makeup:

  • Achieve EEO employment sector targets in 2021, and Census targets on/before 2025 across all management levels.
  • Specifically, improve Black representation by: ensuring a minimum of one Black candidate is interviewed for every open position, having a minimum of 1 diverse finalist for senior positions, every Black employee has a 12-18 month career development plan in conjunction with their manager and HR.
  • Increase our pipeline of Black talent by continuing to foster deep relationships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other predominantly Black institutions.
  • Pivot existing DeCoding PR Externship program to focus solely on diverse students/recent graduates via partnerships with HBCUs and affinity groups within universities.
  • Invest in developing sponsorship programs and external development opportunities to provide our Black employees a roadmap and tools for advancement.
  • Continue the push to elevate the value of Black audiences and influencers in our approach to research, planning, creative and outreach.

Celebrate Each Other:

  • Reignite and expand internal DEI Committee, focused on driving and championing DEI initiatives including creating regular ways to share career experiences and personal insights through Spotlight pieces and Heritage month celebrations, building forums for employees to connect with peers and leaders, and represent the agency to diverse talent alongside HR.
  • Launch 400ForGood program – an evolution of our annual service day – as a call-to-action for our collective team to give back 400 hours of community service focused on organizations that serve and improve the lives of marginalized people, between August and December.

Support Each Other:

  • Participate in upcoming training modules offered via CMG agency partners, focusing on Inclusive Leadership Training and Intercultural Competence, including: How to Talk About Racism, Micro-aggressions, Overcoming Unconscious Bias, Becoming an Ally and Courageous Conversations.
  • Propel Black talent in the office by igniting and maintaining a concerted effort to create an environment where diverse talent grows and thrives with clear development plans, internal and external training and development that identifies traits, skills and competencies that are typically required for advancement and ensuring managers are equipped to provide on-going, real-time feedback and coaching to foster growth.
  • Ensure all employees are aware of and have access to the full suite of resources available via IPG.

For all identified areas, we will focus on measurement in the following specific categories: Favorable Climate Surveys (Employees), Talent Pipeline Development, Workforce Development and Market Impact.