Creating a diverse and inclusive environment at C-K.
June 6, 2018 [Updated June 19, 2020]
By Alexa Bazanos, SVP Executive Director of Human Resources
At C-K, our mission is to Make Friends, Not Ads. That means all types of friends. We’re in a business that is supposed to create work that resonates with all types of people so it’s important that our employees are reflective of the world we live in.
At C-K, we have formalized talent acquisition and engagement strategies that reflect our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging.
Relying on the same sources of talent yields the same type of talent so our recruiting efforts aim to reach talent that is underrepresented in our industry. We also use processes that provide a consistent interview experience and manage unconscious bias.
Partnerships – C-K partners with organizations who share our goals of developing and including people of all cultures, ethnicity and backgrounds in the industry. Some of our current partners include:
- 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP)
- She Runs It
- American Advertising Federation Mosaic Center for Multiculturalism
Our recruiting efforts expand beyond traditional campus career fairs at colleges and universities known for their pedigree marketing and advertising programs. Our team engages with students at a broad range of colleges and universities with diverse student populations and develops relationships with multi-cultural student organizations. We also conduct regular agency tours and host job shadow days for a broad range of schools that allows students to gain real life perspectives and a glance into the advertising industry. Finally, we go a step further by working with high school students from underrepresented groups in our communities to expose them to career opportunities within advertising.
We conduct behavioral-based interviews to ensure we assess candidates on their skills as related to the opportunity for which the candidate is being considered. This has proven to be an effective way to evaluate all candidates on a consistent playing field and manage unconscious bias. Since implementing structured interviews, we have seen an improvement in the level of preparedness of our interviewers and the quality of feedback received from each interviewer. One of our priorities is to make candidates to feel welcome during interviews and ensure they have a positive experience during their time with us.
The strength of diversity lies within an inclusive environment; one in which everyone is appreciated for their unique point of view that comes from individual life experiences. Diverse teams outperform other teams only when they are heard. We’ve executed a number of initiatives to bring awareness to perceptions and differences.
- Training – We have partnered with Paradigm to facilitate workshops on unconscious bias. Through this training, we learn how bias creeps into our work and we learn strategies to mitigate our biases. We are committed to offering training and experiences that help us make the types of choices that make C-K an inclusive workplace.
- Women in the Workplace Survey – C-K is an inaugural member of this survey which began in 2015 and is conducted by LeanIn.org and McKinsey. Now in its fifth year, it looks at the representation of women at every level in corporate America. The research allows C-K to evaluate our talent pipeline, policies and programs among other leading organizations. We are also able to gain insight on employee perspectives of gender bias. Each year, the survey results are shared with C-Kers and open dialogue is encouraged to ensure C-K can continue to foster an environment that supports women across levels at our agency.
- Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Leaders – Any C-Ker can volunteer to be a leader on our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging team. The team identifies ways in which we can learn and celebrate cultures, beliefs and experiences. From panel discussions, pop-up art galleries and book clubs to agency events spotlighting food, music, movies, and educational trivia, we believe acts of recognition large and small make our agency a better workplace. Every year we honor Black History Month, International Women’s Day, LGBTQIA+ History Month, Hispanic Heritage month and many others.
As we all learn and grow, C-K is committed to doing the same. We will continue to evolve and explore opportunities that attract and support diverse talent because we believe an environment of inclusion allows us all to create the most compelling work in this industry.