By Darren W Martin Jr. and Rubina F. Malik, Ph.D.
As the advertising and technology industries are rallying behind diversity efforts by increasing the hiring of diverse individuals, a lack of inclusion and opportunity beyond entry-level positions is having the adverse effect of inflating attrition throughout the industries.
While increasing representation is an important first step to fixing advertising and America’s long-term diversity issue, diverse individuals–people of color, Black people in particular–are facing staunch barriers to moving up the ladder.
In an Adobe study on attrition in the advertising industry, participants were asked about having opportunity to reach their career goals within the workplace.
“As a black woman, I am very confident that I do not have an equal opportunity to reach my goals,” American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) diversity task force chair Jacinda Walker told Adobe in response to the qualitative survey.
The survey also found that over twice as many people of color cited a lack of tools and training as a barrier to advancements, compared to white respondents. Sixty-five percent cited “Lack of sponsorship from a senior-level advocate” as an obstacle to growth, compared to 53 percent among white respondents, while 62 percent cited a lack of support from management, compared with 49 percent among white respondents.
These insights were at the heart of the conversation at Bold Culture’s executive roundtable, which featured advertising, marketing and tech executives in training, development, inclusion, design and leadership roles. The roundtable focused on the reasons for high attrition among diverse talent and the proposed solutions to this issue over time. Insights from executives are anonymous to create a safe space and gain an authentic understanding of industry issues and solutions.