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Survey contrasts perceptions between multicultural and white ad professionals
(April 12, 2012) Tangerine Watson Inc, a consultancy firm specializing in Black, Hispanic and Asian advertising, marketing and media talent, has announced findings from its Impact Study 2011. This is the first industry-wide research snapshot contrasting the perceptions and perspectives of multicultural and white ad professionals.
The Impact Study offers an objective baseline to build upon current initiatives moving forward and tangible employee values for agencies to establish their own competitive edge. A ranking of the "Best Agencies" drawn from the 800 multicultural respondents will be announced shortly.
"A purposeful and conscious effort to solicit genuine feedback from employees regardless of ethnicity to improve agency culture is crucial," said Carol Watson, CEO/Founder of Tangerine Watson, Inc. "The long running diversity and inclusion problem will not change organically. We all have to take proactive steps toward fostering that much-needed change. We believe that capturing and reviewing the insights gained from this study can help move the conversation forward to implement a truly effective action plan."
In an effort to provide workable industry solutions for diversity, Tangerine Watson commissioned Zebra Strategies, a leading market research firm, to conduct the Impact Study 2011. Differences in experience and perception are perhaps one of the most important findings of the Impact Study 2011. The study is also an examined how these differences impact the industry and employee career experiences.
Key findings from the Impact Study reveal:
• Differences in life experiences, values, understanding, perspectives, and ways of doing things are actually treasured. They are the very motors of creativity and innovation. Yet, 74% of multicultural respondents agree that their experiences as employees are different from their white colleagues due to their backgrounds. One respondent comments, "there is always an unspoken uneasiness as an ‘outsider."
• While access to key decision makers and mentors/sponsors is an important factor for all professionals, multicultural employees are much less likely to feel satisfied with their level of access.
• Most respondents (89%), regardless of ethnicity, feel that diversity in the industry needs improvement. However, in spite of the recent and considerable industry attention to diversity, the percentage of individuals who feel there is either no change or change for the worse in the amount of diversity is quite high across the board.
• Hiring and retention are important but we have so little diversity in the industry that it becomes a significant reason for losing multicultural ad professionals. African-Americans (33%), Hispanics (21%) and other ethnic groups (47%) are more likely to cite lack of racial and ethnic diversity as a very important reason for leaving the industry than whites (4%).
Respondent outreach efforts included a variety of channels including: AdAge, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, AAF, AHAA, AdClub, AdColor, 4A’s MAIP Alumni MMR, Marcus Graham, Tangerine Watson, Inc. multicultural candidate database and various advertising industry conferences, newsletters and events.
Respondent answers were collected from September 13, 2011 through December 31, 2011. The research spans all geographical regions, agency sizes, job functions, seniority levels, as well as both general market and multicultural agencies.
"The data collected as a result of the Impact Study will provide the industry with valuable insights regarding areas to focus upon as we continue to further understand and leverage the benefits of diversity of thought," said Constance Cannon Frazier, Chief Operating Officer of the American Advertising Federation. We hope industry executives will utilize the information to further their efforts to provide opportunities for young professionals from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds."
Founded by Carol Watson in 2006 as a spinoff of executive search firm Tangerine, Inc., Tangerine Watson Inc is the only national talent sourcing, coaching and consultancy firm specializing in Black, Hispanic and Asian advertising, marketing and media talent.
Tangerine Watson Inc has become a nationwide team of talent consultants and cross-cultural coaches who serve the country’s leading advertising, media and marketing firms. Tangerine Watson Inc capabilities include recruitment, retention strategies, cultural competency and inclusive leadership development. Clients have included Draftfcb, Ogilvy, McCann Erickson, Arnold Worldwide, TBWA/Chiat/Day, W+K, General Mills and Lifetime Networks. For more information please visit www.tangerine-watson.com.
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