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365 Not 28

For 28 days, Mission highlighted black leaders in our industry who inspire our agency. While we should be highlighting these leaders, we also need to deliberately put our resources into creating a culture that not only gestures to Black leaders during February, but that relies on Black leaders and creators in our day-to-day work. Mission is a majority white agency, and so we have to ask, how is our agency being inspired by these Black leaders? Did we only find these individuals inspiring because they were able to achieve a certain level of success in a biased industry? Are we paying attention to all the black creators who are not given the opportunity or space to achieve “success” in our industry? If we’re going to highlight prominent black achievement and spotlight black potential during black history month, then we also have to be equally committed to creating pathways for everyone of color working to succeed in our industry.

The individuals we shared are a small representation of a small black marketing, advertising, and PR community in general. While their professional accomplishments are notable and worth highlighting, we have to reflect on the bigger issue of inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging in an industry that has long limited accessibility for people of color.

I’m proud to work at Mission, but over my 3 years less than 10% of employees were black - including myself. That’s not good enough. We have to continue to ask these questions and have these conversations 365 days a year and actually do something! I’m pleased to see and be a part of Mission’s commitment to creating a more diverse and welcoming workplace and industry for people of color. 

Here are some of the things we've pledged to do:

  • Continuing to identify conscious and unconscious bias and work towards diversity in our hiring, client portfolio, and company culture.
  • Establish living wage internships and make these opportunities more accessible to black candidates by participating in career fairs at local colleges, with direct outreach to HBCU’s specifically. 
  • Having conversations with professors and leadership at HBCU’s to discuss skill sets, opportunities, and expectations for students entering the field. 
  • Expanding our partnerships with black creators and agencies. 
  • Adding DEIA assessments to employee reviews and feedback opportunities throughout the year.
  • Participating in career days at the local schools to share career opportunities in branding, marketing, design, and development.

We shared these Black History Month posts as the start of a conversation that has no bookend on February 28th. The work ahead is extensive if we’re going to realize substantive change in our industry and a society that still falls well short of true equity. We’ll be sharing Mission’s efforts on this front throughout 2022 and beyond. We hope to see what others are doing as well.