Airbnb’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jonathan Mildenhall, has tweeted a note to creatives asking for women and “creatives of color” to meet with him at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this June.
— Jonathan Mildenhall (@Mildenhall) May 22, 2017
The link on the tweet goes to their site which states:
“Going to Cannes Lions this year?
The most diverse brand needs the most diverse creative team. If you’re a creative of color or a woman in the creative industry, and have A-class work we want to meet you while you’re there. And if you’re not going to Cannes, we should still talk. Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s connect.”
This is a bold move for Airbnb, who have been working hard to promote diversity throughout their branding. They have also been working had to diversify its creatibe team. Airbnb’s site also proclaims:
“At Airbnb, we take great pride in showcasing the human stories of our diverse community. Whether they reside in Paris or Nairobi, Rio or New Delhi, our members are global citizens that represent every imaginable hue, faith and orientation. At the same time, the creative industry suffers from a lack of representation of women and people of color.
To authentically convey a wide range of experiences, we are reaching out to these underrepresented groups whose perspectives, connections and experiences are rooted in different parts of the world—yet, generally speaking, aren’t in the room when their opinions are needed most.
By cultivating a strong group of wide-ranging minds, we will create impactful storytelling that can make positive societal change, captivate the industry, and push us closer to a world where anyone can truly Belong Anywhere.”
“The industry has been talking about the need for diversity for as long as I’ve been in it,” said Jonathan Mildenhall. “It is now time for us all to stop talking, and start on-boarding opportunities for these vastly underrepresented creators. And I, for one, will do everything within my power to ensure we do so.”
It is now accepted that the more diversity in your team, generally, the more successful it is so this can only be a smart move. Mildenhall has become a champion of diversity both within Airbnb and outside of it, earlier this year he called for greater diversity of judges on the Cannes panel:
— Jonathan Mildenhall (@Mildenhall) January 26, 2017
Earlier this year they also launched their #WeAccept campaign which promised housing for 100,000 people in need, beginning with refugees, over the next five years. This came in the wake of Tumps Muslim ban which the company publicly objected to. The CEO of Airbnb Brian Chesky said:
Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017