Interpublic Group hosted the company’s 10th annual Inclusion Awards on August 16, 2018 live in New York City, with a national webcast reaching employees in offices across the United States. Co-sponsored by MERGE, IPG’s employee Business Resource Groups, the Inclusion Awards recognize agencies and individuals for their leadership in advancing the company’s goal of being one of the world’s most diverse and inclusive companies.
The 2018 Inclusion Awards began with opening remarks from Michael Roth, IPG’s Chairman and CEO. “We want to be a company where people want to work, do what they love, have the opportunity to contribute and be recognized for who they are,” commented Roth. “It is imperative to avoid stereotypes and implicit biases to do better advertising. Diversity and inclusion literally cuts through everything, from our talent issues to the work we do for our clients,” he continued.
Roth introduced Khetsiwe Dlamini, Chief of Staff and Interim Director of Strategic Partnership Division, UN Women. Along with other leading companies and UN Women, IPG is a founding member and Vice Chair of the Unstereotype Alliance, a global initiative to banish stereotypical portrayals in advertising and marketing. Khetsiwe showed a video about the mission of the Unstereotype Alliance created by IPG’s MullenLowe London that launched on the first anniversary of the initiative.
The centerpiece of the awards featured a fireside chat between Heide Gardner, IPG’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and W. Kamau Bell, Emmy Award-winning host of CNN’s “United Shades of America.” Bell and Gardner discussed the various ways that identities intersect and contribute to the stories people tell about themselves and the importance of belonging. “At the heart of what we’re trying to do is to change the stories that we tell and the people that we reach. It is about changing the stories of how we do our work and the people who work for us for the well-being of our clients’ customers and society at large,” said Gardner.
Philippe Krakowsky, EVP, Chief Strategy and Talent Officer of IPG and Chairman of IPG Mediabrands, closed the event recognizing long-time IPG employee Angelique Piwinski, whose retirement will cap 41 years of service in the advertising industry, including 20 years of service to IPG and its agencies. Angie spent 18 years as an EVP, Group Account Director at AFG& and was the National Co-Chair for IPGLBT before joining the Diversity and Inclusion team as a Program Specialist. Philippe encouraged us all to be urgent in our commitment to diversity and inclusion every day.
This year, there were 71 submissions from agencies around the world and 124 employee volunteers helped select the winners. For the first time in the history of the awards, one agency won in four separate categories. Weber Shandwick, IPG’s leading global public relations firm, won two awards for their work for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, an award for diverse and inclusive talent initiatives resulting in hires, and the highest honor for an individual, recognizing leadership in diversity and inclusion above and beyond their job description.
The 2018 IPG honorees were:
- Community Impact – Weber Shandwick
- Most Effective Targeted Campaign – Weber Shandwick
- Best Internal Communications Program – Campbell Ewald
- Inclusive Talent Initiatives – Weber Shandwick
- Inclusion Campaign of the Year – FCB India
- Inclusion Ally of the Year – Jeff Cruz, Chief Creative Officer, MRM//McCann Detroit
- Inclusive Leadership Award – Emil Hill, Senior Vice President, Weber Shandwick
- Most Inclusive Climate of the Year – Orion Worldwide
- Agency Inclusion Vanguard – Carmichael Lynch