Look at best practices and what others are doing to foster diversity and inclusion, and then make it your own. Craft something that will work in your organization. This was one of many powerful messages shared by Carol Watson, Senior Director, Diversity Best Practices, as she addressed the IAB Education Foundation Diversity & Inclusion Task Force at its June meeting. I am privileged to be the Lead Facilitator for the Task Force, a group of volunteers from the digital advertising industry who are dedicating their time, talent, and resources to help address issues of diversity and inclusion in their own organizations and in the industry.

The Task Force meets quarterly to learn from experts on Diversity & Inclusion, and to move its work forward. At its February meeting, several members of the Task Force shared stories about successful D&I initiatives undertaken by their organizations. We heard from Don Lowry from The Nielsen Company, Rob Sanchez from MeritDirect, and Jill MacVicar from The Meredith Corporation. In April, we offered a special workshop called D&I: A Primer conducted by Karen Watai which addressed the business case for D&I, the impact of unconscious bias, and D&I strategies that actually work. At our June meeting, Carol Watson spoke on D&I best/next practices, bold and inclusive leadership, and inclusion trends.

The Diversity & Inclusion Task Force has a far-reaching mission: to change how diversity is perceived and rewarded within organizations. The problems are well defined. The solutions are well known. Now is the time to create significant, meaningful change.

The Task Force runs as a combination think tank and incubator for human resources, diversity and inclusion professionals, and digital advertising senior level executives.

The Task Force meets quarterly and includes three working groups which are tackling the following topics:

  • The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion: This Working Group will look into building a business case for diversity and inclusion in the digital advertising industry. By auditing existing research studies and learning from our members, our goal is to create best practices and metrics to move the industry forward.
  • Recruiting: The goals of the Recruiting Working Group are to identify challenges and develop strategies to increase the diversity of the talent pipeline and to create best practices for sourcing and recruiting.
  • Retention: The goal of the Retention Working Group is to reduce attrition within diverse groups year over year. By examining existing inclusion practices and current research on retention, the Working Group will develop retention tools that can be used throughout the industry.

If you are interested in learning more about the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, please email TaskForce@idiverse.org