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The DEI Deck 2022: Reflections on Driving Change

How much has really improved inside agencies?

June 16, 2022

The Team at Codeword

Like so many of our peers, we’ve been examining our efforts to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive agency. We’re not living up to our promises as much as we’d hoped, and the same is true of the marketing industry at large. But we’re trying.

During the incendiary summer of 2020, we made commitments to greater racial and ethnic diversity. In this report, we look at where we’re at on our goals and how they compare to the industry’s progress.

In addition, Renee Miller, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Code + Theory, joined Codeword’s Kyle Monson and Arturo Gutierrez for a candid chat about why so many agencies spin their wheels on DEI issues. The deck includes key takeaways from their examination of the marketing industry’s historically fraught relationship with DEI and the colossal amount of work that still needs to be done.

The DEI Deck also includes resources for agencies and marketers everywhere — three questions you should ask after every client briefing to ensure inclusivity, do’s and don’t of inclusive copywriting and words to avoid, and anonymous thoughts from our employees on DEI in agencies. We also hear from Senior Strategist Sahar Mehdi on her highly disappointing experience as a ‘Diversity Fellow’ at an agency. 

Let’s be honest: the work never ends. Committing to anti-racism is a lifelong effort. But we don’t have to be like the other agencies who make platitudes and promises that aren’t backed up with action. Everyone, and every agency, is capable of affecting change, and starting small is okay — as long as you start. Explore the full DEI Deck 2022 here.

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