To help us rethink our approach to culture, Keni Thacker joined us on Thursday, October 10 to be our first presenter in this year’s Spotlight Speaker Series.

Taking a page from a Tina Turner classic, Keni began his talk by asking attendees, “What’s culture got to do with it?” The answer: everything. Culture has everything to do with diversity and inclusion. From there, Keni illustrated what diversity, culture, and inclusion mean for our industry and what we can do to be better.

The Intersectionality of Diversity, Culture, and Inclusion

He asserted that diversity is one of our biggest dilemmas in advertising, with people of color sharing only 30% representation in our industry. To combat that, Keni suggest you assess your pipeline and consider new ways to recruit employees.

Next, he described culture as a balance of learning, caring, purpose, and enjoyment. Keni urged companies and agencies to show your people you care. Take an active part in their lives and get involved in what your employees are doing, inside and outside of work.

Lastly, Keni discussed inclusion and what we could be doing to make people feel that they are a part of our organization. He encourages us to partake in team building exercise and give people experience they’ll never get anywhere else.

Food for Thought

To improve the advertising workspace, Keni recommended you think of diversity, culture, and inclusion as a constant, reflective process. Always look for ways to evolve and reexamine what you could do better. He also suggested that decision-makers take a stand. If you have a seat at the table, use your influence to include more voices and keep your company progressing.

Keni concluded his talk with an engaging Q&A session that left the audience with plenty of ways to consider how culture makes an impact.