Collective Intelligence: Marketing Insights & Ideas to Help Brands Thrive

CI Conversations: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Cannes 2022 and Beyond

July 20, 2022 Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG) Season 1 Episode 13
Collective Intelligence: Marketing Insights & Ideas to Help Brands Thrive
CI Conversations: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Cannes 2022 and Beyond
Show Notes Transcript

McCann Worldgroup’s Laura Simpson and Singleton Beato talk about the rich and nuanced findings of McCann Truth Central’s latest Truth About Diversity study, which they presented during the IPG Equity Breakfast at Cannes. The conversation covers best business practices, challenges and opportunities for marketers, and what today’s diverse audience wants. 

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Intro [00:00:01] Welcome to the Collective Intelligence podcast from IPG. We deliver marketing insights that help modern brands thrive. In this episode, you'll hear about the latest perspectives featured at Listen, then log on to find new opportunities for your brand to stand out. 


Jen (Host) [00:00:22] Hello, everyone and welcome to the Collective Intelligence podcast. My name is Jennifer Sain and I will be your host today. Today we are here to talk about Cannes 2022. And I am so thrilled to be joined by McCann World Groups Laura Simpson and Singleton Beato. I would love it if you both could introduce yourselves, Singleton why don't you start us off?


Singleton B [00:00:44] Hi. Thanks for having us. I'm Singleton Beato. I'm the Global Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for McCann. Worldgroup. My pronouns are she her?


Laura S [00:00:56] Hi, I'm Laura Simpson. My pronouns are also she her and I am the Chief Intelligence Officer for McCann, Worldgroup. And really excited to be here. Thanks for having us.


Jen (Host) [00:01:08] Yes, absolutely. I'm excited to so arguably one of the most prevalent topics at Cannes this year was diversity, equity inclusion, I think you could hear about it in conversations about business practices, and also how it was represented in the work, whether it be the submissions, the winners, or just out there in the landscape in general. To start us off, what I would love to talk about is the research that you both presented at the IPG Equity Breakfast this year. And that was the truth about diversity study, from a Cannes truth Central, that actually, if I'm correct, updated, the study that you had all done in 2018. What I would love is if you could give kind of a brief overview. And I laugh, because it is such a rich and nuanced study. So to say, you know, to be brief is kind of is kind of quite the ask, but just so our listeners know, the presentation that Laura and singleton did at the equity breakfast is available at If one of you would like to kick us off, and just giving a brief overview of that study, and perhaps the methodology, the major findings, what surprised you, what was different about 2018? Other one of you take it away?


Singleton B [00:02:17] Well, that's going to be Miss Laura Simpson, who is the genius behind making sure that not only were we out front of examining issues of diversity globally in 2018, but now has ensured that we are able to keep on top of what has changed. So methodology Queen over to you.


Laura S [00:02:41] My goodness, thank you so much for that Singleton, I would say that I certainly stand on the on the shoulders of giants. And I'm actually going to give a quick shout out to Dr. Rodney Collins, who is our Chief anthropologist, and I worked very, very closely with him. And Thais Anderson, who's also been sort of a key member of this team. So definitely a group effort and you know, tons of people across McCann Worldgroup have sort of weighed in and and just helped shape shape the research. And obviously singleton been, you know, a key a key voice, maybe the most important voice in that mix. So, but yeah, it was, as you say, we've been studying this topic for a decade. So we were really intrigued to see how the pandemic could sort of shift shifted attitudes and kind of how things had evolved over the last couple of years. And in terms of methodology, it's 30,000 interviews globally. So it's a it's a very robust piece of quantitative research. And we also had a qualitative element as well. So we interviewed self identified minorities, so people who said that they were part of a minority group in 10 different countries around the world, and those individuals formed part of a community. And we did online activities with them. And then we also brought them together for roundtable discussions. So sort of like a mixed methodology. And, yeah, I mean, as you say, it's very, very hard to kind of summarize such such a big and complicated piece of research. But I would say that, I guess the first thing that we talked about in the research was this idea of an equity disconnect. And what we mean by that is, on the one hand, there were some really positive signs in the data. And so the majority of people said that they they valued diversity more now than they did a few years ago. So they said that, you know, if we want to build a strong society, if we want to come up with a creative idea, we should bring together a group of people who look and think differently, right, and the number of people who agreed with that has gone up. However, we also said in the research is, despite the fact that people are valuing the DE&I, on a theoretical level, that doesn't always translate in terms of you know, the real lived experiences that People are having day in, day out. And it's not necessarily shifting things on a systemic level. So that was really the disconnect for us. Right? The theory is there and the appreciation is there. But we're still seeing, like, really fun, fundamental challenges. And some of those challenges are increasing over time. So maybe Singleton, maybe you want to talk a little bit about minority piece, because obviously, that that was really fascinating finding as well.


Singleton B [00:5:28] I mean, I think that one of the many things that was great about this research is it gave us I think, an opportunity to learn from, you know, these communities of people that identified themselves as people who had an experience where they felt like an outlier. And I think it really broke open the thinking around how important the lived experience is, when you are weighing into a conversation about diversity, diverse communities, diverse populations, and what that truly means to an individual, right, because, you know, we had some great comments from people saying, how being an outlier in maybe a, a situation gave them some understanding of then what it might mean to be living in that experience. As a matter of course, every single day, right? We have had, you know, people who felt like outliers at events, or, you know, in a particular on a particular day, or at a particular time versus someone that may be in an underrepresented group, that sort of no matter where you are in the world, that group is underrepresented. So this is part of what I loved about the unpacking of the conversation around self identified minorities, I think, you know, to go back to your question around some things that were surprising, I think, what was not surprising for me, obviously, I am a black woman, an African American woman, what wasn't surprising for me is that there was a greater awareness of the importance of diversity around the world, right? Because I think since George Floyd, obviously, a global movement has happened, where the conversation was top of mind for people in every pocket of the world. When it comes to inequity, whatever the traditionally marginalized groups were, there was an uprising. But I think still what we see and I feel like this is this is when the the true studies are always so spot on. And so grounded in reality is that even when you see the number of people increase that say, Oh, yes, it's important. We know that now, we've heard a lot about in the last two years, still, when it comes to some of the tough choices in society, and the behavioral shifts needed to change that and the hard work, people are, you know, people are just not as motivated to change what's necessary to bring more equity into the world. 

Jen (Host) [00:08:23] Yeah, and it's actually it's interesting, you say that I have a stat here, that was not from your study. But it said that so many brands in the summer of 2020, you know, really double down and made these public commitments to DE&I. But now, two years later, only a third have actually set aside resources to affect that change. So what I would ask along those lines, what have you observed in your work, not just around the study, but just in your daily work in our industry? In terms of what are the key issues for the advertising and marketing business to address Dei? And then on the, you know, not just the what are the issues or challenges? Who do you see that's kind of getting it right, or getting? Getting closer to getting it? Right. And I would be happy for either one of you to jump in with that?


Laura S [00:09:12] Well, I mean, I'll just say one thing that I think I've I've observed in general, but also we did see in the research as well, but I think it's challenging for brands and businesses, because we see this amongst respondents, right, there's this idea that there are groups that are in almost like the diversity spotlight. So like a conversation will blow up around a certain group, and then it feels like there's, you know, tons of energy and conversation around that group and then sort of like the spotlight moves, and then it's a different group. And I think sometimes we see that reflected in in consumer attitudes as well, right? They get this notion that it's almost like a one in one out, like how can we possibly deal with all these challenges at the same time, so I think that is that is a difficult thing for brands and businesses to manage And actually one of the things we talked about in the research, which I think is really interesting is sort of like where are the invisible inequities in society, you know, where it because there are so, so many, you know, deep, deep stories of inequity, and there are groups that, you know, that we that we aren't talking about, we aren't thinking about. And sometimes by shining a light on those groups, you can lead to the most innovative and interesting solutions. So, in the research, for example, you know, this was a global piece of research. So we're looking for stories all around the world. Our sort of truth hunter in Chile told us that like Haitian refugees in Chile are just like, that they're not talked about, they kind of pushed to the margins of society. But it's like a really important conversation that that needs to be had. Or in the research, we also talked about an interesting news story that we actually saw as part of our desk research earlier this year, which was that some older people in Japan sort of like pensioners in Japan had been intentionally committing crimes so that they could go to prison because they felt so lonely and marginalized in society that they were they wanted to go to prison to have that sense of like community and care. So I think by following those stories, it's it's interesting, because you can see, well, what were the challenges that aren't being addressed that no one's talking about that, you know, that brands can seek to solve? So yeah, for me, that was certainly an interesting thread in the research that we that we're talking to brands about right now.


Singleton B [00:11:33] Yeah, I mean, I think listen, I think that stat that you that you share, is a great sort of reflection of exactly what the research has shown right? People are very aware that this is a critical issue. But the the core deeply rooted systemic issues in in culture in the world are so challenging, right to overcome, that businesses, particularly at this time, when you know, we're trying to come out of a multitude of crises. I think companies struggle to to keep this particular issue, because it is so dynamic and so complex, they struggle to keep it as high on the list of priorities, when in fact, the concern is, will the business itself be standing a year from now? So I think that is a lot of where, you know, the challenge lies based on that stat that you're talking about. The other piece, and this is in? Certainly the research from the first study, and this study, is that this is, you know, a very tough issue for people to deal with. Not only is it complex, but there is so much human emotion tied up in this conversation whose it becomes who's right and who's wrong, who is at fault, and who has been victimized, what are we going to do to make right that victimization. And when you think about how huge an endeavor that may be, and how much it will cost a company, and I'm not talking about dollars, I'm talking about but dollars, obviously is significant, but also in terms of the real change systemically that needs to take shape. This is huge. This is a huge endeavor. And it takes one of the things that we talk about internally at World group all the time is that this type of change takes everybody to be in everybody every day all in for this change. And the change starts with the individual and the decisions that the individual makes on a day to day basis. Well, when you think about people in the power seat, and the decisions that they have to make on a day to day basis, how frontal is the decision around the active decision around? What am I doing today, to further this issue, when in fact, the issues typically are what am I doing today to solve for making sure that this business remains solvent, and that we are meeting the needs of those people that keep us in business first, so that we can keep people employed. And then they look at these issues of diversity because you can't just tick a box and as you can see and solve for it. So companies getting it right I think certainly and not because they're our clients but because they are truly getting it right. MasterCard, obviously, year over year they show us that They are willing to do the hard work to come up with a holistic approach to addressing issues of inequity for a variety of communities to Laura's point earlier, you know, not just the black community, but the hearing impaired community, the LGBTQ+ community, on and on and on. And then L'Oreal. And one of the things that I always love about L'Oreal is work is, you know, they were early on in the game, thinking about how they can authentically speak to the diverse consumer, that is theirs. And so I think that we've seen over the years them stay very consistent in in pushing forward, their work around all dimensions of diversity, and women, and you name it.


Laura S [00:15:55] I just wanted to build on something that Singleton was saying because I think it's really important. You know, I think particularly as we become more and more aware of sort of, like mounting economic challenges that brands are facing, right, she's, you know, I think that it is really genuinely, really, really tough for CMOs and CEOs, to figure out where to put focus on in sort of like the short term versus the long term. And we see that with respondents as well, right? Consumers, we're asking them to care about, you know, things, systemic things, or things that might affect their future or their children's future. And they'll say, Well, hang on, I'm just trying to get through the week, again, I'm just trying to feed my kids and like, get my kids to school. And, you know, you can understand that right, you can understand that you focus on the things that are like right in front of your face. At the same time, I would also say that we need to ensure that the conversation around business is that these these big issues like DE&I and I'd say this is also true of sustainability, right? They're not, they're not separate, they shouldn't be like the thing I will focus on when we have time, or like when we're not kind of firefighting, because getting it right, when it comes to the DE&I and sustainability, they're not like nice things to have, you know, they're absolutely fundamental to like building a modern business, that's going to thrive in the future. So I think we need to find a way as like strategic partners to make the brands and businesses that we work for understand, you know, how vital it is. And, you know, focusing on DE&I, like now today helps you from like a creativity and innovation point of view, you know, if you want to get the best ideas, if you want to get the best ideas out of your people, then you need to have the best talent, and you need to create an environment where that talent can bring their best ideas to the table, you know, we're not focused on DE&I, we're not going to do that, you know, and that's one thing I've learned from single turn over the last few years. You know, it's it's that that, you know, we're losing out as businesses, if we're not thinking about those things.


Jen (Host) [00:17:56 So glad you brought up creativity, because I did want to talk about that. You know, it's interesting that, you know, the way you've just spoken about that, how woven it was with the purpose. And you know, speaking of purpose, you know, I've read these things where it seems that purpose driven advertising, whether it be, you know, in terms of dei or sustainability, or what have you seems to be mutually exclusive from creativity, I see, I see in certain circles, that there's that idea that they are, that they're that they can't be married, where, you know, hearing you speak, it seems that, you know, to get this right, and to inculcate it into the business and not just be like this is our sustainability effort, but rather to kind of have it be in the the knitting, they can't be mutually exclusive. So to that point, where do you see creativity, meeting Dei, or, or purpose in the work that's out there? Right now? Is there a long ways to go? Are our folks getting it right ish? Where do you see that or just in terms of just kind of your thoughts in general, about creativity, times purpose?


Singleton B [00:19:03] I don't think these things are separate to your point. I think that the things that we're talking about in terms of purpose and however, you know, that's defined by a brand or by a company, which always includes DE&I and the elements of sustainability, these are key drivers of optimizing the creative thinking, the innovative conversation and ultimately the output of the best creative work and we have totally seen that it even in when we are thinking about how creative work is judged. Right. It is those purpose driven campaigns that increasingly are seen by the panel of the greatest creative minds in the world that can those are the things that are being determined to be most meaningful and most impactful. And I think that over time, this will just continue. Right, we will see the deeper integration of the elements of purpose in the work, because what is true, no matter where you are in the world, and no matter what it is, you're marketing, which true is that people in the world now, more so than years and years ago, obviously, with social media and things like that. And the younger generation, people are demanding that the messages that come across to them demonstrate that a brand is very deeply and authentically tapped into what is important in the communities that they serve, like, it's going to increase because that is sometimes the only power play, you may have, as a consumer to say, you know, what I get to choose, there may be a lot of things in my life, I can't choose because of my circumstance. But here's where I get to choose and say to the world, here's my position, and what I think is important, and I do that by demonstrating the brands that I want to spend my money with, quite frankly. So that's just going to increase because all the tumultuous issues in the world that we're seeing now, those are just going to increase because we're just we're at a very challenged point, as a global society.


Laura S [00:21:41] I think sometimes in our industry, we can become a bit obsessive about words and semantics, and is it purpose and we tired of the word purpose, I think at the end of the day, for me, it comes back to you know, that's just a, it's a different way of like solving real human problems, right, like solving real human problems, and some of the big challenges in the world. And I think, as a brand, if you're solving a problem, you know, that's just a really amazing route to innovation and creativity. So, you know, if you look at some of the work that can, like, you know, like knights sink, for example, you know, creating a way for women to train in line with their menstrual cycle, right, that, to me just feels like something that just wouldn't have existed even a few years ago, because there was so little awareness of how the female female physiology is different, right, and how women have different needs to men in all kinds of different ways when it comes to exercise, and diet and medicine, and all of those things. But for me, that's really exciting. Because you're just solving, you're solving a problem in a really, really creative and interesting way. And, you know, that's not separate to a conversation about business growth, because by doing that, by solving it in a really innovative and creative way, you're bringing new people into the market, you're better serving the people who are in the market, therefore, you know, growing the market, growing your business building better and more meaningful connections with your audience. So, so yeah, you know, whether we call it purpose, whether we call it something else, I think that idea of like really understanding humans and the things they're struggling with and how to make their lives better, you know, has always been an important thing will continue to be an important thing. And it feels to me like there's more and more of an understanding of that, which is fantastic.


Singleton B [00:23:37] Yeah, and if I can just add, you know, you hit on a great point and at the heart of what we do, and when we are at our best creatively, we are great storytellers. And so, you know, to Laura's point, very often, I think people, you know, sometimes we were out terminology, in our quest to bring attention to the importance of an issue. But I think if we understand that truly at the heart of this is accessing, ensuring that we can access the multitude of incredible stories that make the rich tapestry of a community or a society, the better we are able to access those stories and those nuances and lived experiences, the better we're able to unearth our most creative ideas that come from the richness of those stories. And so it is by doing this work in DE&I in a holistic way that we are best able to bring forward not only the human beings into our organizations that come from these very rich lived experiences, but by creating the right conditions internally That telegraph to these people that we quite frankly, don't only want to hear from them and hear their opinion. But we want to hear the depths of their thinking that come from their unique stories in culture, and in the world. And when we are able to do that, we get them access to all of these incredible thoughts and ideas that come from those storytellers. And that therefore elevates our creative product and output. And I think more and more people are understanding that, I think what all of the things that happened with the social uprising, started to drive people who may not have otherwise share their story to do so. Because at the heart movement, the conversation was about the value of your voice, and raising your voice. And so it started to become a cultural movement, just to share your own lived experience and why you feel like it's important for that to be represented in whatever area, you had the ability to represent that thinking and that experience in.


Jen (Host)  [00:26:20] Yeah, and actually, just really quickly, I just want to shout out RGA London who actually won the Grand Prix and entertainment for sports for the Nike sync app that you were speaking about, Laura, so just a whoohoo to the IPG family. But yeah, just to kind of continue this conversation. It's funny, I was going to bring up purpose, fatigue next. And I do wonder if that's just something because we do so love our terminology and our, you know, those bucket terms, but you know, hearing you just you both speak, it just seems that it's not a question of being, you know, fatigued at the idea of purpose. But it's, you know, making sure that purpose LED message that that a brand or a company projects, is authentic, and it's it gives value, and it is rich. And I think that also speaks to intersectionality. And I would love, you know, Laura, you were saying about the true lived experiences in the self defined minority groups that you were, you were, you know, studying in the research. And then also, I think this speaks to, you know, what Singleton was saying to about, you know, people want to see their lived experiences and have their particular problems solved. Just to throw out another data point, and an Ipsos survey, it said that 63% of female consumers are under the age of 35 feel that they could be represented in a more relevant way. So it's not just enough to say, there was equity in terms of female versus male representation, or, you know, anything on that, you know, gender spectrum, but rather, where, where are the nuances? And where is that rich lived experience? So I guess, you know, Laura, to start, you know, I said there was a question there, but I did a lot. I think to bring it back to an actual question is, what are the research, you know, in terms of these lived experiences, would you say, bolsters the need for intersectionality within the the strategy behind the work, and then the representation of the work?


Laura S [00:28:23] So really good question. And we were definitely able to explore intersectionality as part of this research, because we were asking people to opt into the idea of being a minority, which, honestly, was a really, really fascinating exercise for us, because it made us realize how complex sort of being a minority is, and you know, that we had specific ideas, you know, criteria demographic groups that we were we were looking for, and then sometimes people would self described as a minority. And we would, it would really sort of make us reflect on our definition of what it means to be a minority. So to, to give you some examples, for example, in like a very, very religious culture. Someone was like, well, actually, I'm a minority, because I'm an atheist. And also, I'm a vegetarian, and there are hardly any vegetarians. So I'm an atheist, vegetarian, self identified minority, and I'm like, oh, okay, that's interesting. And then we had other really surprising definitions. Like there was someone in Brazil who was like, well, actually, I'm a politician. You know, people don't like politicians. So actually, I'm othered. And I'm, I identify as minority. So it was that whole journey, honestly, was was really fascinating. But the other thing we were able to do was see, you know, obviously, these different threads of identity coming together and in different individuals, and I guess both in both challenging ways, but also really positive ways so challenging in the sense that obviously with every sort of like aspect of your identity that might The marginalize those could be considered like additional layers of oppression or like challenges you have to negotiate in your life. But on the more kind of joyful side, often people were really, really proud and positive of the different elements of their identity and how those things came together. So we had this phrase in the research, which was there's magic intersections. And it was kind of like one of the most fun and joyful conversations that we had in the research was kind of getting really deep into people's lives and understanding all the things that kind of made them who they are. And often how close that conversation was to a conversation about creativity. So often, people would say, you know, because I'm, because I'm part of this community, and I'm part of this community, you know, and I'm a woman, and I'm neurodiverse. And, you know, all these different things have come together in my life, both to create challenges for me, but also have provided almost like amazing opportunities for growth and have meant that I have had to be very creative as an individual to sort of navigate all the all of those challenging circumstances. And that was really interesting for us, right, it was like another reason to bring those diverse voices into the organization, right? These are people who really, really pride themselves on their creativity, often, so yeah, that was that was a really valuable learning about the power of, sort of intersectional identity and and just how much more we have to learn, really.


Singleton B [00:31:32] And how much more we have to do, right? I think that when we're talking about, you know, intersectionality, and this is a conversation, obviously, that has become a little bit more of Top of Mind in the last year and a half, at least in the kind of in the popular realm in the social discourse. And I think the key there is that there is no dimension of diversity where a group is, or an individual's represents a monolith. Right. And, and I think, again, this sort of comes from this understanding that if we honor the fact that each individual has a unique story to tell, and the messages that are sent into the world, through the work that we do, share the understanding or share the communication that says, we recognize and value the fact that these different diverse dimensions that we have been thinking about, for years and years that there's so much more to the story than that, versus trying to create these big, large buckets to fit people into, it doesn't honor the unique individual stories of people. And the other thing that has been super interesting in this conversation is the sensitivity around who claims minority status, you know, in in a way that they can sort of still reap the benefits of privilege, those somehow in the world, versus those folks that are a part of previously identified minority groups that are really traditionally and historically underserved groups, that no matter what the situation, they continue to be up against societal barriers of systemic and structural biases. So I think there's still a lot to unpack there. But I am excited that we are able to now think about the issues of intersectionality. And I will say, to your earlier point, the more that we are able to create the conditions so that we create the right messages for our internal people to say we recognize the value of the individual. And we also respect the fact that sometimes the nuances are things that we miss, then we can start to, I think address our own behavior as individuals in the day to day that start to telegraph to our co workers, and, and therefore in our work telegraph to the world that we honor and respect, the nuance and the intersectional experiences of so many people that are within the workplace and in the world.


Jen (Host)  [00:34:40] Yeah, I think that's so important, too. I think so often with this conversation, we just talked about the end product in terms of the representation, you know, in the ad, or what have you. But really, it's, you know, in terms of our you know, the data that goes into our work was their representation and inclusivity in terms of who was polled. And, you know, certainly obviously, this study was but I mean, all the other wherever one else gets their, their data from, and then, just in terms of the internal structure, I have this quote from Jessica Park, who's the SVP of global fan marketing for the NBA. And she says that diversity is having a seat at the table. Inclusion is having a voice at the table, and belonging is being heard at the table. And I think that if that is kind of, again, woven into the structure of the companies, then, you know, hopefully organically that will then bleed into the work. But I do think so often we think end product and not in terms of daily business operations and where that really needs to come from so was there anything else either one of you would want to say to that point?


Singleton B [00:35:44] Yeah, I mean, when you're Talking about business operations. One of the things that I'm really proud of at worldgroup is the fact that we have embedded this particular issue into the heart of our two two meeting operating system, which is really our creative strategic approach to the very beginning aspects of considering how to help a brand play a meaningful role rather earn a meaningful role in people's lives. So it's literally documented, we have a system that is hardwired into our approach to creating work, to even thinking about work and ideating, about how that work should live in the world. And so what's been created is something called the six C. And it is, and you know, the C there is about conscious inclusion, because obviously, we think about issues and culture. But conscious inclusion is a double click, if you will, into the nuances of culture. That brings us to those deeper stories and conversations about subcultures, micro cultures, traditionally marginalized groups and things like that. But it's hardwired into our operating system and our approach to develop and work. So before we even have a team kind of really talking about what this service or product or idea should be. This is a conversation that is happening with the teams that create the work. So it's really about to your point operationalizing this internally, so that it is not bolted on, but it is baked in.


Laura S [00:37:30] I would just add one thing to that, which again, is like one of my favorite things I've heard singleton say and I kind of I often repeat it back to myself, or I like I think about it, which is, you know, when it comes to that, like that structural systemic piece, obviously, as organizations, you know, we do have work to do, and there are changes that we need to make new sort of frameworks for accountability. I think, you know, I was talking to singleton about it. And obviously, a lot of people will come to, you know, they'll come to HR, they'll come to singleton that comes to the CEO, and they're like, What are we doing? What are we doing? What are we doing as an organization? And, of course, people are right to ask that question. But singleton always turns it back and says, Okay, I'll tell you what we're doing as an organization, what are you doing, like, as an individual, what are you doing, and I love that flip of accountability, right? Because it is going to take every single one of us. And we can all make a difference when it comes to D, E, and I and we all have to build that culture that we want to be part of. And I think about that all the time, you know, in my daily work, and I think one of the slides in the deck that we've presented that has kind of been most interesting or like, powerful for people. So singleton referenced it earlier, this idea that everyone has had a moment in their life when they have been othered. And we've got a slide and the slide says, you know, maybe you were the only diabetic at the birthday party, or you were the only dad on the school run, you were the only woman in the meeting, you were the oldest person in the room, right? Like everyone's can have, everyone knows of a time when they felt like that. It's not about saying, Okay, if you've had one of those experiences, you are now like a minority, right? You can claim being minority. It's not that but it's saying, If you experienced that feeling for like a couple of hours, or for a few days, now imagine experiencing that feeling like day in day out for your entire life, right? So it's kind of building that empathy bridge for everyone so that we can all then think about, well, what can I do to change my behavior? Right? How what can I do to make things a little bit better for people that might be experiencing that feeling all the time? You know, what do I what do I need to do differently? You know, and I am probably I'm sure, like all of you on I'm sure, like Singleton right? I really pride myself on being really aware of like DE&I issues. But that doesn't mean that I don't still have moments in my working life where I'm like, God, I should have thought that, like, I wish I'd done that differently. Or I'll know next time not to say that or to ask that question or to, you know, because we're all on that, that journey together to sort of collectively, collectively make things better.


Jen (Host) [00:40:15] Thanks so much, Laura, that is such a great way to kind of ground into individual responsibility. But moving away from that like kind of moving from the micro to the macro. Singleton. You mentioned earlier that we are looking at this DEI work within the framework of sustaining and growing a business. Recent research actually from a Deloitte owned company indicated that 69% of brands, with the most diversity and inclusion in their ads, saw a stock gain of 44% in the seventh quarter period. So as we begin to end our time together, I would ask you, how would you advise your clients, maybe one or two takeaways that you would give them or challenges that you would pose to them to look at their DEI efforts, not only is the right thing to do, but critical for their business success.


Singleton B [00:41:03] I would say, Listen, this, this is about change management. This is not about start a program, start an erg, do a do an ad featuring, you know, some people of color or some folks from traditionally marginalized groups so that you can tick a box and say, Yay, we did it. This is about being deliberate and consistent in your every day, so that you keep top of mind the decisions that you're making, and whether or not those will get you closer to the type of business outcomes that you know, are possible because of this data. I think, you know, the issue with the data is data that says, DE&I, in your work will increase your profitability and your margins and everything. That's not new data. That doesn't seem to move people, right. Because when we saw the McKinsey study that was many, many years ago, when we started to really correlate DNI action to the bottom line. And so I would say my challenge to any business leader is to figure out the, the very practical thing you will do, top of mind, the fact that you must drive toward greater inclusive marketing, that is representative of the society and the communities that you serve, I don't care whether it's a sticky note that you put on your computer, right? Because without it, the busyness of our day to day will land us in a situation where a year from now something will happen. And we know from history, something always happens. And the difference with the next happening is going to be brands will not have a chance to say, Oh, thank you for opening our eyes to this challenge, we are now going to do something about it. Because the conversation is going to be your eyes were open in 2020. And you made all these commitments, and you didn't do anything. So you won't get a pass this time. Right? Because you knew better, you didn't do better. And so you must not value our voice and what we have to say and our lived experience. So we're going to take our dollars and go to the brands that did. So I would say the advice is figure out the practical thing you're going to do so that you keep this top of mind in your day to day and that is what will drive the change.


Laura S [00:43:59] I think I would say, I guess don't let the urgent push out the important which is something I always tried to focus on in my own life. But you know, we are in a sort of Polly crisis situation, as I've heard it called you know, there are lots of pressing concerns. But as we said earlier, you know, DE&I I, you know, these, they're super important to the, to the future of our, you know, all the brands and businesses that we work with, so we can't shelve them, even temporarily, if they're a sort of other pressing thing. I was just gonna say one more thing, which just because it's another IPG shout out, which is I went to see quite a few talks at Cannes. And my favorite, by some way was Susan credle, interviewing Tarana Burke, the founder of the metoo movement, and it was so fantastically insightful, and I kind of I wrote down so many things from that talk, but one of the things that I really took away from it was she was saying, you know, she'd read all these things about you know, me too is dead, you know, because of these really high profile stories involving celebrities and the Amber, Heard trial, etcetera, etcetera. And she was saying, Okay, you can read that in the news, right? You couldn't you couldn't you can write that headline. And she's like, meanwhile, I'm in the communities with women who have experienced sexual violence during the day doing the work day in day out and she was like, at a community level, a grassroots level, like people are making change, right, and they're making people's lives better. And it was really interesting to just hear her talk about like the real work that needs to be done at a community level. And she's like, you know, you can tell whatever story you want up there, like whatever is going on to well Other celebrities, but let me just ground you, like in what's actually going on at a grassroots level and how we are making the lives of real women better. And I just found that so refreshing and kind of grounding. And you she used this phrase, which was like, make space for grace, which I just, I loved as well. So. So yeah, if you have time, I highly recommend, like re watching that, you know, I'm not even sure if that's available through through the app now, but lots of good takeaways there.


Jen (Host) [00:46:16] There are so many good sound bites there, the you know, the empathy bridge, and, you know, the, you know, looking at the important versus the, the urgent, and I mean, so many good sticky note moments, and I just think there's been so many good takeaways, I mean, for me on a personal level, and hopefully for our listeners on a personal level. And then, of course, I mean, and I think that speaks to what we've been saying, right, own it on the individual level, bring it into our business operations, and then we can push it forward to our clients. Thank you both so much for your time. This has been a wonderful conversation. I feel like I could talk to you all morning.


Laura S [00:46:48] Thank you.


Singleton B [00:46:50] Thank you for the invitation.


Jen (Host) [00:46:51] All right. Thank you both. Again, this was wonderful. 


Outro [00:46:54] Thank you for listening to the Collective Intelligence podcast. For more marketing insights and ideas, please subscribe to this podcast or visit