Today is National Coming Out Day, and Grey has decided to celebrate by highlighting the personal journeys and experiences of the agency's own members of the LGBTQ community in a film created with VideoOut, a library dedicated to LGBTQ coming-out stories.
The video, which went live today, features Grey New York employees sharing their own stories. This is the first time the WPP agency has commemorated National Coming Out Day, and the idea came from the Grey People's Council, which includes three groups: Grey Pride, Famously Effective Women and InteGREYted.
People's Council was founded in January 2016 and is "focused on embracing and encouraging all facets of diversity and inclusion within the agency," says Debby Reiner, Grey New York CEO.
The video, in addition to being shared on VideoOut and Grey's online channels, will be viewed at the agency's weekly meeting and is being pointed out to all Grey employees worldwide in an email from Reiner.
In the agency-wide memo sent out today, Reiner wrote, "We're always looking for new ways to support the self-expression and transparency of Grey talent, in our pursuit of greater creativity and human understanding, and we think these stories tell a universal truth: when people can be themselves, accepted without backlash, they can flourish in all ways."
Reiner told Ad Age that she hopes this will be the first of many programs. She says the industry hasn't really put a focus on coming out in the advertising world today, so she hopes that by encouraging that level of transparency, the industry will become even more welcoming and inclusive.
"We believe strongly that diversity feeds creativity," says Reiner.
A couple other agencies have taken to Twitter today to commemorate #NationalComingOut. See below.