As the ad world continues to work to diversify its employee base, it's struggling to retain employees due to pervasive issues ranging from ill-defined career advancement to tokenism, according to a new study from AdColor.
The new findings were revealed in AdColor’s “State of the Workforce Study: Retention Outlook Through a DE&I Lens,” the first installment in a three-part report series conducted by the nonprofit organization that explores why multicultural employees in the ad industry are leaving their jobs—and what might encourage them to stay.
Reasons include: “psychologically unsafe work environments;” an apparent lack of dedication to improving diversity issues; and the industry’s emphasis on subjective “culture fits” that often award promotions to people who feel like the right fit, rather than to those who might be more deserving on merit.
“We have seen a strong shift in recent years towards increasing diversity in creative industries, but there is still much work to be done as we navigate our way towards a more stable, satisfied and inclusive workforce,” said AdColor founder Tiffany R. Warren.
Particularly since the death of George Floyd in 2020, which was followed by hundreds of brand and agency pledges to uphold diversity goals, many marketers have acted to establish both in-house and on-screen representation, erecting new internship programs and developing other resources to encourage more diverse candidates to join the ad world.