It's a simple question. If Wunderman Seattle has jousting competitions (which they do), why don’t they have a diversity club?
They do now. The office is home to Wunderman’s first Inclusion Team, a team of four that strives to spread awareness about the importance of diversity in advertising, in both the industry and the ads themselves.
“It’s about ensuring that we create an inclusive environment that not only attracts diverse backgrounds, but fosters a culture that makes people want to stay,” says HR Recruiter Danielle Wimhurst. “It’s about celebrating everyone as an individual and embracing the differences that make us who we are.”
Seattle creative teams participated in “Inclusion in Creative” sessions, guided discussions designed to keep diversity in their minds as they create ads. Similarly, President Robbee Minicola tasked its Editorial Services Department with ensuring inclusivity in every piece of creative’s language and imagery.
“How many stock photos do you see of a white male authoritatively telling women and minorities what’s what?” asks Senior Proofreader Yoona Lee, another founding member and self-described racial equity activist. “We’d say, ‘No, you put the woman of color in charge for a change.’ We’re disrupting the power dynamic that exists, which is the only way you can fight for social justice. You can change the world, one image at a time.”
For Lee, that mentality goes beyond Wunderman’s own creative work. Many of the Inclusion Team’s initiatives revolve around powerful imagery, from the elaborate murals Lee has drawn on the office chalkboard to field trips to see multicultural exhibits at the Seattle Art Museum.
In addition, the team has organized parties for Women's History Month and Lunar New Year, and quarterly guest speakers. The series kicked off with Donte Parks, the vice president of culture at Seattle digital agency Substantial, participating in a Q+A about diversity in the agency world.
“The Inclusion Team has opened up the culture more for this kind of dialogue to happen,” says Lee.
She notes the widespread participation in all Inclusion Team events, which has resulted in a closer office. She attributes Wunderman Seattle’s commitment to inclusion, at least in part, to winning "Best Culture" during the Wunderman Day video competition. That, and the jousting competitions. Click here to see Wunderman Seattle’s tips for inclusion.