PRWeek 40 Under 40, Board Diversity, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Beth Ford, LeBron James & More

Every industry has “power” or “leadership” lists, conferences and events that are important validators, provide access and awareness and can be important both for companies and for individuals. Yes these are competitive. Yes they are time consuming. Yes many require an investment in time and many times funding.  Why are they important? You see those that are being recognized are getting access and potentially more opportunities. Representation matters. That is why every time we see a list, a panel or industry awards that lacks diversity we speak up. I’ve seen several lists recently that make me wonder what the barriers for having more diversity are – i.e. Adweek Power List. The most recent one PRWeek 40 Under 40. Now if you look at this year’s list, it is diverse, and according to editorial director Steve Barrett, it is the most diverse. However, I do wonder why there seems to be only one Hispanic and one Asian American on the list, especially if you look at the demographics. Steve says he sees this as an anomaly if you look at previous years. I believe him as I’ve seen first-hand PRWeek’s commitment to diversity, in fact they produced one of the best videos on the topic for the PR industry, so my questions in this instance are more to those that nominate professionals in our industry. Also, don’t get me wrong – yes every individual on that list deserves to be there. I am also not advocating for quotas, that would be a mistake, but I go back to the numbers and demographics. If this generation is more diverse, and if as I’ve been told, we are seeing more entry level diverse individuals in PR, why is this not reflected in this list? Are there barriers we are not thinking of? Could this impact the pipeline of Hispanic or Asian American talent in leadership roles in PR? Food for thought.

Board diversity continues to be another issue, and something getting coverage today because of CBS, this from the New York Times: “Mr. Moonves, 68, has been the chairman of the CBS board since 2016, and the majority of its 14 members started their tenures after he was appointed chief executive in 2006. Three of the 14 are women, and the board’s average age is 73.” Here is this 2017 report from Deloitte on board diversity, a recommended read. Also some good organizations to follow and work with on board diversity include Women Corporate Directors, The Executive Leadership Council, The Latino Corporate Directors Association and Ascend.

Other stories I am following this week, this Annenberg study that highlights the ongoing diversity issues in Hollywood, Latino leaders asking for Paramount boycott, “Venture Capitals Diversity Disaster,”and this from Forbes, “‘I Want To Hire Someone Who Is Nothing Like Me’: An Entrepreneur’s Approach To Diversity.”

Congratulations to Beth Ford, named Land O’Lakes president and CEO and breaking new barriers. I love this, “Two Kenyan Entrepreneurs Create and Afrocentric Stock Photo Marketplace,”  and of course the new LeBron James school. Watch his CNN interview here. Also congratulations to Jorge Plasencia and Ilia Calderon being honored by HPRA this year!

ICYMI “Your Career, Your Terms” is a resource for women. Created by Perry Yeatman she has great interviews that, as the site describes “provides insights and inspiration to help ambitious women have the careers and lives of their dreams.” Don’t miss the second season of “Your Career, Your Terms: Pivot Points.”

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Diversity & March for Our Lives, the Box Office, Chance The Rapper, Intel’s Diversity Report & More

These past few days there has been extensive coverage about the March for Our Lives movement and the marches. Regardless of your politics you have to recognize and salute these students for what they have accomplished, in many instances as they grieved. Many of them opting, as The Onion reminded us, to do this instead of partying during Spring Break. What also is impressive is how the organizers of this movement have recognized that that they have an important platform, acknowledged their privilege and welcomed diversity. Some of the most impactful speeches and moments at the march were led by women and girls with diverse backgrounds. Probably the most talked about moment was Emma Gonzalez’s speech…and silence.  Then there were speeches by nine-year-old Yolanda Renee King, Dr. Martin Luther King’s granddaughter; 11-year-old Naomi Wadler’s and 17 year-old Edna Chavez. You can watch all of the speeches from DC here. Following the marches there have been some unfortunate moments including a post by Representative Steve King criticizing Emma. The only reason I highlight this is because the response from Monica Castillo in The Lily is a must read. Here is my favorite line because as a bilingual, bicultural immigrant, I can attest it’s true: “Most of us wear our biculturalism proudly every day. Maybe not on our clothes, but in how we celebrate our culture, our language, food or practices.”

If you missed this one, Chance the Rapper called out Heineken for an ad he called “terribly racist.” Read more here.  In one of his tweets he says he is “pointing out that alot of these marketing agencies are doing willfully so we overreact and tweet about it.” As far as this campaign goes, Heineken has removed the ad, which you can still find online. This is the latest brand missing the mark when it comes to diversity, and I do hope it is ignorance and not more. However, it is again a reminder on why diverse teams in advertising and marketing are important.  I don’t know if the team or agency changed from last year but not sure how the brand who did this ad called “Worlds Apart” could then do this one.

This week we’ve also seen a continued focus on diversity in media. Here is this story from CNN on how diversity is dominating the Box Office; Black Panther continues to break records; John Leguizamo announced he is expanding his studio to create more content for Latinos and there was an announcement that “One Day at a Time” was renewed for a third season after a social media campaign by fans.

Other news I am following this week include Intel’s diversity report, here is this from Portland “A School Board Member Complains to the Feds About the Quality of Education for Minority Kids in Portland,” this from USA Today titled “See Buffalo coach’s powerful words about diversity” and this guest commentary from Modern Healthcare on promoting diversity.

Congratulations to Tanzina Vega who has been named host of “The Takeaway.”  If you don’t follow her on Twitter, you should.

This week’s ICYMI is this analysis by Ronald Brownstein about diversity, an important read.

Photo by Rux Centea on Unsplash

The Golden Globes, why representation matters, Rebecca Aguilar launches Facebook group for Latina journalists, and more

Happy Tuesday. This week I have to start with the Golden Globes. I wasn’t sure on what to expect but was pleasantly surprised at how it became a “female empowerment event” as also described by Gamespot. There was of course Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech as the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award (link here if you missed it). There were other firsts including Sterling K. Brown as first African-American actor to win in the best actor in TV Drama and Aziz Ansari becoming the first Asian-American to win for best actor in a TV comedy. 

This year activists became the real stars of the Red Carpet, read more here. One of my favorite moments on the Red Carpet was this by Viola Davis. I also recommend reading  this piece from Jane Randel about #TimesUp. As she says “Changing the conversation is more complex and time-consuming, conceptually harder to understand, and oddly more discomforting to discuss because it forces us to look at our own behaviors.” 

Back to Oprah. One of the most important messages in her speech for me was that representation matters. This is why the conversation on diversity is so important. So let’s talk representation and start with this on Latinas in newsrooms. Monica Castillo, film writer for the New York Times Watching, shared these percentages of Latinas in newsrooms:

2.47%  – print newspapers

8.7% – TV news

4.2% – Radio.

Rebecca Aguilar launched a Facebook group for Latina journalists to create a community because as she says: “If no one else will open the doors for us, we will open them.” Bravo!

Now two examples of why representation also matters. 1) The New York Times identifying Rita Moreno as a guest in a photo caption. I get it that in red carpets things move quickly but really? Remember, she is one of the few entertainers to to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. 2) H&M. That’s all I’ll say. Read more here.  It is unacceptable that these mistakes are happening today and I do believe that if you had more diversity this would not happen.

Another story driving the conversation this week, Carrie Gracie resigning from her post at the BBC because of the gender gap pay.

Here is this shared by Tanzina Vega and a great read: “Women of Color Will Reclaim and Monetize Our Time.”  

Other recommended reads for this week: 7 CMOs Myths About Hispanic Marketing, “Gallup poll: Soccer closes in on big three as most popular U.S. spectator sport,” and  this Cindy Gallop profile (btw great content by MM.LAFLEUR).

And the ICYMI of the week: “New UC Irvine dean will be only woman of color to lead a top law school, university says.” Congratulations!

Be on the lookout for the list of conferences to attend, I’ll post those soon.

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash