Our industry, like many, has not been as mindful of diversity as we should have been. And, like our industry, neither has Firehouse. Yes, we've hired and promoted people of color. But we recognize that we can be more diligent and more intentional in both who we hire and how we behave as an agency. BIPOC currently represents 15% of our team, and they are some of our brightest, most valuable players. Still, we as an agency have failed to see the need to prioritize, network, recruit and promote differently. And today, as with many, our eyes are opened and our perspective is forever changed.
But changing our minds is not enough; we have to change our behaviors. We believe the guidelines for our industry created by organizations like 600 & Rising are important and need to be addressed. It’s necessary that we all do our part, and inaction, like silence, is not an option. So today, we announce that we will commit to the following goals and take immediate action to achieving them:
- Create a Diversity and Inclusion team - this group will spearhead education, training and the implementation of new agency processes
- Solidify new hiring practices & processes - we’ll expand recruiting outreach to include new resources, with access to more diverse talent for all levels and departments of agency staffing
- Provide unconscious and conscious bias training - we’ll host an all-agency event that offers bias training, and provide education and resources on an on-going basis
- Expand the groups in which we network - Whether it’s recruitment, working with new vendor partners, or partnering with local schools, we’ll make a commitment to using MBWE and HUB partners even more often than we have historically.
- Hold ourselves accountable - we’ll create measurable goals, track these throughout the year and report our progress on an annual basis. These results will be shared publicly in a newly-created space on our agency’s website.
As we move forward, we also intend to hold the clients and partners we work with accountable and aren’t afraid to terminate relationships with those whose behaviors are antithetical to our goals and practices. We are determined and committed to learn, grow and evolve as a company, and sincerely hope this conversation stimulates change not only within our walls, but within the advertising community at large.