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Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021: ForwardPMX

Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021: ForwardPMX

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ForwardPMX impressed the judging panel with its “Thousand as one” mentality. ForwardPMX, which operates in more than 15 countries with over 20 offices around the world, aims to encourage employees to initiate cross-cultural experiences and a safe forum. Today, the company prides itself in its effort on diversity, equity and inclusion, where there is a clear understanding on impacting social or cultural issues.

The push for diversity, equity and inclusion really became clear to the company with the Black Lives Movement in 2020, which the brand took as a real indication to do its part to improve diversity within its company and its business model. Adding fuel to its fire of inciting real change was the pandemic which saw first-hand the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on certain communities.

Keeping true to its beliefs that a diverse workforce is a way forward, ForwardPMX made the decision to hire digital talents from different countries when the company expanded in 2020. However, with the 41% increase in manpower from all over the world, unavoidable tensions within the company rose. Differences in cultural norms and mannerisms were also often misunderstood. Although these cases were far and few, the company saw the importance of addressing initiatives that could be grounded to its core to promote positive conversation around culture, traditions, and religion to reduce further misunderstanding.

A dedicated DE&I community was then created in the third quarter of 2020 to focus on promoting cultural education and championing global initiatives in the region. Leading this community would be its APAC and Russia managing director, Richard Brosgill who is a strong proponent and advocate of diversity in the workforce. Brosgill was put in charge of rolling out and implementing these initiatives, and of course, ensuring that the company abides by the set standards of DE&I.

Of course, the implementation wasn’t without its own challenges given the scale of the business. This then led to a new creation for the company in the fourth quarter of 2020. A Purpose pillar was introduced and consultants Creative Equals were brought on board to conduct and create benchmarking surveys to get a pulse check on employees’ perspectives of the DE&I policies and practices, and to help identify further challenges and areas to improve.

Since then, ForwardPMX has made changes to ensure that there would be no workplace discrimination. These changes included diversity in client handling, anonymous platforms such as OfficeVibe to boost conversations and lastly an effort for each employee to be aware of the different festivals as well as an exchange of gifts or food well known specifically to the festival.

Notably, after the launch of 'OfficeVibes' in September 2020, the overall 'Happiness' score increased by 14% and the 'Relationship with Peers' improved by 25% in its Korea office – where the company had previously experienced unhappiness within teams.

Any further complaints of conversational aggression and rudeness against any forms of discrimination were also rare. Instead, there has been a level of openness and respect, as positive feedbacks that were received which in turn led to a safe, friendly working environment.

To read the rest of the agency initiatives in the Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021, click here.

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