The News blog: an industry view on diversity
With the advertising industry’s thought-leaders assembling in London this week, Dom Carter, Commercial Director at News UK, looks at the question of diversity across the sector.
London is truly ‘the world under one roof’ and this week my colleagues and I are hosting a diverse mix of peers at the third annual AdWeek. News UK is leading the way this year and we are bringing an all-star cast to our events and promoting the power of newspapers to advertising executives from across the continent.
Diversity means many different things to many people, often falling under the banner of race or religion, disability, sexual orientation or nationality. For me, the reality is that we are dealing with a sensitive subject to many, and one that will probably never satisfy those who feel under-represented. I believe the biggest challenge we have is confronting our own prejudices, whatever they are, to try to address them in the certain knowledge that we are doing the ‘right’ thing.
Last year I was invited to attend an event called The Powerlist 100, where the top 100 most powerful and influential black people in Britain of African and African Caribbean heritage are acknowledged and celebrated. I was sceptical and concerned from the outset; concerned that the event would confirm my suspicions that we are all a little ‘chippy’ about the lack of opportunity and blaming others prejudice for holding us back. I wondered if by my attendance, was I confirming denials about my own buried insecurities about my heritage and colour. The reality is that the evening confirmed something that I already knew to be true: we are all created equal. The thing that holds us back in life is not our own view of race or colour, disability or sexual orientation but our lack of willingness to hold up the mirror to ourselves and to others.
In a business like News UK, where we excel in the diversity of opinion, we all need to continue to ensure that our titles reflect the views of the people that populate this great country. We have a purpose to inform and entertain people everyday through the written word. In order to do that better than anyone else, we need our working population to be representative of the people in this country and we need to constantly ensure that we are doing the right thing in all forms of diversity. We may all think we are, but just in case…here is your mirror!