Will brands make progress on diversity and inclusion in 2018?

Advertisers have more than brand safety, transparency, and ad fraud on their minds in 2018. To attract and retain top talent, and better connect with consumers, leading brands are pushing hard on inclusion, pay equity, and diversity (racial/gender/age). The majority of consumers feel executives should take a stand on social issues, and 44% of them will purchase more from brands who do.

A more inclusive, diverse, and equal work environment has massive financial implications. Companies in the top quartile for gender and ethnic diversity have been proven to be more likely to outperform their peers — and this is especially true of companies with diverse executive boards. They can realize improvements of 53% return on equity.

Despite the social, consumer, and financial benefits of a more inclusive, diverse, and equal corporate culture, there has been little progress in many of these areas. Today, only a handful of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and studies have shown that applicants with African-American sounding names are less likely to get a callback. Things are improving, however, thanks in part to newer organizations that champion specific causes, such as Out in TechGirls Who Code, and The Hidden Genius Project.


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