m/SIX launches The Collective

March 2021

Jean Sarhadar

The Collective, Lead

How do you think Covid-19 has created a platform for us to shine a light on issues of diversity?

Before Covid-19, the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion were arguably hazy to society at large, the pandemic – whilst devastating – has played a pivotal role in bringing these issues into clear focus.

In a time where our usual pace of life has been drastically altered, the arrest and subsequent killing of George Floyd worked as a powerful catalyst to usher in change. This tragic loss of life has propelled us to seize this moment to forge a new commitment to equality.

According to an article written by Gideon Spanier, UK editor-in-chief at Campaign, ‘The BAME population is 13% in the UK and about 40% in London yet the IPA Census shows it is just 4.7% in the C-Suite of agencies (down from 5.5% in the previous year).’ These statistics coupled with a whole host of macro factors have led us as an agency to join forces with more than 200 industry leaders to pledge our solidarity in an open letter that agrees with diverse talent and proposes concrete steps to achieve greater equality within the advertising industry.

It’s clear that we must do more. McKinsey, the management consultant firm, notes that ‘if companies deploy a systematic approach to diversity and inclusion and don’t fear bold action to foster inclusion and belonging, they are most likely to reap the rewards.’

At m/SIX, we believe that the stage has been set to be even bolder.

What steps are m/SIX taking to ensure we have a lasting impact on both our agency and the media and advertising industry?

As an agency, we have a formidable leadership team that is keen to adapt and create a level playing field for all. We see diversity as a source of competitive advantage and a key driver of growth. Using this as our north star we’ve developed an agency-wide initiative called The Collective.

The Collective is driven by the understanding that often diversity and inclusion are not accommodated in most companies. This is due to collective blindness that systemically derives from legacy structures and, within the advertising world, the make-up of the people in senior leadership.

Instead of providing grievances to the negative impact of this collective blindness, we want to come together as a “collective” to open eyes and energetically provide working solutions with both honesty and integrity to address the need for diverse talent across our agency.

The Collective is the central advice board in the agency, encouraging diversity and making sure everyone, at all levels, understands the importance of driving diversity.

The core objectives of The Collective are:

  • Delivering innovation through diversity/inclusion
  • Embedding the understanding that diversity is not an optional add-on but an integral part of creating a culture of inclusion
  • Assisting in driving business-owned commitments to change

The work we do as part of The Collective will enable m/SIX to go beyond words and sentiment, striving to authentically provide a fairer working environment for all.