WPP’s commitment to anti-racism

anti-racism

WPP’s commitment to anti-racism

Racial injustice will not be tolerated within WPP – nor can we tolerate it in the world around us

On 17 June 2020, WPP announced a set of commitments and actions to help combat racial injustice and support Black and minority ethnic talent.

  1. We will take decisive action on each of the 12 points in the “Call For Change” open letter to the industry from more than 1,200 Black advertising professionals; complete a fundamental review of our hiring, retention, promotion and development practices; and publish our racial diversity data.
  2. We will use our voice to fight racism and advance the cause of racial equality in and beyond our industry.
  3. We will invest $30 million over the next three years to fund inclusion programmes within WPP and to support external organisations.

The 12 actions in the “Call For Change” letter range from investment in the career paths of Black employees and a measurable commitment to improving Black representation in senior management, to wage equity plans for people of colour and mandatory anti-racism training for leaders and HR employees. Our agencies have already taken or are in the process of taking many of the actions, but we will implement all 12 throughout WPP, on an accelerated timescale. This will include setting targets, tracking the progression of under-represented groups and publishing our racial diversity data. This work will be underpinned by a comprehensive review of our policies, processes and practices so that they elevate Black talent and never stifle it.

Our greatest impact is through the work we create, and we will use our platform to enlighten, educate and inspire action. We will engage with clients, partners, peers, industry bodies, event organisers and suppliers to ensure that Black and minority ethnic talent is fairly represented not only in the work but in our industry and wider networks. We will formally commit only to participate in events or panels where people of colour are represented, in line with the pledge WPP CEO Mark Read signed some time ago not to participate in male-only panels. We will also identify and put forward people of colour as speakers at events to proactively raise their visibility. We will review supplier diversity to give greater support to minority-owned businesses.

We will commit $10 million a year over the next three years to fund these programmes and to provide support for anti-racism charities. We will make donations, offer our services pro bono and work with our media partners to support charities and other organisations committed to fighting racism, developing minority talent and addressing issues that affect Black and ethnic minority communities. WPP will also match employee donations to charities selected in consultation with our WPP Roots steering committee up to $1,000 per person, to a total of $1 million.

Our new Global Inclusion Council will work with Mark Read and the WPP Executive Committee to ensure that the commitments above are met. Advising the Council will be a taskforce dedicated to advancing the opportunities and interests of Black colleagues specifically.

The leaders of WPP’s global agency networks have each signed up to these commitments and will be held accountable for delivering them within their businesses.

Announcing the commitments, Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Over the last three weeks, I have heard an outpouring of pain, anger and frustration from Black colleagues, along with clear demands for change. This is the moment to embrace that change, and to use our creativity, our scale and our influence to make a difference in the fight against racism. WPP must support and elevate Black employees, and those from other under-represented groups, not as a diversity and inclusion initiative but as a business and moral imperative.”

Press release

Amplifying Black voices at WPP

Derek Owusu

21 Jul 2020

That Reminds Me

AKQA talks to Derek Owusu, winner of the Desmond Elliott Book Prize 2020, about his experience as a black writer in the creative industry

Judy Jackson

Reaching an industry turning point with race

WPP’s Global Head of Culture, Judy Jackson, discusses the transformational impact of recent events in an Inkwell Beach talk

Group Of Female Friends Outside

GroupM launches Multicultural Marketplace

The new platform will provide support to independent publishers owned by and/or serving Black and Hispanic communities

Neo Ogilvy

Brand planning for a post-COVID world

Ogilvy South Africa’s Neo Makhele on ensuring brands emerge from the coronavirus stronger than ever

Karen-Blackett-The-Telegraph-2568x1445

05 Jun 2020

The barriers of being Black in Britain

“I hope this will be our tipping point” – Karen Blackett OBE, WPP UK Country Manager

Chris-Foster-v4

Loyalty isn't earned from the sidelines

BCW's Chris Foster on why brands should use their expertise and investments to develop solutions to societal problems

Sabrina-Browne-BCW

How corporations and brands can be allies for the Black community

BCW's Sabrina Browne outlines the steps to successfully and authentically make an impact

Working-on-hard-mode

Working on hard mode

Ogilvy's Zach Stubblefield on being Black in corporate America

WPP-IWM-08-cropped

06 Mar 2020

In conversation: Beth Ann Kaminkow and Jean-Rene Zetrenne

The transformative role of talent in future business

Yusuf-Chuku

Advertising has a crisis of apathy and otherness

VMLY&R's Yusuf Chuku on why performative activism isn't going to solve a structural industry problem

Cartwright

Keith Cartwright launches agency with WPP’s backing

“If we need anything in this moment it’s a demonstration of progress and change” – CEO Keith Cartwright

Colour-bravery

Now is the time for colour bravery

Kantar's Melissa Hansberry outlines the different role brands can play

Close message

Privacy Policy

We have updated our Privacy Notice for this website. Please review our Privacy Policy.

Go to Privacy Policy