Inclusion is a skill: WPP partners with UniWorld and Brand Equality to launch global learning programmes

19 OCT 2021
Various people with laptops and tablets

WPP launches global learning programmes designed to build inclusion as a skill, as it continues to foster a culture of learning and belonging in a hybrid world.

The Inclusive Leadership Learning Experience was created in partnership with WPP associate UniWorld Group – the longest-standing, full-service, multicultural marketing and advertising agency in the US – to help mid-level managers foster a culture of belonging for their teams.

This interactive programme is delivered both live and on-demand through a social learning experience platform, TrainUp, and will give participants a roadmap for how to become more inclusive leaders. The month-long pilot launched across four countries (US, UK, India, China), and five agencies (GroupM, Ogilvy, Superunion, VMLY&R, WPP Corporate), with the intent to scale broadly in 2022-23.

This is run in parallel to the Future Readiness Leadership Series, designed to equip executive leaders across the network with the skills they need for the future, so that they can serve as champions of change among their teams.

Across both programmes, which were co-created with WPP companies globally, a key focus is on ensuring inclusive leadership as everyone across the company adapts to new ways of working.

In addition, with LGBTQ+ representation in marketing an ongoing challenge, WPP has launched the first phase of its new LGBTQ+ Inclusive Marketing programme.

In a collaboration between WPP Unite, Brand Equality and WPP’s Global Learning and Development Team, the aim is to equip employees with the knowledge, skills and resources to create more inclusive marketing via authentic, strategic, and insightful preparation, planning and execution.

Guy Duncan, the Founder and CEO of Brand Equality, hosted a live session with client leaders and business development professionals to help them speak to their clients and teams confidently and fluently about the core components of LGTBQ+ inclusive marketing. The next phase will include the launch of e-learning modules focused on offering practical, tangible learnings and best practices, as well as a cross-agency resource hub on WPP’s internal employee platform.

In parallel, WPP Unite and Choreograph, have partnered to produce a regionally bespoke consumer research study to better understand LGBTQ+ people and allies alike, which will also be hosted on the resource hub.

Jennifer Remling, Chief People Officer, WPP commented: “We believe inclusion is a skill that requires knowledge, practice and action. When our people feel secure, safe and confident to share their ideas, it has a direct impact on creativity and the power of collaboration – which is our competitive advantage. Inclusion is not only ensuring we have diversity of thought, backgrounds and lived experiences – it’s also about embedding inclusion in our new ways of working.”

If you work at WPP and want to contribute to the crowdsourcing effort for the LGBTQ+ resource hub, please fill out this Microsoft Form. You can also find out more about the learning and development opportunities for our people from under-represented communities here.

  1. Only 1.8% of characters in ads from the 2020 annual Cannes Lions festival were LGBTQ+, down .1% from the previous year (source: Geena Davis Institute). According to Getty Images, less than 1% of visuals downloaded in 2020 include people with LGBTQ+ identities and research by Visual GPS shows the current portrayal of LGBTQ+ individuals remain narrow and stereotypical (e.g., 30% gay men shown as feminine, 29% LGBTQ+ carrying the rainbow flag, 29% lesbian shown as masculine, etc.).