OMG UK chief managing officer and managing director of OMG Ethnic Sam Phillips sat down with a panel on the second morning of Festival of Media Global 2017 in Rome to discuss ageism, utilising young talent and providing clear routes for growth.
MEC chief strategy officer Verra Budimlija talked about how diverse companies get more investment, and while quotas are one way to achieve diversity, it’s also about culture. “Currently we tend to hire people we think fit our culture, like ourselves,” she said of affinity bias.
However at MEC, everyone takes unconscious bias tests. “You don’t consciously have bias, it’s unconscious and that’s why it’s so pernicious, so insidious. We are able to counterbalance this when we are aware.”
Channel 4’s Jonathan Allan discussed an initiative by which the network gave free airtime to an advertiser who focussed on disability, while The Girls’ Lounge chief executive officer Shelley Zalis said that diversity starts with the media, based on what people see and are inspired by,
Budimlija dismissed the need to think about separate generations, instead focussing on a more diverse workforce in totality while Zalis promoted multi-age teams working together. “Wisdom at every age is very important,” she added, commenting how different generations don’t respect each other. “We all learn from each other.”