Strong, Current, Connected, Included - She Runs It
Thought Leadership

Strong, Current, Connected, Included

By Lynn Branigan

The four words in this headline reflect the absolute focus of She Runs It since the onset of Covid. As our community began to show the lopsided impact of the pandemic on women in our workforce, we doubled down on programs that would support them, lift them up, and keep them involved in the industry dialogue.


The 2021 results of our #Inclusive100 study suggest our work is only just beginning. As you may have read in Ad Age on December 2, a disproportionate number of women exited from the advertising, media and tech fields during the past 12+ months. For the first time since we started measuring, women represent only 46.4% of the workforce, not 50%, which is where we have been historically, and where other industries appear to be currently.


The full 2021 report can be found here.


In a nutshell, the data reveals some bad news, and some good news. What is most encouraging, however, is the progress that #Inclusive100 companies have made in adopting the best practices and repeatable actions illuminated by the survey. These companies are being more intentional about hiring and promoting people of color by recruiting more effectively and requiring diverse succession slates. They are engaging the CEO (and CMO) to set DEI objectives and hold leadership accountable to those goals. They are enriching and measuring their mentoring and sponsorship programs to ensure they are valuable to people of color.


The progress is proof that participation in #Inclusive100 serves as a roadmap for companies who want to make their workforces more diverse and their workplaces more inclusive.


This year’s survey results captured a DEI snapshot of the marketing industry during an unprecedented moment in time. The data was submitted between December 2020 and March 2021, a year into the Covid pandemic and several months after the murder of George Floyd. Some of the discouraging trends revealed were likely influenced by these events, but that does not give us permission to rest.


We will continue to push for and measure our progress. The best way to do that is to encourage more companies to be part of #Inclusive100. The 2022 Seramount Inclusion Index (formerly DBP Index), will be open for submissions on December 13 and close on March 11, 2022. You can register here to receive the application.


Right now, there are 50 determined companies participating in #Inclusive100. I admire and celebrate these bold organizations for their tireless commitment to achieving real progress through measurement.


I encourage you to join them. There is no cost, only upside.