Diverse by design: Unlocking the power of inclusivity at Moving Brands
With offices in London, Zürich, New York and San Francisco, Moving Brands is proud of its global workforce and strives to attract people from all backgrounds.
A culture of diversity and inclusivity has grown organically over the years – but the company is determined to nurture it and push it further. Driving the change is a commitment to identifying inequalities and unconscious bias, and investing in training, learning and breaking the traditional mould.
Moving Brands depends on a multitude of ideas and perspectives to deliver creative output for some of the world’s best-known brands. It recognises the importance of developing diverse teams that represent its clients’ audiences but is well-aware of the challenges facing the creative industry, not least the fact that it has traditionally been dominated by white men. But the company also sees outdated norms being derailed, as groups like The 3% Movement make their voices heard.
The journey so far...
Moving Brands has already launched a raft of new initiatives to tackle inequality, and is now set to roll out inclusivity and diversity training for its teams.
Gender pay gap reporting may now be compulsory for larger UK companies, but that doesn’t mean smaller firms can afford to ignore it.
Employing 35 people in the UK, well below the 250-threshold, Moving Brands is not legally required to report on salaries yet every year it carries out an internal global gender pay gap assessment, which is monitored quarterly. As part of its wider diversity and inclusivity assessments, the company also looks at how well different nationalities, BAME and minority groups are represented.
For Moving Brands, transparency is key to securing buy-in from the wider team, showing them what it takes to get to the next level in their career and creating a culture where nobody should be afraid of asking for a pay review.
Transparency demands a critical review of all internal processes, since even the most open-minded people sometimes fall victim to unconscious bias during recruitment and promotion decisions. This extends to feedback and performance reviews (which inform pay rises and promotions).
Tackling unconscious bias, while not easy, is something Moving Brands is determined to do by articulating who makes salary decisions and how. Another solution is to remove names and personal details from CVs and portfolios – which it acknowledges is easier to achieve with the former than the latter, says Maddie Fortescue, the company’s Global People and Development Manager:
“The issue we find is that every creative has their own website, so it is difficult to not see their name or personal details. Wherever possible, we have a diverse talent pool and find out where that talent comes from – for example, we want to hear from those who didn’t go to university, or who are changing careers.
“When you are recruiting for a replacement or when we need to get someone in quickly, you have to balance time constraints and project demands. This is why it is so important to plan ahead and be strategic in your hires. We need time to post our jobs in the right places and interview people from a diverse range of backgrounds.”
Even though it is widely acknowledged that diversity is vital for strong creative output, new initiatives rarely deliver quick and tangible results.
One mistake many companies make is to measure diversity on how well they fulfil quotas. Moving Brands, on the other hand, believes it is more important to widen the pool of available talent by making the creative industries fundamentally more accessible. It wants to challenge recruiters to present a broader range of candidates and involve the wider team in recruitment, not just HR and hiring managers, as Maddie explains:
“Of course there needs to be backing from leadership, but diversity is something the whole team is committed to and we are all moving forward together. Collectively, we all have a great level of awareness about this topic, and while it still feels like a daunting task to tackle, we are taking steps, sometimes small, in the right direction.
“We’d all love to click our fingers and for things to change, but it is not that easy. However, we are all addressing it, exploring our perceptions and concerns and asking questions in a collaborative way. We have made D&I front of mind and we are changing our thought processes, and the way we talk and approach this topic.”
Moving Brands is acutely aware of the wider cultural and social landscape in which it operates, made all-the-more complex by the fact that has studios in the UK, mainland Europe and the US. But its international presence has also contributed to the team’s deep understanding of what diversity in the creative industry means, since each country has its own challenges and attitudes.
Another priority is tackling issues such as the lack of diversity at art colleges and what can be done to encourage more women to stay in the industry. Currently, Moving Brands works with universities but recognises there are many more untapped opportunities to inspire children during their school years.
“One problem is that people outside the industry do not always know, or understand, what we do and careers in the creative industry aren’t always encouraged at school. Collectively, we all need to do more to educate the next generation about the opportunities available in the industry. This is key to creating a diverse talent pool in the future.”
All this has renewed the company’s determination to attract and nurture people from all backgrounds, making the most of their cross-cultural insights to create work that excites and resonates with worldwide audiences.
For more details on Moving Brands, visit www.movingbrands.com.
Jessica Lee | Unsplash