Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Dr. Femi Olu-Lafe, SVP, Culture and Inclusion, Kinesso

As the Culture and Inclusion leader at Kinesso, Femi leads the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies for Kinesso and its sister IPG agencies, Matterkind and Acxiom. We asked who her digital hero is.

Who is your digital hero?

Wendi Dunlap, SVP of Outcome-Based Planning at Kinesso. Wendi is an award-winning pioneer in digital media, cross-screen video, and integrated marketing strategies. Wendi is also an accomplished writer with a career spanning speculative fiction, journalism, and cultural critique.

What has she done to win hero status in your eyes?

Wendi is a champion for equity and inclusion in the digital advertising and marketing industry. She’s been driving change and pushing boundaries in the digital advertising and marketing world for over two decades.

For example, Wendi uses big data, and internal/external research regarding Black consumers to design more accurate and representative Black audiences.

Wendi is a well-versed and respected thought leader on big data, conscious marketing, and cultural and behavioral trends. She leverages her platform to advocate for women of color in the tech space.

How has her heroism helped drive digital?

t’s important to examine how bias may creep into our work in the digital advertising/marketing space and consider opportunities to be more respectful, fair and better capture the nuances of people and communities.

Wendi’s work has helped make progress in designing more intentional audiences. She has helped shine a light on the need for a more thorough understanding of BIPOC communities and demonstrated how data can be more effectively leveraged to uncover and tell a more thoughtful story.

Wendi is currently helping forge a more robust connection between advertising and academia. She’s creating a much-needed bridge between the advertising space and academic scholars and studies

What are the biggest challenge in digital we need another hero to solve?

Bias and equity.

There are biases built into the digital ecosystem. This includes algorithmic biases, survey biases, biases in how audiences are created and connected with. There’s opportunity to uncover and ameliorate these biases. Fortunately there are heroes out there (a notable number within my organisation!) doing this important work to enhance societal equity.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

Shining a light on opportunities for equity in the digital space and creating a space where progressive equitable business projects can develop and thrive.

Partnering with and championing the heroes within our org who have made massive progress in understanding the biases within our ecosystem (eg algorithmic or audience biases) and developing innovative programs and solutions to mitigate bias and establish greater equity within our industry