Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The Digital Voice™ Mic Drops: Responsible Resourcing Agency co-founders talk DE&I

‘Mic Drops’ is a new series of industry interviews conducted by The Digital Voice™.

Here, we meet Adele Bridgeman and Alison Filkin of the Responsible Resourcing Agency, the newly-launched specialist recruitment and HR partner… 

Why was now the time to launch the Responsible Resourcing Agency (RRA)?

The media, marketing and advertising industries have struggled to find solutions to the persistent challenge of diverse representation and fostering a culture of belonging for their people. 

This isn’t just a theory – studies bear it out. Just last month, a survey identified DE&I as the issue that would make the single greatest impact on young media professionals if leaders were to make it their top priority in 2024. And according to the 2023 World Federation of Advertisers Global DEI Census, almost one in seven global marketing and advertising staff would leave the industry due to a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion – a figure that rises to one in six among women and LGBTQIA respondents, and one in five for ethnic minorities. 

This is the problem we have set out to address with the launch of RRA. We want to help companies of all sizes in the media, marketing and advertising sectors to recruit the people they need, in a fair and inclusive way.

Beyond that, we provide clients with HR support, right across the board, from onboarding to employee relations, training and development, wellbeing, employee engagement, policy and procedure and compliance.

Why has the industry struggled to get this right over the years?

The issue of diversity, creating equity and fostering inclusive practices is a multi-faceted, complex and evolving issue. We also understand that it’s not easy to do all the things a modern employer needs to do to run a business – operating a sustainable business model and a purposeful business strategy, all while remaining compliant, competitive and future-facing. This is where we come in, taking on board the demands of recruitment and HR practices, so that we can support clients in doing what they do best.

Why should companies get on board with RRA?

Smart companies are realising that it’s not just the right thing to do – it’s the right commercial and competitive decision. Finding and nurturing diverse talent will be what differentiates successful businesses from the rest. It’s a matter of record that companies who take diversity, equity and inclusion seriously reap the benefits, not only in terms of a happier workforce, but also a more productive one, with a positive impact on the bottom line. Their people will feel a greater sense of belonging, and will be more motivated to meet their own goals, and those of the company.

McKinsey’s Diversity Wins study found that companies that scored well on gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies that scored badly. Likewise, companies with more than 30% women executives were more likely to outperform companies where the percentage was lower. The same is true for ethnic and cultural diversity – in 2019, the most diverse companies outperformed the least by 36% in terms of profitability.

We have seen first-hand the positive effects that diversity can have on businesses and conversely the detrimental effect of those businesses who ignore the subject or get it wrong. We think that there are initial small steps and measures that all businesses, big or small, can make to improve their people practice. 

Is it just a Diversity business?

While diversity is one of our core values, we work with clients on all of their people practice and support them to have happy, high performing teams, in line with their business goals.

Culture is a company’s single most powerful advantage. An understanding of diverse teams and creating inclusive workplaces is part of the big picture here, and it goes so much wider – into leadership, business values and managing change in the intersectionality between these areas to make focused improvements. 

Responsible Resourcing is a broad set of criteria offering services to find the right talent and onboarding them to your business, through to their ongoing development and progression. Working with RRA, companies can provide a happier, fairer, more inclusive, more diverse and more productive workplace, where their people feel both a greater sense of belonging and a stronger commitment to the company’s success. 

How was Responsible Resourcing Agency (RRA) founded?

We are the co-founders: Adele Bridgeman and Alison Filkin. Adele is a seasoned media recruitment professional, with over 10 years’ industry experience. Prior to co-founding RRA, she spent three years at multimedia publisher, LADbible Group, as Talent Business Partner, heading up the recruitment and DE&I strategy globally, and previously held senior recruitment positions at The Marketing Store and GroupM.

Alison is a multi-sector HR Director with more than 20 years’ experience in HR, both as a consultant to small and large clients and as a corporate leader in global organisations such as Adecco and Mindshare. 

Together, through RRA, we want to help companies go beyond talking about diversity, equity, inclusion and good people practice, to creating practical strategies that make it happen.