Emma Newman is CRO EMEA at PubMatic and NDA’s new regular columnist
I have just come back from DMEXCO, one of my favourite industry events. While the overall event was great and there were a lot of important conversations to cover all sides of media and advertising evolution, one thing stood out – the lack of speakers from diverse backgrounds.
Conferences like DMEXCO serve as a shopfront for our industry, they are highly visible platforms from which we tell our stories and influence the evolution of advertising. As someone who is heavily involved in many DE&I initiatives both at PubMatic and across the wider industry, the lack of diversity came as somewhat of a surprise to me as I know that great work has been done to make our industry more inclusive.
Research shows that innovation revenue (the percentage of total revenue from new products and services launched over the past three years) was 19 percentage points higher in companies with diverse management teams. To foster this environment of excellence, you should not only provide employees with the opportunities but also the tools and resources necessary to learn and grow.
Through DE&I programs, you should offer employees custom training on receiving feedback, conflict resolution, and speaking up with confidence. All stakeholders benefit when each individual can deliver his or her full potential; colleagues have more opportunities to collaborate with and learn from one another, customers get the best service, and shareholders ultimately see outsized returns.
Trust and transparency are key to ensuring that everyone can realise their full potential – including maximising their contribution to driving positive change in DE&I. At a leadership level, trust and transparency help to bring your change agenda to life through open communication across all levels of your organisation. With this comes not just a willingness, but a desire to help drive positive change.
These desires need to be nurtured and fostered continually and resulting changes need to be measured to ensure that the people who are driving positive change feel empowered to continue to do so. By creating more trusted, open communication and action, companies can facilitate a culture of engagement and empowerment. This requires going beyond making conversations about DE&I more prevalent and extends to constant evolution, listening, action, and personal and business accountability.
Education and training are a must too. From the grassroots of your organisation all the way to senior leadership and board level. Knowledge and skills empower people and give them the courage and ability to bring new views to the foreground and create more openness in discussions. This is especially true in uncomfortable situations that involve employees and leadership teams such as pay discussions or promotion cycles.
To continue to drive improvement, we need to make sure that, as companies and individuals we’re focussing on accountability. At PubMatic, our mission is to fuel the endless potential of internet content creators, and to do so we must fuel the endless potential of our people as well. Our commitment to DE&I is part of our broader strategy to lead with integrity, transparency, and excellence — this is core to all we do.
This year, we published our seventh annual DE&I report that details how we approach the challenges of diversity and inclusion from both a quantitative standpoint, sharing demographic and other data to measure representation among our workforce, and a qualitative standpoint, providing insight into our initiatives and programming designed to advance our DE&I efforts around the globe.
In order to promote progress in DE&I, both organisations and the advertising industry in its entirety must be more vocal and outspoken, as it is only through this approach that we can effectively bring about the desired change.
While not every conference, event, or meeting may fully embody all DE&I principles, it is important for us to speak out rather than passively allow the status quo. By doing so, we can actively contribute to constructive change where it is needed. Only through these efforts can we move the conversation forward and create a culture of inclusivity that aligns with personal, professional, and business objectives.