Our DEI journey

Marème Touré

Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

This summer, against the backdrop of a global pandemic, events culminating with the murder of George Floyd made another, centuries old pandemic impossible to ignore. Individuals, families and corporations began to have long-overdue conversations about racism and inclusion. Dentsu Canada is no exception, but we know that before we can be inclusive, we must be Anti-Racist.

dentsu Canada is committed to embedding diversity, equity and inclusion across every facet of our business: from the way we attract, develop and enable our talent to thrive to the way we operate our business: our systems and processes, our behaviors and daily decisions, our client work, our partners and supply chain.

We will not confuse activity for progress, or compliance for commitment. The work is not performative nor opportunistic. It is an honest response to systemic failures. It is a journey. By leveraging our platforms and our access, as an industry, we realize our potential for great impact. We want our Talent to bring their whole selves, do their best work, make a great impact – like never before.

That’s why I was excited to take this role as dentsu Canada’s first-ever Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I wanted to bring more people to the party — go get those that don’t know about the party or don’t think that they are invited to it, and do everything we can to make sure they can bring their music, dance their dances and enjoy themselves and feel safe while they are here. Once equity is put into action and we challenge the status quo, our processes and policies, a culture of inclusion follows. 

Our Anti-Racism Action Plan is split into five pillars:

  • Transparency and Accountability – To collect data, set benchmarks, monitor and track and report
  • Understanding and Awareness – To raise awareness and amplify the lived experience of our BIPOC community, through meaningful events and grassroots actions our people can participate in
  • Education and Continuous Learning – To educate our people on being actively anti-racist and develop resources for use both internally and outside the business
  • Representation and Sponsorship – To recruit, identify, attract and develop Black, Indigenous and people of colour and help them thrive
  • Community and Client Impact – To support Black businesses and communities, champion our employees and imprint anti-racism values in everything we do

You read in last month’s issue about our partnership with the BlackNorth Initiative, which has called on the corporate community in Quebec step up to the plate in the fight against anti-Black systemic racism with the September 30th BlackNorth Initiative Quebec Summit.

Within dentsu, we’ve sparked an exciting partnership with Equity and Inclusion Strategist and Consultant Karlyn Percil, who is helping to facilitate a psychologically safe space for our people to have the intimate, open, difficult and raw conversations we need to help create an inclusive culture where Black, Indigenous and all other marginalized groups feel seen, heard and valued. The insights from these discussions are crucial to building our DEI strategy.

We are all responsible. We champion DEI efforts at all levels of the network. We’re not there yet, but we want to be. We can be. We will be. And the journey there is an exciting one.