Black advertisers launch mentorship program

The Black Executive CMO Alliance is launching a two-year mentorship program for aspiring black marketers which represents one of its first concrete steps towards further diversification of the advertising industry since the group’s inception earlier this year.

Called “The BECA Playbook,” the expansive program will offer its first class of 25 mid-career black advertising professionals one-on-one coaching with C-suite executives, networking sessions with several of the top black marketers in the world. world and a personalized organization. learning experience to fill in gaps in participants’ resumes.

More than a dozen companies have joined BECA’s new mentoring program to provide support and resources, including General Motors Co., Deloitte, Starbucks, ViacomCBS GroupM’s BET and WPP agency.

“The BECA Playbook embodies one of our four pillars – pay it forward – to which our members and sponsoring organizations have wholeheartedly shown their commitment. By supporting our mission, they have dedicated their time and resources to building a stronger pipeline of Black leaders ready for the C suite, ”said BECA founder Jerri DeVard, whose career has included senior marketing positions at Citibank, ADT and Nokia.

The foundation of the alliance rests on four key pillars: “Share, learn, nurture and give forward,” DeVard told Ad Age at the launch of BECA.

Led by DeVard, BECA was formed in March with a class of 26 Black Creative Leaders as founding members of the group, including Netflix Global CMO Bozoma Saint John; Unilever senior executive Esi Eggleston Bracey; and Mars Wrigley’s North American President, Anton Vincent.

Black, Hispanic, Native and multiracial people are still systematically under-represented in the American advertising industry, according to the Association of National Advertisers’ Fourth Annual Diversity Report, which was released last month.

Black Americans, in particular, hold only 6.6% of positions in ANA member companies, although they represent about double that percentage of the national population.

But the report showed year-over-year progress: 13.7% of marketers say they are a non-white race, up from 12% in 2020; The same is true for senior-level employees, with industry-wide diversity of up to 28.5% versus 26.4% last year, as well as those at entry level, with diversified workers now represent 33.1% of this sector against 31.9% in 2020.

“This report reveals that [the] the marketing industry is making significant strides towards improving diversity in our ranks at all levels, “said Bob Liodice, ANA CEO, in a statement.” However, it also shows that we still have work to do to achieve a truly diverse balance in our workforce, ”he added, urging group members to continue to seek fair and equitable representation in the workplace.

More information on the group and its new “BECA Playbook” program is available on its website.

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